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Published on October 5th, 2013 | by Guest Contributor

57

A Potential Solution For Long-Distance Power Transmission Leakage

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October 5th, 2013 by
 

Originally written on JBS News.
By John Brian Shannon.

Electrical grids perform two main functions. They carry electrical current from the power producer to the end-user and they regulate the electrical current that is being transported through the lines.

On one end of the line, the electrical current might be generated by a hydro-electric dam, coal, nuclear power, or a renewable energy power plant such as wind or solar power. At the other end of the line, the homeowner, business, industry, or government, receives all the AC electricity (Alternating Current) they need at exactly the right voltage (Volts) and cycles per second (Hertz). In North America, this usually works out to 110 (or 120) Volts AC power @ 60 Hertz.

Along the route, through the hundreds or even thousands of miles of high tension lines and towers (called ‘pylons’) significant but naturally-occurring electrical current losses of up to one-third of the original output are experienced — which must be covered by 1) sending more current than is needed to ensure the required amount reaches the city after the losses are factored in 2) the installation of costly substations, with their hugely expensive transformer systems to recover and re-modulate the current.

Illustration below depicts just one example of the many kinds of current leakage found in all electrical grids, worldwide.

479px-Fluorescent_tube_under_electric_line

A fluorescent tube glows in the electromagnetic field under high tension lines, from so called “navigated voltage” which happens near energized High Voltage wires.
Image courtesy of Wikipedia (BaronAlaric).

There are more substations in North America than you can possibly imagine, and these help to regulate the electrical current and manage leakage. Even the tiniest substations cost several million dollars, have an appreciable land footprint, are often located on expensive land next to residential or commercial/industrial areas, and they are hazardous locations for pets and kids who may ‘jump the fence to take a look around.’ I know this, because in my youth this was a favourite pastime, and my friends and I ‘inspected’ entire substations wondering what role each component performed. After lightning storms, we always looked around for pieces of fried metal that we could proudly take home to show Mom.

SOLAR POWER GRID AUGMENTATION

Small-scale solar installations placed along high tension line routes could compensate for current leakages, and add surplus solar power to the grid as the current flows towards the end users.

The land required for such installations would be tiny, and in fact, that land is already bought and paid for (or leased) and this land is known as electrical power transmission company ‘right-of-ways’ wherever the high tension wires and the pylons which support the wires high above the ground, crisscross the countryside.

The next logical step for power producers and their partners the power transmission companies (now that solar panel costs have hit all-time lows) should be the installation of 1MW solar arrays every 50 or 100 miles along high tension wire right-of-ways to compensate for the electrical current that is lost in transit. A tiny substation at each solar array along the routes could transmit the solar generated power directly to the lines in real time, to make up for the electrical current that is normally lost in transit.

As most electricity demand occurs during the daylight hours, solar panels would add power to the grid exactly when it is experiencing its highest rate of electricity demand and leakage.

WIND POWER GRID AUGMENTATION

In Northern latitudes, wind power might be the preferred Grid Augmentation method. Installing a 1MW wind turbine every 50 miles along high tension wire routes would cover existing electrical current leakages, as well as adding surplus power to the grid.

New and sophisticated vertical axis wind turbines could be installed close to existing high-tension lines with no danger of them ever hitting the wires or pylons.

MAKE MINE A MODULAR!

By employing a modular approach to such installations, results could be seen right away, as a new design/engineering/construction method would not required for each installation. We can simply decide to add a 1 MW block of solar or wind power every 50 miles (or whatever is required to cover the average current loss per 50 miles) and start pouring the concrete bases to mount the panels or turbines. This is not rocket science, this can be done.

Electrical leakage results in a huge cost to electrical producers, electrical power transmission companies, and especially to end-users. It is a well understood factor in the course of moving electrical power over long distances and merely adding electrical current to the grid at regular intervals — of a kind which has no fuel cost, no production cost, and is not operator-assisted — will solve the problem, completely.

