AndyH
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Re: What happens in Germany if March 20, 2015, is a sunny da

Tue Sep 09, 2014 2:08 pm

thankyouOB wrote:
AndyH wrote:
thankyouOB wrote:y2k
Hey now - don't diss Y2K - that was real! A whole lot of people worked their butts off before the 31st. I was a USAF systems administrator at the time and we had the plan to fix the problems, and two back-up plans in case it failed. And most of the military sysadmins (and I suspect most of the civilians as well) were on duty through the night to respond it necessary.

That business is somewhat like a cloud operator - nobody notices all the calm days, but they certainly raise hell when all the hacked pictures hit the web. ;) :lol:
but there was no there there; as in there was no problem to fix.
it never materialized. it is not as if all those plans to fix the problem were needed. they just went away.

(as an aside, i wish i had a nickel for every dollar the USAF has wasted, and not just on hardware that cant fly an hour without 100X that in down time. I could buy manhattan.)
Why do you think there was no 'there' there? I know that the problem was real because of the work done in advance to quantify the threat (or lack thereof). We wouldn't have brought programmers out of retirement to fix the problem if there was no threat - especially since we've been operating in a 'do more with less' environment since the Reagan years. It's one thing to have masses of credit cards not working for a day, it's something else entirely to have confused nuclear missiles...

Yes, there's waste - just as there's waste in anything touched by humans. What I find interesting is that the things perceived as waste from a civilian perspective are very different from the things we criticized from the inside. I'm not convinced most civilians really understand what it takes to perform most of the work our military does day in and day out.
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TomT
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Re: What happens in Germany if March 20, 2015, is a sunny da

Tue Sep 09, 2014 3:35 pm

Or one boondoggle F35! :lol:
thankyouOB wrote:(as an aside, i wish i had a nickel for every dollar the USAF has wasted, and not just on hardware that cant fly an hour without 100X that in down time. I could buy manhattan.)
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AndyH
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Re: What happens in Germany if March 20, 2015, is a sunny da

Tue Sep 09, 2014 5:58 pm

TomT wrote:Or one boondoggle F35! :lol:
thankyouOB wrote:(as an aside, i wish i had a nickel for every dollar the USAF has wasted, and not just on hardware that cant fly an hour without 100X that in down time. I could buy manhattan.)
Case in point... :roll:
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AndyH
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Re: What happens in Germany if March 20, 2015, is a sunny da

Thu Dec 11, 2014 2:07 pm

Here's an overview of recent military power and a look at threats from the vantage point of a progressive USAF veteran. It provides better background on the "why" of the F-35.

http://www.dailykos.com/story/2014/12/1 ... F-35-thing
I've been asked to do a diary about the current controversy surrounding the A-10 vs the F-35.
I've done my best to research the topic. I've waded through, among other things, five volumes of the Gulf War Air Power Survey.

What I've come up with is:

1. It's complicated.
2. It depends on who you ask.
The problem is, we don't buy fighters for today. Fighter designs tend to have a 30 year lifespan these days. The F-15 was designed in the late 1960s and first flew in 1972. The F-16 first flew in 1974. The F/A-18 first flew in 1978. Great jets but they're old designs and they've been matched or even outclassed by the competition. The F-15 and F-16 will be tactically obsolete around the mid 2020s. Not too far off when you consider development time.

The F-15C (air superiority version) is being replaced by the F-22. The F-22 is an extremely capable aircraft but we're only buying 187 of them.
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alanlarson
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Re: What happens in Germany if March 20, 2015, is a sunny da

Fri Dec 12, 2014 1:38 am

AndyH wrote:
thankyouOB wrote:y2k
Hey now - don't diss Y2K - that was real! A whole lot of people worked their butts off before the 31st. I was a USAF systems administrator at the time and we had the plan to fix the problems, and two back-up plans in case it failed.
In a job I had about a year before, we were mandated to document every bit of equipment we had, used, or supported for Y2K compliance. We had to find documentation certifying that it could not fail on Y2k, and on the leap year day a couple months later.

This wasn't about programs that might have printed 00 or 19100 for the year, we had to find certification for communications equipment as well. ISDN terminal adapters, dial up modems, all of it. Never mind if it didn't have a clock or any concept of the time. The bits of stuff with clocks were normally powered up and never had the clock set, so they didn't know the actual date/time anyway, but we still had to find documentation or bug the makers for it.

A total waste of time and money.

But, on the subject, I do agree that it is a "Y2K" like response. It takes a fair amount of time for the sun to dim in an eclipse, and they will know about it in advance, so it is not a problem to have extra capacity spinning if necessary. Remember, too, that every day, the sun goes down, and output goes down more than this will - it may be a bit slower, but sunset is also met with a lot of load going up on the system.

