Australian Daily Electrical Power Generation Data – Friday 13th July 2018

Posted on Sat 07/14/2018 by

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By Anton Lang ~

This Post details the daily power consumption data for the AEMO coverage area in Australia. For the background information, refer to the Introductory Post at this link.

Each image is shown here at a smaller size to fit on the page alongside the data for that day. If you click on each image, it will open on a new page and at a larger size so you can better see the detail.

Note also the scale change for some of the images. That scale (the total power shown on the left hand axis) has been changed to show the graph at a larger size.

Friday 13th July 2018

Total Power Generation All Sources

Here, the black line is the total power generation from every source. This is also the same as for total power consumption, which is slightly lower after minor grid losses are taken into account.

The Blue line is all fossil fuelled power generation. The orange line is hydro power generation. The purple line is wind power generation, and the red line is for solar power generation.

Both of those (exact) figures for total power consumption for the daily minimum and the daily Peak are taken directly from the AEMO site, adding up the totals for each of the five States in this coverage area.

Note the slight difference between Total Consumed Power and Total Generated Power. That indicates some of the losses in the grid system.

Daily Minimum Power Consumption – 19630MW

Daily Peak Power Consumption – 28950MW

Daily Minimum Generated Power – 20000MW

Daily Maximum Generated Power – 29700MW

Average Total Power Generation – 24600MW

Total Power Generation In GWH – 590.4GWH

All Fossil Fuels Total – Coal Fired and Natural Gas Fired Power Generation

Here, the upper black line is the total from all fossil fuels, and this is the same as the blue line in the image directly above.

The black line just under that top black line is the Sub Total just for coal fired power. Note here how closely that coal fired line follows the shape of the upper Load Curve, and this indicates that coal fired power can be ramped up and down to follow actual power consumption.

Daily Minimum Coal Fired – 16050MW

Daily Peak Coal Fired – 19200MW

Average Coal Fired Generation – 17900MW

Total Generated Power – 429.6GWH

Average Percentage Of Total – 72.76%

Natural Gas Fired Power Generation

This image for Natural Gas Fired Power Generation shows the gap between the total for all Fossil Fuelled Sources of power generation and Coal Fired Power Generation in the image directly above.

Note here how closely the shape follows the total power generation Load Curve in the top image, indicating how these natural gas fired plants are used to smooth out the load curve to match actual power consumption.

Note also that while coal fired power provides the bulk of the power, these natural gas fired plants are used to add more power to the system during those time periods during the day when consumption rises for the morning peak, and the main evening Peak

Daily Minimum – 1700MW

Daily Peak – 5600MW

Average Natural Gas Fired Generation – 3000MW

Total Generated Power – 72GWH

Average Percentage Of Total – 12.2%

All Renewable Power Generation Versus Total Power Generation

This Image shows just the gap between total power generation from every source and the total power from renewable sources only. It is the same image as the first image at the top here, only with the fossil fuelled total (the blue line) removed from the graph, As in that top image, it shows Hydro Power, (orange line) wind power, (purple line) and solar power. (red line) What I have then done is added the black line just above those coloured lines and this indicates the Sub Total of power from those three renewable sources only. This is to highlight the gap between the total power generation and the total from renewable sources alone.

All Renewable Power Generation (Does not include rooftop solar generation)

This image is the same as for the one directly above for all renewable power, only with the total from all sources removed from the graph. As the scale of the left hand vertical axis has now changed, you can better see the detail of all renewable power. Again, the orange line is for hydro, the purple line is for wind, and the red line is for solar, and the black line is the Sub total for all renewable power. The other colour just showing indicates smaller plants, mostly using biofuels as their fuel source, tiny plants adding up to a very small total and for a short time duration.

Daily Minimum – 2400MW

Daily Peak – 5500MW

Average Renewable Generation – 3700MW

Total Generated Power – 88.8GWH

Average Percentage Of Total – 15.04%

Hydro Power Generation

This image shows all Hydro power generation. It is the same as the orange line in the top image for power generation from all sources.

Again, note here that the shape of this load curve follows the shape of the main load curve for all power generation, in that it has similar peaks in the morning and for the man evening Peak. The coloured lines at the bottom of this graph indicate the power generation from each of the hydro plants in this coverage area.

