As Coal Power Plant Goes Down, Tesla Battery Responds In Milliseconds To Prevent Crash

DEC 23 2017 BY MARK KANE 34

The world’s largest energy storage of 100 MW/129 MWh in South Australia, called the Hornsdale Power Reserve, is guarding frequency of the electric grid, even when something happens 1,000 kilometers away.

Tesla Powerpack installation

RenewEconomy describes a recent situation when one of the biggest coal units in Australia, Loy Yang power plant, tripped without warning. The 560 MW plant began losing power quickly and when frequency decreased to 49.80 Hz (from nominal 50.00 Hz) Tesla powerpacks began to pump more power – 7.3 MW was added in milliseconds.

The power injection was too small to replace the missing coal unit, but quick response helps to arrest frequency drop as other blocks or generators need seconds to increase power or fire-up.

“As for timing, Loy Yang A started to lose it at 1.58:59 (NEM time). Its biggest drop, from 364MW to 176MW, was at 1.59:19, which is where frequency hit 49.8Hz, and which is where Tesla came in a matter of milliseconds (but recorded in the 1.59:23 time frame).

Gladstone 1, a contingency FCAS supplier, hopped in at 1.59:27. Loy Yang was down to 44MW by then and completely gone in the next 4 second period.”

A few days later, the other unit of the same power plant Loy Yang tripped and the Tesla ESS sent 16 MW to maintain frequency.

“Latest update: Oops, it happened again! The Loy Yang A number 1 unit, which had been out for maintenance and repairs since tripping in early November, returned to service on Friday morning, and then tripped two and a half hours later.

Again, the Tesla big battery repeated its dose of last week, hopping in with a milli-second respond to help arrest the fall in frequency caused by the sudden loss of 353MW of capacity.

This time, the battery injected 16MW for frequency control before returning to take advantage of the price spike caused by the sudden loss of capacity (prices jumped 50 per cent to $119/MWh).

Again, as we wrote on Thursday, it’s time for the regulators to catch up and actually create a market for Tesla big battery and others like it. That’s the fifth trip of a major coal unit in the past week!”

How cool is that!

Source: RenewEconomy

Categories: ESS, Tesla

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34 Comments on "As Coal Power Plant Goes Down, Tesla Battery Responds In Milliseconds To Prevent Crash"

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Fantastic. If this type of storage system combined with either wind or solar or hydro facility is setup near the oil fired power plants, they can gradually reduce the oil consumption in a very economic way.

FYI: Oil fired power generation is more expensive than all other energy sources.

More Tesla ads.

More like more troll comments from you.

Nobody says you have to read InsideEvs, you can always go back to sucking on your “clean diesel”.

This story is a bit lackluster. This battery is too small to actually make a dent in the grid. It can only keep the waveforms at 50 Hz. The loss of 2 Hz over one second would truly have been catastrophic.

I wonder why it couldn’t inject more power? Couldn’t it is spec’d at 100MW but only put out 7.3MW on the first trip?

Because it wasn’t necessary. And by the way, frequency stabilization is needed for electric clocks only for the relatively long term. If the frequency goes from 49.8 to 50.2 it is simply not going to matter as long as the count is exactly 3000/minute.

As far as I know a frequency drop would be bad for some industrial systems (motors?) and could damage them.

Because that is all it needed to add to maintian the grid as other generators came on line.

Nobody says you have to read his comments. This is the weakest argument of all to defend some writing.

How do you do that without a blocking function?

Trolls need to be blocked to keep the quality of the comments high.

There is a market for this, at least in California. Regulation up and down is traded at the California energy market managed by CAISO. Anyone with grid connected resources that can spin up or down in seconds can can submit bids for regulation up and down.

So, the battery was successful in preventing clocks from losing a tiny bit of time? Do any clocks still use the grid to keep time? I would expect quartz and GPS to rule.

The battery quite possibly prevented serious damage to grid equipment and a blackout for an entire region. I don’t know if it did, bit that’s what is a big deal about the quick response time. It prevents serious problems that otherwise are likely because other providers – of more serious wattage – need time to react.

Considering some people (or their fathers) held on to rotary dial phone to the bitter end, I wouldn’t be surprised if people still use clocks based on AC frequency.

As a troll claiming to know about electrics in your nickname, you should be aware that grid frequency is essential. In third world countries, few people might care and equipment will fail, but in more advanced grids, emergency fail safe devices might shut down large parts of the grid by a forced blackout in order to save the rest and the equipment, once the frequency is off target. This was prevented here, by a battery installation 1000 km away from the source of the frequency drop. Without the battery, the power would likely have been shut down in large parts of Australia.

The absolute number of cycles long term is kept the same. My digital alarm clock is only accurate when connected to a powerline. During a power failure running on its battery, it runs a bit fast. But frequency control of the various power plants is necessary to prevent ‘motorboating’ between them, and usually manifests itself as a dynamic oscillation, usually caused by wind mills connected directly as induction machines.

Amoung those types of machines (the most modern ones are unaffected), the solution typically has been to have the windmill just slightly turn out of the wind to gently decrease its power output until the fluxuation subsides.

Dang Six when trolling and ignorance go hand in hand. First is that all the electronic equipment that keeps the grid running needs a constant frequency or it trips off. So Tesla saved a lot of others from a blackout by keeping the grid alive long enough for backup generators to put the supply back into the grid. Also just about anything that runs a CPU needs a constant supply of clean power that means your TV, Computer, car charger or anything else that has a CPU which is just about everything these days.