I look forward to new and innovative uses for renewable energy which complement electrical power producers — instead of competing with them. Using renewable energy in this way could make our grids and the huge, otherwise empty tracts of land they occupy, 30% more efficient in less than two years, if we immediately begin to deploy Modular, Renewable, Grid Augmentation.

A smarter grid, courtesy of renewable energy!

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  • isaac

    Can we loss power more then what we generat

  • GatsbyTheGreat

    I guess my biggest question is ‘How is adding small-scale generation along the corridor any better than adding capacity to the primary generation at the end of the corridor?’ — Either way, you are making up for ‘leakage’ with additional capacity, and it is probably cheaper to build out the generation all in one place, especially if that location is ideally suited to wind / solar generation.

  • GatsbyTheGreat

    I guess my biggest question is ‘How is adding small-scale generation along the corridor any better than adding capacity to the primary generation at the end of the corridor?’ — Either way, you are making up for ‘leakage’ with additional capacity, and it is probably cheaper to build out the generation all in one place, especially if that location is ideally suited to wind / solar generation.

    • Bob_Wallace

      You’ve summed up the problem with the idea.

    • http://jbsnews.com/ John Brian Shannon

      Hi GatsbyTheGreat,

      You’re right, adding additional capacity along transmission corridors to account for losses is what I have suggested and also I suggest to add much more than just the loss amount, whatever that may be.

      Placement would be critical, of course. Plenty of land at low or reasonable cost could be had by using existing transmission right of ways — and especially within 20 miles of any city — as the corridor enters the city.

      Even when considering only the ‘red’ areas indicated on the map, there are dozens of cities, hundreds of towns, and many millions of people.

      I offer this NREL map to show where solar can make sense, within the above-noted parameters. I suggest even the areas shown in ‘yellow’ could work.

      Cheers, JBS

  • Doug

    I don’t like this idea because it puts the generation assets in remote locations, which suffer from the worst losses because of the long transmission distances. Generation should be located close to the consumer. In an extreme example, my rooftop solar system has very low loss in transit as all of the generation is consumed within a hundred meters of the source. No high voltage transformers, no high voltage transmission lines, no substations, etc.

    • http://jbsnews.com/ John Brian Shannon

      Hi Doug,

      I’ve been reading your comments in this thread and appreciating them.

      A couple of notes:

      Electrical power generation is already in remote locations in many cases.

      The transmission corridors travel thousands of miles criss-crossing the continent.

      They always terminate at a city, town or industrial area (where the end users usually are).

      Putting solar installations or vertical axis wind turbine installations within 15 miles of any city, could do the trick nicely.

      Saving (at the very least) the cost of high tension power line losses AND adding additional electrical current to the grid, just where it enters the city limits.

      And, as everyone knows, solar and wind have no fuel costs — unlike fossil and nuclear, costs which add to the end user electrical price.

      I suggest that just because we have always run our grids a certain way, doesn’t mean we have to continue making the same mistakes. On this, I’m sure you concur.

      Best regards, JBS

      • Bob_Wallace

        “The transmission corridors travel thousands of miles criss-crossing the continent.”

        No, we don’t have any “thousands of miles” transmission lines. Nor do we have any transmission lines that criss-cross the nation. We have three major grids, one serving most of the area east of the Rockies, one serving Texas, and one serving the area west of the Rockies.

        They are not connected.

        “Putting solar installations or vertical axis wind turbine installations within 15 miles of any city, could do the trick nicely.”

        Yes, locating generation close to point of use is a good idea. It saves transmission costs and losses. But it only works if the solar/wind resource is good in that area.

        Were you to check, you would find that we do locate our wind and solar as close to population centers as possible. But often our best solar and wind resources are not located near population centers.

        I suspect you can grasp the idea that putting a wind turbine in a high wind area makes more sense than putting it somewhere the wind doesn’t blow a lot.

        The people who design these systems are quite proficient in math. They don’t run a foot more transmission line than makes economic sense.

        And there are no vertical axis wind turbines that have proven to work well enough to be considered. They’ve been tried and abandoned.

        “I suggest that just because we have always run our grids a certain way, doesn’t mean we have to continue making the same mistakes. On this, I’m sure you concur.”

