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Overhead 400kv pylons

  • 25-10-2013 1:17pm
    #1
    Registered Users Posts: 3 markwin


    Eirgrid are currently proposing a new line out of the west to join up with the national grid. Im wondering about other views. I ve being told that underground cable are potentially more dangerous, but is this propaganda.
    I would do with stats or direction to some research proving otherwise. Any help would be welcome.


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  • Moderators, Category Moderators, Home & Garden Moderators, Recreation & Hobbies Moderators, Social & Fun Moderators Posts: 20,909 CMod ✭✭✭✭ Pawwed Rig


    Mod note - moved to Infrastructure forum


  • Registered Users Posts: 8,781 ✭✭✭ Carawaystick


    markwin wrote: »
    Eirgrid are currently proposing a new line out of the west to join up with the national grid. Im wondering about other views. I ve being told that underground cable are potentially more dangerous, but is this propaganda.
    I would do with stats or direction to some research proving otherwise. Any help would be welcome.

    Underground costs more to build
    Is harder to maintain
    Has higher losses than pylons due to increased capacitance to the earth.

    440kV has lower losses due to less current for a given amount of power compared to 220kV

    Probably needs higher pylons to have more clearance but may need lighter wires as less current


  • Registered Users Posts: 59 ✭✭ kenobee


    Caraway stick sums it all up well. Also increased capacitance makes voltage control more difficult, requiring generators to be run in a less efficient manner.


  • Registered Users Posts: 1,319 Trick of the Tail


    Not strictly true, its not the capacitance to the earth thats the problem, it's the reactance between the conductors. But it's not a show-stopper, power-factor correction is relatively simple and only has to be done every 40km or so.

    Costs? realistically between 1.2 and 2x that of overheads.

    Reliability? in fact, more, as you've got less points of interference like joins or insulators. Cable doesnt very often fail across its length, only where it encounters something.

    Maintenance? Less, because there are fewer points of failure.

    In short, Eirgrid don';t want to do AC underground cos it costs a bit more and they have little experience of it, so they exaggerate the disadvantages.

    They don't seem to mind despoiling vast tracts of the countryside in the name of profit, though.

    I've done lots of research on this recently, and have good evidence for the above from eminent leaders with much experience in power distribution.


  • Registered Users Posts: 7,085 ✭✭✭ GerardKeating


    Not strictly true, its not the capacitance to the earth thats the problem, it's the reactance between the conductors. But it's not a show-stopper, power-factor correction is relatively simple and only has to be done every 40km or so.

    Costs? realistically between 1.2 and 2x that of overheads.

    Reliability? in fact, more, as you've got less points of interference like joins or insulators. Cable doesnt very often fail across its length, only where it encounters something.

    Maintenance? Less, because there are fewer points of failure.

    In short, Eirgrid don';t want to do AC underground cos it costs a bit more and they have little experience of it, so they exaggerate the disadvantages.

    They don't seem to mind despoiling vast tracts of the countryside in the name of profit, though.

    I've done lots of research on this recently, and have good evidence for the above from eminent leaders with much experience in power distribution.

    So at best (by your estimates) it is at least 20% more expensive, and might be 100% more expensive.


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  • Registered Users Posts: 9,608 ✭✭✭ gctest50



    I've done lots of research on this recently, and have good evidence for the above from eminent leaders with much experience in power distribution.

    Underground would be much more expensive to upgrade

    Electric cars should improve and become more popular

    1 x electric car can pull ~ 20kw maybe more on rapid charge

    8kw mains showers are POS, need more


  • Registered Users Posts: 1,319 Trick of the Tail


    So at best (by your estimates) it is at least 20% more expensive, and might be 100% more expensive.

    Yes.

    Well not quite, as it doesn't have to be all underground.

    However, it's either that or spoil our beautiful countryside.

    Distribution accounts for around 4% of electricity bills; it's been estimated that to put this project underground would add about 1% to that amount passed on to the public.

    I'd happily pay another 1% on my bill and not have 40m pylons bestriding the land.


  • Registered Users Posts: 18,882 ✭✭✭✭ murphaph


    Meh. We've ruined (suburbanised) our countryside with one off housing already. A few pylons won't make any difference. We're well beyond that now.


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 21,727 Godge


    Yes.

    Well not quite, as it doesn't have to be all underground.

    However, it's either that or spoil our beautiful countryside.

    What beautiful countryside.

    It is extremely ironic that the people objecting are on the one hand saying the pylons will be too near our houses and on the other hand are saying that it will spoil our beautiful countryside.

    What are their houses doing out there spoiling the beautiful countryside.

    I have an idea to restore our beautiful countryside. Why don't we demolish any houses within a one mild radius of anywhere we put the pylons underground. That way we get rid of both the pylons and the houses that are destroying our countryside.
    Distribution accounts for around 4% of electricity bills; it's been estimated that to put this project underground would add about 1% to that amount passed on to the public.

    I'd happily pay another 1% on my bill and not have 40m pylons bestriding the land.