Daily Minimum – 1700MW

Daily Peak – 4900MW

Average Hydro Generation – 2980MW

Total Generated Power – 71.52GWH

Average Percentage Of Total – 12.11%

Wind Power Generation

This image shows the total power generated by every wind plant in this vast coverage area. It is the same as for the purple coloured line in the image at the top showing generation from all sources.

The total Nameplate for all these wind plants is just under 5225MW.

Note that the shape of this load curve does not follow the shape of the main load curve for total power generation. Wind power generates its power only when the wind is blowing, hence it does not follow actual power consumption levels.

Daily Minimum – 370MW

Daily Peak – 810MW

Average Wind Generation – 600MW

Total Generated Power – 14.4GWH

Average Percentage Of Total – 2.44%

Solar Power Plant Generation

This image shows the total power generated from all the solar power plants in this coverage area. This is the same as for the red coloured line you can just see in that top image.

The total Nameplate for all these 16 solar plants is just lower than 1000MW.

Daily Minimum – Zero

Daily Peak – 520MW

Average Solar Plant Generation for hours of generation – 290MW (7.30AM till 5.30PM)

Average Solar Plant Generation across the whole 24 hour day – 120MW

Total Generated Power – 2.88GWH

Average Percentage Of Total across the whole 24 hour day– 0.49%

Rooftop Solar Power Generation

As this source of power generation is classed as ‘behind the meter’, it is not included in the total power generation. Note here that the State of Queensland (QLD on the legend under the graph) is broken down into four separate areas as this is the largest State with the largest number of installations.

While the total Nameplate changes often, the latest information is that the total is now 7800MW, and that is a large total. However, that total equates to 1.8 Million homes with panels on their roof. That equates to an average sized installation of 4.3KW. Most of the power is consumed by the homes with the panels, and what is fed back to the grid, while seemingly still high is spread across that huge number of installations across the whole of this coverage area.

Daily Minimum – Zero

Daily Peak – 4200MW

Average For Hours of Generation – 2650MW (7.30AM till 5.30PM)

Average Rooftop Solar Generation across the whole 24 hour day – 1100MW

Total Generated Power – 26.4GWH

Average Percentage Of Total across the whole 24 hour day – 4.47%

Notes

  1. Finding Averages – On each graph there are 9 time points. Add the total at each time point together, and divide by 9. For coal fired power, I do this on a State by State basis (for the 3 States with coal fired power) and then add the total for each State together.
  2. For both solar power averages, I have used the average for a (half) Sine Wave which is 0.637 of the Peak value.
  3. For total power in GWH, multiply the average daily power by 24, and then divide by 1000.
  4. The total percentages for coal fired power, natural gas fired power and all renewables adds up to 100%.
  5. The total percentages for Hydro, Wind, and Solar adds up to the total percentage for all Renewables.
  6. Total Generated Power is expressed here as GWH (GigaWattHours) and a GWH is a MWH (MegaWattHour) multiplied by 1000

Comments For This Day

Power consumption was slightly lower on this Friday, and that’s something else I have noticed over the nine week I have been doing this Series, that Friday’s usually have (slightly) lower power consumption when compared with other week days.

This was reflected in the figures for this day, with the lowest power consumption at the 4AM Base Load when it was 60MW lower, and then at the peak power time of 5.30/6PM, when it was 550MW lower.

The average for total power generation from every source was also lower, down 400MW to 24600MW.

The average for coal fired power was 300MW lower at 17900MW and there was a reason for that which I will explain a little further down.

The average for natural gas fired power was up by 70MW to 3000MW, the highest it has been in a while, again due to the fact that wind power was low. The average for hydro power was down by 300MW to 2980MW, and the average for the solar power plants was 120MW, the same as it was yesterday, but still delivering less than half a percent of the required power across the day.

Wind power was up, and don’t get too excited over that, as it is from a very low base yesterday, and at an average for his day of 600MW, was only up by 130MW. That gave wind power an operational Capacity Factor for the day of only 11.5%, way down on the yearly average. At the peak power time, when as much power as they can find is needed the most, wind power was only delivering 1.4% of the required power, which was the total for all those renewables of choice, when you add in both versions of solar power, as the Sun had set at that time, again showing the uselessness real worth of these favoured sources of renewable power generation.