        I’m sure we all concur that we shouldn’t make new mistakes by introducing new inefficiencies.

      • Doug

        I definitely do agree that we need to find effective solutions to increase renewables!

  • Brian Wark

    The idea someone had the other day of large solar farms 250MW’s, built near Nat Gas Generating plants, and some reactive battery 2MW’s in size. Solar needs to be backed up by Gas plant and battery.

    • Doug

      Or more accurately, solar can be backed up by a traditional gas plant, the electrical grid, a battery bank or other energy storage mechanisms.

  • http://www.facebook.com/cees.timmerman Cees Timmerman

    AFAIK, HVDC doesn’t have flux resistance.

    • Adam Grant

      You won’t see a fluorescent bulb light up if you hold it underneath a DC line.

  • Sean

    new plan, go HVDC, get much lower losses – higher costs on inverters, however you also get higher network stability (inverters can apply power factor correction) and you can tie areas with different grid sync together.

    • Bob_Wallace

      Yes, if the run is long enough. You encounter a roughly 0.75% loss at each end but the loss over distance is a lot less per 100 km. Short runs you don’t save enough power to pay for hardware and conversion loss.

    • Doug

      Now there’s a good idea. Transmit solar generated power over HVDC lines.

      Could these HVDC lines be hung or buried in existing HVAC transmission line corridors between cities and regions? Can they be easily integrated with electrical substations?

      • Sean

        even better, they can carry more power than when they were in AC mode. (because AC cables are rated to their peak voltage, but transmits only about 70% of that, DC runs flat out at peak voltage)

        DC works better than AC when buried (as it doesn’t suffer capacitive losses) and better at high current as it uses the whole conductor, not just the skin

        DC could be integrated into substations. its simply a matter of room and cost.

  • John

    A benefit of solar PV is that it can be installed in a distributed fashion close to the end user and thus eliminate transmission loss.

  • NRG4All

    It is nice to think that everyone that installs residential PV is lessening the need for the long distance transmission lines with their losses. Any excess generated only has to travel next door to a neighbor to be used.

    • Bob_Wallace

      Distributed generation (rooftop solar) also lessens demand.

      Transmission losses are highest when the greatest amounts of power are flowing through the wire. Lowering demand means that transmission lines will be less heavily loaded, thus more efficient.

  • GaryH

    I take serious issue with the sentence “New and sophisticated vertical axis wind turbines could be installed close to existing high-tension lines with no danger of them ever hitting the wires or pylons.”
    There are no new or viable vertical axis machines and there wont be in the near future. They are an inherently flawed technology and serve only to distract would be wind energy advocates and owners away from real and viable horizontal axis solutions. Looks at all the verts that have left the market or died. The only ones left use solar a s a back up. How pathetic is that!

    • Bob_Wallace

      Yep, verticals have been tried over and over and to date none have proven themselves. Might as well hypothesize gas turbines run on unicorn farts.

      • http://johnbrianshannon.com/ John Brian Shannon

        The same was once said about jet engines… yep, ‘those’ gas turbines. ;) JBS

        • Bob_Wallace

          OK, John, you’ve presented your idea. And you’ve gotten feedback. Pretty much all the feedback points out what seems to be problems with your idea.
          Continuing to argue your idea with the ideas you’ve given will probably get you nowhere.

          If you think your idea has merit then you need to do some hard lifting and generate some numbers that show why installing solar panels underneath transmission lines would be cheaper than in a typical solar farm. Same for wind turbines.

          You’re going to have to explain how, for example, with your system there will be some sort of savings that will override the cost differential between backing a cement truck up to the site and filling the concrete extruder and setting forms and hauling concrete by helicopter.

          When you spread a job out over a larger area you increase all sorts of transportation costs. You loose a lot of paid labor time. Almost everything becomes less efficient.

          You’ve got to find some source of savings to offset those much higher installation costs. The higher security and maintenance costs. The higher voltage/frequency conversion costs.

          And it probably won’t be in land cost savings.