    I wouldn't pay it.

    How about a levy on the people who have houses in places which are destroying the countryside, sort of an extension of the polluter pays principle.


  • Registered Users Posts: 1,319 Trick of the Tail


    Well thats a different argument, we all know how erratic the planning has been in the past number of years. However, we have many very historic villages and townships that Eirgrid are threatening to blight with 40m pylons and power lines, for as project we don't really need, and can be done much better a different way.

    And you wouldn't pay an extra 2 euro on your bill? Really?


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  • Registered Users Posts: 18,882 ✭✭✭✭ murphaph


    Can you give me an example of one historic village that will be blighted?


  • Registered Users Posts: 1,319 Trick of the Tail


    Carigeen.


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 21,727 Godge


    Well thats a different argument, we all know how erratic the planning has been in the past number of years. However, we have many very historic villages and townships that Eirgrid are threatening to blight with 40m pylons and power lines, for as project we don't really need, and can be done much better a different way.

    No. It is not a different argument. You are posting here calling for the pylons to be put underground at great cost to save the landscape. I am saying that to save the landscape requires much more than that, in particular it requires the demolition of macmansions despoiling the view.

    To be honest there is something attractive to windmills and pylons in an Irish landscape compared to faux Spanish hacienda and their like.

    My question for you is whether you also support the demolition of mcmansions that spoil the view. If you don't, you don't really care about the landscape, you have another agenda
    And you wouldn't pay an extra 2 euro on your bill? Really?

    No, I wouldn't pay it.
    Carigeen.

    Where?


  • Registered Users Posts: 18,882 ✭✭✭✭ murphaph


    Carigeen.
    I can't find a village by that name. Can you please link in google maps?


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 21,727 Godge


    murphaph wrote: »
    I can't find a village by that name. Can you please link in google maps?

    There seems to be a Carrigeen near Mooncoin in Kilkenny. I can't locate it on google maps, it has a primary school and.....

    There doesn't seem to be anything particularly spectacular about the area.


  • Registered Users Posts: 18,882 ✭✭✭✭ murphaph


    Yeah I found that and assumed it to be wrong. It's not a village, just a townland. It is pretty unremarkable alright.

    Edit: Though having said that, Carigeen already seems to have been ruined with overhead cables. Take a look for yourself


  • Registered Users Posts: 1,319 Trick of the Tail


    I see it every day. the 220kV line passes by, which is a good reason not to have another like passing the other side buzzing away at 400kV.

    And it's not unremarkable at all. One of the few historic thatched villages in Ireland. The area itself is the most densely populated in County Kilkenny, outside the 'city'.

    There is a primary school, a pre-school, pub, shop, castle, and over 1000 people in the area.

    There's plenty of heritage around there; that area and plenty of others shouldn't be despoiled (further) by another monstrous HV line, which is unnecessary anyway.


  • Registered Users Posts: 18,882 ✭✭✭✭ murphaph


    I see it every day. the 220kV line passes by, which is a good reason not to have another like passing the other side buzzing away at 400kV.

    And it's not unremarkable at all. One of the few historic thatched villages in Ireland. The area itself is the most densely populated in County Kilkenny, outside the 'city'.

    There is a primary school, a pre-school, pub, shop, castle, and over 1000 people in the area.

    There's plenty of heritage around there; that area and plenty of others shouldn't be despoiled (further) by another monstrous HV line, which is unnecessary anyway.
    What do you think of the existant overhead lines strung up all over the place to power all those one off houses in the area? Is that also spoiling the countryside?


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 21,727 Godge


    I see it every day. the 220kV line passes by, which is a good reason not to have another like passing the other side buzzing away at 400kV.

    And it's not unremarkable at all. One of the few historic thatched villages in Ireland. The area itself is the most densely populated in County Kilkenny, outside the 'city'.

    There is a primary school, a pre-school, pub, shop, castle, and over 1000 people in the area.

    There's plenty of heritage around there; that area and plenty of others shouldn't be despoiled (further) by another monstrous HV line, which is unnecessary anyway.


    It has been despoiled already by one-off housing and other pylons, nothing left to save.

    If we are to go underground, it should be reserved for areas of particular amenity and that are currently unspoiled and likely to remain so. Unfortunately, Carrigeen does not qualify.


  • Registered Users Posts: 1,319 Trick of the Tail


    Easily arguable. The Carrigeen protest group have a very good list of reasons why their area is of particular amenity, natural conservation and historic interest.

    I don't understand the opposition here: Surely it's better to do something like this (if it even needs to be done) in such a way as to cause the least angst and destruction?

    Would YOU like to live close to a 400kV power line?


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  • Registered Users Posts: 18,882 ✭✭✭✭ murphaph


    Easily arguable. The Carrigeen protest group have a very good list of reasons why their area is of particular amenity, natural conservation and historic interest.

    I don't understand the opposition here: Surely it's better to do something like this (if it even needs to be done) in such a way as to cause the least angst and destruction?