I mentioned above that coal fired power was lower on this day than for the day before. One of the Units (Unit 3) at the big Eraring plant failed at just after 6PM, right at the time when peak power had just kicked in. It was off line immediately and it stayed off for the remainder of the night, so right there is at least half of that fall in the average for coal fired power, just from this one Unit at the one plant, immediately taking 700MW out of the system, a pretty large chunk of power.

So, how was it handled?

Look at these three images below, and as with all images here, they are sized to fit the page, and if you click on each image it will open in a new window and at a larger size so you can see the detail better.

I want you to look at these three images in a sequence, and I’ll give you a probable scenario as to what happened here.

The first image at left shows the Eraring Unit Three, and look pretty closely. Note that at some time between 5PM and 5.30PM, there was a ‘blip’ downwards, and the plant had been ‘playing up’ for a while, since around mid morning. At the plant, they were probably working on it while it was running to see if they could work the problem out. At that ‘blip’. it looks like they might have decided that this was a little more major than they thought, so the operator at the time would have been on the phone to the regulator, telling them of the problem, that they couldn’t rectify it, and that they would need to turn the Unit off. The regulator then would have got onto the phone to get something in place when the event happened. That was after that second ‘blip’ at just after 6PM, and now, knowing that something was in place, they switched the Unit off at Eraring.

Okay then, now we have a case where a lot of power is needed, and is needed pretty much immediately. The regulator got something which could do the job, first, pretty much instantaneously, Tumut Three and its bank of Pumped Storage Hydro turbines. Enter Image Two. Right at the time of the second blip, the ‘race’ was opened, and water flowed down straight to the turbine which immediately spun up one of the generators, delivering 250MW immediately to the grid, in a matter of a couple of minutes or so, and as that was happening, two more Units at the same pumped storage plant were also spinning up as well, adding a (now) total of 600MW into the grid, just as that big Unit at Eraring was going down.

Okay now, enter image three. This shows the gas fired plant at Uranquinty, just South of Wagga Wagga in New South Wales, the same State as Eraring and also Tumut Three. Now, this is a relatively new OCGT (Open Cycle Gas Turbine) plant and is used sparingly, as the cost of natural gas is high, and you can see how sparingly it is used, basically only at times of greatest need. That ‘hump’ earlier in the day shows that just one of its Units was on line, but only to cover the morning peak and only on for three hours. At the evening peak, just one Unit was then called on to add to the grid.

Okay, now back to the first image and that pre 6PM first ‘blip’. They got on the phone and asked them to fire them all up. So, the second one came on line, and then the third and then the fourth, adding in a total of 680MW to the grid. Being OCGT plants, they can ‘fire up fast’, but not as fast as those pumped storage hydro Units at Tumut Three.

As soon as the fourth one came up, there was no more need now for the extra from the hydro, hence, that pretty short time spike for the hydro in image two.

So, now, a big coal fired Unit had failed, and with a combination of hydro and natural gas, working in concert, that large loss was covered, virtually as it happened.

So, even though coal fired power has this ‘perceived’ drawback of that when it fails, it takes a lot out of the grid in one large chunk, something of this nature can be quite easily handled, so that in actual fact, hardly anyone at all would have even noticed it at all, and this was right at that large evening peak, the time when all the power they can muster was needed the most.

So, not only is coal fired power reliable, capable of delivering huge amounts of power, and steady, even when they do have problems, they are quite readily handled ….. and not handled by wind or solar power, but by the traditional sources of supply of electrical power. Keep in mind here that this Eraring power Station is now, 36 years old, an age that those favoured renewable power sources can only dream about.

Anton Lang uses the screen name of TonyfromOz, and he writes at this site, PA Pundits International on topics related to electrical power generation, from all sources, concentrating mainly on Renewable Power, and how the two most favoured methods of renewable power generation, Wind Power and all versions of Solar Power, fail comprehensively to deliver levels of power required to replace traditional power generation. His Bio is at this link.

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