    • http://johnbrianshannon.com/ John Brian Shannon

      Hi GaryH,

      Is there any reason why some of these couldn’t be installed somewhere along the high-tension wire corridors, to add power to the grid — as I suggest, to add back the power lost during transmission from a remote power plant — and perhaps add a bit more to the grid than just that lost power?

      Even if a number of these were placed 5 or 10 miles outside the city limits of any city where the power corridor enters the city, wouldn’t that make sense?

      I posit there is a logical location for these, to be determined on a case-by-case basis, they can add power to the grid, they could even add more power than what is lost during transmission, and they are sophisticated enough to do the job that I propose.

      Cheers, JBS

      http://www.quietrevolution.com/qr5/qr5-turbine.htm

  • JamesWimberley

    Why is this scheme supposed to be cheaper than simply building the solar or wind capacity where it makes most sense?
    Solar and wind generators work at much lower voltages than long-distance transmission lines (400-800KV), so you would need big power transformers anyway.

    • Bob_Wallace

      Yep. Install where resources are the richest. Build a little extra to cover line loss.

  • James Van Damme

    You need to do some spreadsheet work on this idea to show how it could work.

    • http://johnbrianshannon.com/ John Brian Shannon

      Hi James,

      Thanks for the comment.

      As an ‘idea person’ my role is to posit ideas. Some ideas are doable — while other ideas cannot proceed due to cost or engineering challenges. Having done my job, I now leave this idea in the hands of technical experts.

      There are so many excuses why this couldn’t be made to work. But I consider them to be minor details.

      If we all want to save 30% on our electric bills — and that includes all industry, all government, all commercial users and all residential customers — then who ‘owns’ the land beneath the pylons will instantly become a minor matter and a PPA for the use of the land could be signed within a week.

      Generating any real discussion and having forums to offer novel approaches to our energy challenges has historically been a part of the problem. I thank CleanTechnica for being open to allow new ideas to see the light of day.

      Best regards, JBS

      • Bob_Wallace

        As long as you understand that your plan doesn’t optimize the investment.
        Spreading panels or turbines along the transmission lines is less efficient than clustering them in good resource areas and minimizing the equipment needed to turn their output into grid voltages. And spreading out would increase maintenance costs.

        • http://johnbrianshannon.com/ John Brian Shannon

          Hi Bob,

          I think it is safe to say that all of the Southwest, possibly all of the Midwest, all areas are suitable for solar power, according to the NREL solar map. Clustering is not necessary there.

          In cities like Seattle with plenty of annual cloud cover, I agree this idea may not have as much merit. (Although Seattle has plenty of existing solar installations).

          Transformer stations are already ‘spread out’ how can doing it this way ,cost more? Not only that, conveniently locating them on existing transmission routes, already maintained by the transmission company puts the (small scale) electrical production, the transformer stations and the high tension wires all in one place — along a designated route.

          You realize that the vast majority of the land used for power transmission is extremely rural, or wilderness land, which eventually intersects with cities and industrial areas.

          There is plenty of land for this. In fact, it could be done so that city dwellers would never see it or know of it, unless they happened to fly over it in a light aircraft.

          Best regards and thanks for taking the time to comment. JBS

          • Bob_Wallace

            Panels produce low voltage DC. Transmission lines are either high voltage AC or very high voltage DC. Either way the output from panels is going to have to be cranked up to match line voltage.

            If you spread panels out over a larger area then you’re going to spend more on wire to connect them. At lower voltages larger gauge wire is required in order to efficiently carry power.

            There may be transformers spread all over the place, but they are not waiting underneath transmission lines and they cost real money.

            “You realize that the vast majority of the land used for power
            transmission is extremely rural, or wilderness land, which eventually intersects with cities and industrial areas.”

            I very much realize that. I see one of those ‘extremely rural’ lines every time I drive somewhere. And I can tell you that putting panels under those lines (in the shade of those lines) would greatly increase installation and maintenance costs.

            Seems to me that you have an idea that has merit on first hearing (and we’ve heard it here before). But once one digs into the details it pretty much falls apart.

            Just the extra cost of installing panels spread out over irregular terrain kills it. Right now we’re fighting to get the BoS costs of systems down. This would balloon them.