    Would YOU like to live close to a 400kV power line?
    Honestly it wouldn't put me off buying a property no.

    So I've answered your question. Could you answer mine? Do you consider the already existing power lines strung up all around the area powering all those one off houses to also have spoiled the natural amenity of Carrigeen or not? What about the one off houses themselves?


  • Registered Users Posts: 1,319 Trick of the Tail


    Like I said, that's a different argument. Overhead 220v lines aren't pretty but they're not so much of a blight, being only 5m off the ground, rather than 40m.

    So I don't think overhead domestic distribution a blight, but I agree it is untidy.

    And the one-off housing is wrong, but it's here and we have to deal with it.


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 267 ✭✭ OssianSmyth


    So yesterday at the Oireachtas Committee on Transport and Communications, the Commission for Energy Regulation was asked about the feasibility and costs of undergrounding.

    This followed three recent committee meetings with Eirgrid. CER approves Eirgrid's capital spend. CER said that undergrounding would cost an addition €2.1bn which would be paid for by an increase of 3% in household bills for the next 50 years.

    Of course it is not an all-or-nothing scenario: parts of the HV grid probably should be undergrounded at increased cost even if the whole lot too costly. The worst thing to do would be to enter a costly years long stalemate rather than hammer out a compromise. The North South interconnector is mired in a procedural problem and I understand that Eirgrid have now taken a highly legalistic approach to avoid similar pitfalls in future. Such an approach is adversarial and unlikely to benefit local interests.

    There are I believe nine suggested routes for the Gridlink (Naas-Cork) project and not all pass through Carrigeen.

    http://www.irishtimes.com/news/environment/burying-eirgrid-powerlines-would-increase-domestic-energy-bills-says-regulator-1.1624850

    One question is about the rapidly developing HVDC technology which is better for long distance transmission and used for the EWIC including a long underground section. Is there any role for a DC grid within Ireland?


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 21,727 Godge


    Like I said, that's a different argument. Overhead 220v lines aren't pretty but they're not so much of a blight, being only 5m off the ground, rather than 40m.

    So I don't think overhead domestic distribution a blight, but I agree it is untidy.

    And the one-off housing is wrong, but it's here and we have to deal with it.


    It is not a different argument. The country is broke. At best, we can only afford to put part of the line underground.

    The choice is whether to put it underground somewhere like Carrigeen which has already been despoiled by one-off housing and pylons to supply that on-off housing and consequentially has a population to protest against the pylons or do we put it underground somewhere where there is no protest because the area is unspoiled by one-off housing meaning there is no population to protest.

    That would suggest that anywhere there is a protest group is likely to be an area which is already ruined by one-off housing and is not worth spending the limited amount of money on.

    As you said yourself, it has the highest population density outside Kilkenny city and is therefore unlikely to be an unspoiled rural area.

    In fact google "panoramic views from Carrigeen" and see what you get. Answer: very little.


  • Registered Users Posts: 8,781 ✭✭✭ Carawaystick


    There's transmission lines along the M6 from Tyrrelspass towards Kinnegad, and also along the new N65 from Loughrea to the M6

    They hardly spoil the view, more than distribution power lines or telegraph lines

    There's another transmission line down along the M/n11 in probably a more scenic area, again no complaints about that
    There's a transmission line down the kings valley from the Wicklow gap, again doesn't stop tourists visiting


  • Registered Users Posts: 1,319 Trick of the Tail


    The thing is, there's no need for the project at all!


  • Registered Users Posts: 9,894 ✭✭✭ DaCor


    The thing is, there's no need for the project at all!

    2 things :

    1. That's a whole topic in and of itself and you will need more than a one liner to back your view, might I suggest a separate thread in which to discuss it

    2. We may not need it this minute but it will be needed in the future otherwise development in the region will be affected by the constraints of the power grid as it will not be able to carry the volume of power needed


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 21,727 Godge


    The thing is, there's no need for the project at all!

    Changing the debate because your previous position does not hold?

    Future electricity provision is going to have to have a greater dependance on wind, wave, solar, or other renewable sources. At the very least that will be more dispersed and in different locations than the current set-up which means lots of new pylons.

    To say there's no need for the project at all is behaving like an ostrich.


  • Registered Users Posts: 1,751 ✭✭✭ SlowBlowin


    Am I correct that DC is much more efficient than AC for underground distribution ?

    I know the european interconnects run DC.

    SB


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  • Registered Users Posts: 4,880 ✭✭✭ TimeToShine


    SlowBlowin wrote: »
    Am I correct that DC is much more efficient than AC for underground distribution ?

    I know the european interconnects run DC.

    SB


    HVDC is more efficient over very long distances which tend to be underground/undersea cables. They're used in the European grid predominantly as interconnectors between asynchronous AC systems, i.e. they can connect two AC distribution links together because they can adapt to whatever the rated voltage/frequency of the AC line is.

    There are a few other advantages as well but as far as this particular case is concerned it's highly unlikely that HVDC will be implemented.


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