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Re: What happens in Germany if March 20, 2015, is a sunny da

Fri Dec 12, 2014 4:57 am

I imagine the issue will be that as the energy is converted to local AC and it is a country-wide effect, those networks coming under sudden heavy loads with a weak supply will see their generating AC shift frequency. Where the areas power outputs are merged the system will automatically shut down that node to prevent frequency conflicts, but this in turn might create a like problem at a different node, and so if there is a problem with just one node at a moment of low power generation then it could cascade through the system.

This happened in California a couple of years ago.

It's a good argument to convert to HVDC which is now a viable and competitive alternative to HVAC inclusive of the energy savings.

I imagine it is a real threat. I'd simply run 'night time routine' from the previous night, or at least keep those facilities running at part capacity, through the morning until the eclipse has finished.

AndyH
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Re: What happens in Germany if March 20, 2015, is a sunny da

Mon Dec 22, 2014 12:53 am

Donald - IF the eclipse was not known in advance, and IF the grid controllers were not already adept at millisecond by millisecond control of generation to match loads, then I'd accept most of what you wrote.

But since those "IF"s do not exist, the faux concern returns to the mist and disappears.

Oh look - the UK Grid National Control Centre!
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Re: What happens in Germany if March 20, 2015, is a sunny da

Wed Mar 18, 2015 9:23 pm

Ok the predictions are in.... Now we shall see how this plays out :|

BTW looks like 50% chance of rain and cloudy so even less effect.

http://www.weather.com/weather/5day/l/GMXX0007:1:GM
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Re: What happens in Germany if March 20, 2015, is a sunny da

Thu Mar 19, 2015 4:15 am

smkettner wrote:Ok the predictions are in.... Now we shall see how this plays out :|

BTW looks like 50% chance of rain and cloudy so even less effect.

http://www.weather.com/weather/5day/l/GMXX0007:1:GM
Currently, 0% chance of precipitation in Berlin and no clouds predicted through the eclipse. This satellite photos show the far western part of Germany is fully cloud-covered while most of the country is fully sunny:

Image

There have been several articles in recent days discussing this eclipse:

phys.org: Europe braces for 'unprecedented' power issues from solar eclipse
phys.org wrote:If the morning of March 20 turns out to be very sunny—before the eclipse hides the sun—the sudden drop-off in production could reach 34,000 Megawatts, the equivalent of 80 medium-sized conventional power plants.
phys.org wrote:"For the first time this is expected to have a relevant impact on the secure operation of the European power system," warned Entso-e.
phys.org wrote:The various networks have been coordinating their plans "for more than a year, with the creation of a specific task force" to look into the problem, said Konstantin Staschus, secretary general of Entso-e.
RenewableEnergyWorld.com: Why Utilities Should Pay Attention to the Massive Solar Eclipse Set to Hit Germany March 20th
RenewableEnergyWorld.com wrote:Although Germany is no bigger than the state of Montana, it boasts more than a quarter of all the solar electric capacity installed on earth. Its 1.4 million solar energy systems produce nearly 7 percent of the nation’s electricity. (In the U.S., solar provides about 0.5 percent.) And during the sunniest hours of the year, photovoltaic systems have satisfied up to half of Germany’s power demand.
DW.de: Will the solar eclipse leave Germany in the dark?
dw.de wrote:"Within one or one-and-a-half hours, we have to regulate it from 9 to 26 gigawatts," says Burger. "As the net does not have any storage capacity, we will have to produce the exact amount of electricity that we consume in that very moment," he adds. Which means: The sunnier Friday is, the bigger the challenge will be, as the transition will be even more rapid and extreme.
Image

Mashable: Upcoming solar eclipse to wreak havoc on Germany's solar power output
mashable.com wrote:The decline in output may be 2.7 times faster than a normal production decline, but solar output would then increase up to 3.5 times faster than normal, immediately after the eclipse ends. "So there’s going to be a slingshot effect,” Fischer said.
But there is a bit of good news coming from the Guardian:
Guardian: Solar eclipse is unprecedented test, says European power grid
Guardian wrote:Abate said the next total eclipse over Europe will not be for 80 years, by which time the grid will have adapted to cope with the variability introduced by the surging renewable market.
But this eclipse comes at a time when Germany's electricity grid is more unstable than it has been in many decades:
Dr. Klaus Peter Krause wrote:Already 3500 emergency grid interventions per year
This is an increase from nearly zero grid inverventions per year a decade ago:

Image

Here's hoping that all the planning pays off and that Germany can avoid any major blackouts tomorrow. In any case, it will be interesting to learn from this unprecedented event.
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Re: What happens in Germany if March 20, 2015, is a sunny da

Fri Mar 20, 2015 7:31 am

Germany came through with flying colors, even though over 2/3 (3/4?) of the country was unobscured by clouds during the eclipse!

Here is what the eclipse looked like from a satellite:

Image

Here is what SMA indicated the solar generation in Germany looked like today:

Image

Finally, I ran across a cool animation that ties the eclipse to the shadow to the PV production:

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