          • http://johnbrianshannon.com/ John Brian Shannon

            Hi Bob,

            I respectfully note your opinion, but I see the glass as half-full.

            Cheers, JBS

          • Bob_Wallace

            And I see your idea as half thought out.

            Don’t take that wrong. Ideas are good things. But they have to evolve as additional information appears.

            And a bit of CT history for you…
            http://cleantechnica.com/2011/10/17/could-u-s-get-20-of-electricity-from-solar-under-power-lines/

          • http://johnbrianshannon.com/ John Brian Shannon

            Hi Bob,

            I thought that another kick at the can was in order, as solar panel costs have dramatically fallen since October of 2011.

            Not to mention that solar, even in the short span of time from Oct/11 to Oct/13, seems to have gained more mainstream acceptance.

            OK, Cheers. We’ll chat again. JBS

        • Adam Grant

          There’s a social engineering angle to be considered. Currently power companies with fossil generation investments whose costs they can’t recoup are fighting wind and solar. Giving their boards of directors an angle to exploit, i.e. their pre-approved access to the land under power lines, could result in a permitting environment more favourable to all installers of renewables.

          In the case of a wind farm, compactness reduces line losses but increases the shadowing of one rotor by others. A long, narrow wind farm shouldn’t be subject to wind shadowing as long as the line is transverse to the prevailing winds.

          • Bob_Wallace

            Putting wind turbines underneath transmission lines would be worthless. Wind resources close to the ground are insufficient to produce a good return on investment.

            Turbines couldn’t be mounted over power lines. Their towers would interfere with the lines.

      • James Van Damme

        An analysis might show that you get the most benefit by having the panels at the load. i.e., on the customers’ houses, with zero line loss and no need to boost up to HV. Of course, there’s no need for the power company to own them then, so the user could buy at wholesale instead of retail.

        Nothing wrong with thinking outside the box, but we need some back of the envelope number crunching to show some feasibility.

      • Doug

        I’m open to new ideas and you should keep them coming – probably best to research them a bit more before publishing them for public comments!

  • Ivor O’Connor

    not up to cleantechnica standards

  • Matt

    What you have forget (or misunderstood) is that the land under the right of way is not owned by the power company. The government places a easement on the property. The power company comes in cuts down your tree, messy up your fields. Then it leave, the land below the lines is still owned by someone else. In the country it is normally a farmer, a rancher, or if out west the US government. As you get closer to towns/cities it goes over yard, homes, factory, offices. Could they buy or lease some of the land? Most likely some of it, but it isn’t free or already theirs.

    • Matt

      You might find that people who own the impacted land are not very happy with the power company that place the transmission lines, or gas/oil pipeline. Unlike when a wind farms comes, and the land owner can say yes/no and get paid for the used. Since they are only using the air space for the wires land owner gets nothing. Not positive on the land under the transmission towers, didn’t have one of those.

      • http://johnbrianshannon.com/ John Brian Shannon

        Hi Matt,

        The truth is the land underneath the pylons is administered in many different ways.

        In some areas, the county owns the land and has a ‘maitenance agreement’ to maintain the corridor — and often the use of that land is free or very low cost to the power transmission company, (other than the cost to maintain it) which is in the best interests of the transmission company anyway.

        In other areas, the power transmission company purchases the land outright and can use it in any way they like, such as the installation of service yards and parking areas for their staff or company vehicles and equipment.

        Basically the power transmission company tells the various levels of government what they need in order to bring the current to service a city and they all coordinate to ensure that happens.

        Allowing solar arrays under the wires could become part of the deal, but only if everyone wants to save 30% on their electricity bills — including those various levels of government, industry, commercial (all huge users of electricity) and residential users.

        You or I may only save $10. per month under such a scheme, but industry and commercial users could save millions per month.

        You may be aware that many skyscrapers and other commercial buildings like shopping malls for example, spend well over one million dollars per month on electricity. Some industries spend much more than that. Saving 30% on their electric bills would amount to major savings and you might just see those users lining up to invest in such Modular Augmented Grid installations.

