Mar. 11th, 2009

webfarmer: (Default)
Put all the wind and solar energy electrical superhighway underground? Sounds like a plan to me. Hope the Obama folks are up to speed on this one.

HVDC stands for High Voltage Direct Current. The key to transferring electricity long distances is to crank the voltage way up high and drop the current way down low. The amount of current used determines the loss in a given conductor. Less current, higher efficiency of transfer.

Invisible, Underground HVDC Power Costs No More Than Ugly Towers - Renewable Energy News - 10 Mar 09

"DC systems used to be much more expensive because expensive electronic voltage converters had to be used in place of simple transformers. However, semiconductor costs are falling while transformer, land and steel costs skyrocket. As a result, underground HVDC power transmission is rapidly becoming cheaper than ugly AC towers. By following existing road and rail rights of way, very quick turnaround times are possible and court battles are avoided."

"Most regulated utilities have little incentive to cut costs as they are given a percentage as their profit. Los Angeles is one exception. The LA Department of Water and Power serves the ratepayers, not shareholders. LADWP built one of the few long HVDC links in the U.S. in 1986. It brings 1600 megawatts (MW) of power from Utah to Los Angeles. The link is now being upgraded to 2400 MW and will soon be extended to the wind farms in Wyoming.

Wyoming wind is very valuable in Los Angeles because wind peaks in the evening, hours after electrical demand peaks in the afternoon. The two-hour shift in sun position between Los Angeles and Wyoming causes wind output to almost perfectly match electrical demand. HVDC power links pay for themselves quickly because the spot price of electricity varies by as much as 3:1 through the day and can be mismatched by as much as 33:1 between unconnected areas."
webfarmer: (Default)
Put all the wind and solar energy electrical superhighway underground? Sounds like a plan to me. Hope the Obama folks are up to speed on this one.

HVDC stands for High Voltage Direct Current. The key to transferring electricity long distances is to crank the voltage way up high and drop the current way down low. The amount of current used determines the loss in a given conductor. Less current, higher efficiency of transfer.

Invisible, Underground HVDC Power Costs No More Than Ugly Towers - Renewable Energy News - 10 Mar 09

"DC systems used to be much more expensive because expensive electronic voltage converters had to be used in place of simple transformers. However, semiconductor costs are falling while transformer, land and steel costs skyrocket. As a result, underground HVDC power transmission is rapidly becoming cheaper than ugly AC towers. By following existing road and rail rights of way, very quick turnaround times are possible and court battles are avoided."

"Most regulated utilities have little incentive to cut costs as they are given a percentage as their profit. Los Angeles is one exception. The LA Department of Water and Power serves the ratepayers, not shareholders. LADWP built one of the few long HVDC links in the U.S. in 1986. It brings 1600 megawatts (MW) of power from Utah to Los Angeles. The link is now being upgraded to 2400 MW and will soon be extended to the wind farms in Wyoming.

Wyoming wind is very valuable in Los Angeles because wind peaks in the evening, hours after electrical demand peaks in the afternoon. The two-hour shift in sun position between Los Angeles and Wyoming causes wind output to almost perfectly match electrical demand. HVDC power links pay for themselves quickly because the spot price of electricity varies by as much as 3:1 through the day and can be mismatched by as much as 33:1 between unconnected areas."

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