Take your major FUDness and go troll somewhere else as your lack of understanding just added to the saying of better to remain silent and thought a fool than to open your mouth and remove all doubt.

As Tesla gets some digging experience with its boring project, I bet this is the company that will build the 1st commercial geohydraulic power storage as invented by Heindl. Then they can story TWhs of power and make money by stabilizing the grid on a large scale.

“The power injection was too small to replace the missing coal unit, but quick response helps to arrest frequency drop as other blocks or generators need seconds to increase power or fire-up.”

So, it was like my home UPS kicks in quickly when the grid had a brown out but wasn’t powerful enough to keep my house up due to lack of power…

That is no different than saying that Model S is much faster than a F-350 but couldn’t tow 20,000 lbs…

Doesn’t that just shows that we are FAR from the necessary size of battery backups needed to truly back up the entire grid? Battery is good for few minutes but not even close enough for backing up the grid for hours or days.

The battery system is capable of 100MW. I just don’t really understand why it only supplied 7.3MW.

The article is short on details, but 7400 kw was apparently all that was needed.

Other generators apparently picked up the load of the plant that ‘tripped’.

Also, other motor loads will either ‘remove their loads’ for a split second helping to stabilize things, on in extreme cases can actually backfeed power the ‘grid’ for a split-second.

CC, I think you and others here are under the impression that the ‘grid’ is super delicate, and the slightest woodpecker on the line will totally destroy civilization.

In reality, all the other power plants are not loaded up to 100% and they can increase their loading immediately. As I just mentioned the biggest concern is transient response, and any instability of the long transmission lines. Yes, long term the boiler feeding the steam turbine will run out of steam, but that is many seconds later, and the fueling rate is increased before this becomes an issue.

Fortunately heavy loading acts as a heavy DAMPER on the ‘would be’ oscillatory resonant system and tends to actually help rather than hurt.

Thanks for the insight Bill!

You’re welcome, and Merry Christmas to you and yours. As far as potential damage goes, see the comment a few comments down. Its a real problem but not what is commonly thought of as a problem. As far as damage due to fatigue cycling, some utilities wrap their steam turbines with ‘electric blankets’ to prevent huge temperature swings – an additional issue to that mentioned below.

The grid is as delicate as it is hardy. It normally wouldn’t take out the grid is true, but at same time it will shorten the lifespan of the equipment of the grid and the possibility of parts of the grid going down is not 0.

The primary ‘danger’ to equipment life-span is due to operating central stations designed for base-load (that is, constant power output) operations and instead improperly pressed into service as ramp-up/down or even worse, cycling operations. This is due to the differing Joule-Thompson coefficient nature of Steam. Pure steam is at once Totally Dry (not a bit of moisture), as can be seen by a violently boiling tea kettle on a stove. The first 1/8″ of effluent from the spout is apparently EMPTY, meaning STEAM is totally transparent. Past the 1/8″ a violently turbulent white-cloud appears. What is not seen by that simple demonstation is that, unlike most other substances which get COLDER at the expand, steam unbelievably gets hotter, unless it can do work pushing against an object (namely a steam turbine blade) during the expansion. The end result is that central station steam turbines run the very REAL danger of being too lightly loaded, overheating, and warping, or complete destruction. This is why electric cars charging over the midnight hour are sorely needed to help power generation companies to maintain the lifespan of their equipment. The electric cars are there to: 1). Release their battery energy during the day during… Read more »

Trick question to test yourself to see if you have been paying attention:

1). Since the Steam coming from a violently boiling Tea Kettle on a stove only travels 1/8″ before cooling enough to start condensing into a turbulent ‘white cloud’ of water vapor, why does the steam cool so fast?

2). If it has to do with WORK being done BY the steam – please describe fully what is happening.

That is why they say we need a lot more of these but I don’t think that is the best way for these battery backups to be used. Power plants can get their boilers up and running in a couple hours if they are shut down and any plant not running at 100% can add power to the grid.

These packs are good at regulating the grid when it dips and at storing power that can be used later. This includes generating more at night when use is down to increase power during a hot day when generation may not be able to keep up. Think of the California brownouts during summer. It is also excellent for storing renewable power such as solar or wind to be used later when the sun is down or wind has stopped.

I think the coal power plants owners are testing the limits of the new system….and plotting..

Long story short, did the customers notice anything? Did power sensitive equipment get damaged?

If not, I’d say it was a success.

Yeah Steven, I’d agree also, plus having all the batteries colocated with the windmills provide an easy way to handle gusts of wind.. The battery chargers can just for a few minutes charge the batteries up a bit higher, so that way productive use is made out of any wind gusts.

Overloading generators at such a situation to have them reduce their rotation is a grave engineering mistake. The guy in charge should be fired! Modern thermal-electric generating systems will not allow that load level to happen and prefer to switch out part of the grid. This is what is done in the U.S. So if the load is too much, take some of it out. The battery-inverter can take it up.

Yeah but in emergency such as this was, the frequency goes down for a few seconds just a bit.

Clarkson’s comment that the added power was actually very tiny in this case indicates that in this particular case, the battery backup may have not been needed at all.

That’s quite all right. In a bigger emergency it has basically shown (or by the logs, should have shown) that the TESLA equipment would ALSO have successfully negotiatied a much LARGER emergency where the Tesla equipment may have been called upon to provide MORE power for a LONGER period of time.