        Cheers, JBS

        • Bob_Wallace

          I don’t know where you came up with the 30% savings stuff.

          Grid loss overall is about 7%. Most of the loss is at the local distribution level, not during transmission.

          What you are suggesting is installing more capacity to make up for that 7%. Yes, we will have to do that or make the grid more efficient. Which we are doing.

          Then the question remains as to what is the cheapest way to generate the extra to cover loss. Spreading generation out underneath transmission lines is not as cheap as bunching generation where resources are best.

          Just consider security. Are you going to build chain link fences around those spread out panel sites and hire security guards to keep the panels from being stolen? Doesn’t it make sense to have one fence around hundreds/thousands of panels with a couple of guys monitoring security cameras rather than a bunch of small fenced areas?

          Besides, did you consider tower and line shading?

          • http://johnbrianshannon.com/ John Brian Shannon

            Hi Bob,

            As I pointed out in an above comment, most of the transmission corridors are in wilderness or rural areas, in fact, only a tiny percentage of transmission corridors are located anywhere near cities or towns.

            Most solar installations are chain link fenced and have video cameras that transmit their pictures to a remotely located security company. This wouldn’t be any different.

            Tower and line shading are non-existent. As we have seen from the German study which was a comprehensive study on hybrid power plants, the massive wind towers had no measurable shading effect on the ground level solar panels.

            Cheers, JBS

          • Bob_Wallace

            The perimeter of a large square is less than the cumulative perimeters of multiple thin rectangles, areas held constant.

          • http://jbsnews.com/ John Brian Shannon

            Hi Bob,

            I see that you are focusing on the savings (the “up to 30% savings” that I mentioned in my post and in my comment) and relating that potential savings to only stray voltage/line losses.

            I suggest that part of the savings would ALSO come from savings on electricity consumers electrical bills — due to the lower cost of creating electricity from solar.

            With coal, fossil and nuclear, there is a fuel cost component to the generation of electricity — and it is no minor cost for electrical producers.

            Combine “no fuel” electrical power generation, with all the “stray voltage” losses covered by R-O-W solar installations, you will get up to 30% savings on your electrical bill.

            Just like I said in my post and in my comment.

            If you can prove me wrong, please do so.

            But really, is that what it’s about? Should any of us be shooting down ideas that are posited?

            Unless you work for fossil or nuclear, or own significant shares in them, isn’t it more logical to try to be part of the solution?

            I don’t accept that just because we have always done it a certain way — that we must continue to do it that certain way.

            It is my opinion that the Earth systems are in crisis and that
            continuing along the same path because that is what we have always done, is just not acceptable.

            “Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.” — Albert Einstein

            I will continue to posit new ideas — and ideas that may deserve a second look, due to the dramatically lower costs of solar panels and wind turbines. If some engineers want to lend a technical assist, I will welcome it.

            Idea people are not always engineers, and engineers are not always idea people. But the two go together like peas and carrots.

            The more heads we get on our world’s energy challenges, the better.

            I’ll bet that Nikola Tesla, Guglielmo Marconi, Karl Ferdinand Braun ended up throwing many of their ideas in the trash can, while other ideas were just too advanced for the time, while others were timely and doable.

            Thanks for your comments, but I’ll keep positing.

            Cheers, JBS

          • Bob_Wallace

            For solutions to be useful they must be built on facts.

            You seem to generate “solutions” out of thin air and then try to find bits and pieces of information which you don’t understand that you then use in an attempt to support your solutions.

            Transmission losses are roughly 7%. The “stray voltage” stuff is irrelevant. Losses are directly measured. Most of the lost energy is lost in the form of heat.

            There is no way that a 7% transmission/distribution leads to a 30% increase in the cost of electricity. That’s voodoo math.

            If you put $1 worth of electricity in at one end and lose 7% then you end up with 93c worth. You do not end up with 70c worth.

            The more heads the better, yes. But only if those heads are screwed on correctly.

          • http://jbsnews.com/ John Brian Shannon

            Hi Bob,

            Hahaha. Agreed on all counts, except one.

            Adding solar to the grid, which is a fuel free electrical generator, will cover the difference between the 7% loss and the 30% price savings I cite.

            Maybe even better.

            Fossil fuel and nuclear require fuel. Which results in higher cost than non-fuel electrical generation.

            Especially now that solar panel prices have dropped.

            You keep talking about line losses, I keep talking about the end user price.

            I can’t say it any plainer than that.

            Cheers, JBS

          • Bob_Wallace

            The 30% number is a piece of fiction.

            A 7% line loss does not add 30% to the end user price. That’s absurd.
            John, are you working up a comedy routine? You’re posting some of the most bizarre stuff I’ve seen.

        • Matt

          This has so many things wrong with it that I just picked the easiest one. But if you want more:
          1) 30% lose? Don’t know what you were smoking but that is way out of bounds.
          2) 1MW size is likely not optimal too small justify the substation cost.
          3) If the lines run say 200 mile (4MW), then would be much better putting the 4MW around the city. To reduce transmission need. Remember the “fuller” the line the higher the lose. So Distributed PV near where it is used always is better.

          • http://johnbrianshannon.com/ John Brian Shannon

            Hi Matt,

            In very long distance power transmission with high current, and inclement weather, losses of up to 67% have occurred. In perfect textbook conditions, losses are only 7% but I would suggest that number is rarely seen. To make conclusions based on either number would be flawed.

            I chose 30% as a safe number to extrapolate from.

            Just the savings in the cost of purchasing or leasing new land vs. right-of-way land, as well as a huge (almost unimaginably large) choice of new locations available for solar installations can add efficiency just by adding corridor lands to the equation. And now solar can take advantage of more optimum placement in some locations.

            Cheers, JBS

          • Bob_Wallace

            ” In perfect textbook conditions, losses are only 7%”

            No, that’s an average over time.

          • Ivor O’Connor

            JBS, why do you say things like that rather than just researching it?

            https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Electric_power_transmission

          • http://jbsnews.com/ John Brian Shannon

            HI Ivor,

            If you click on the links in my post, you will find this link http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stray_voltage

            There seems to be some disrepancy between two different Wikipedia pages…

            Just because there may be some disrepancy, does not automatically negate the validity of the idea I posit.

            Now that solar panel prices have fallen dramatically combined with a better focus on GHG in this century, another look at solar and wind installations anywhere along transmission corridors is in order.

            How could you possibly argue otherwise?

            “If we keep on doing what we’ve been doing, we’re going to keep on getting what we’ve been getting.” — Jackie B. Cooper

            And Ivor, that’s just not good enough.

            Cheers, JBS

          • Ivor O’Connor

            I can’t believe you are for real. Are you a candid camera writer? Ok, I give up. Quit pranking me.

          • Ivor O’Connor

            Hi JBS.

            I’ll try to nicer and sincerely reach out in the hopes of coming to a mutual understanding.

            You are off on the 30% number and have gotten defensive trying to defend it. I read the wiki link you included. That link pertained to problem areas and not business as usual. Attempting to use numbers like that, and defending them, don’t help get your main idea across.

            Now using the ground between towers for PV might work. In very particular carefully designed scenarios. You might have to build patches of PV with inverter sheds sprinkled in with them. Perhaps in some of the areas shaded by the towers. All depending on the geography, land rights, and physical realities of the situation. There may be wasted land just waiting to be used. Like India covering their waterways with solar panels. Perhaps we could do this along side freeways and such too.

            Wind turbines though are a bit tougher. Keep in mind it is all about cost. Wind as you noted is very cheap. However that is because the turbines are huge and take advantage of decades of design. They are able to produce electricity at 4c/kWh. What you are proposing would probably produce electricity at a cost of $4/kWh. So obscenely out of touch with reality it is like listening to Rush Limbaugh. Finally even though you lose maybe 5% of the power produced in a remote location with wind it still ends up costing close to 4c/kWh.

            I think you have something with your ideas of making use of land when it is government owned and not being utilized fully. However you just need to send people that might be your best advocates by clearly violating physical realities.

            Tschüss.

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