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darkoz
darkoz
Joined: Dec 22, 2009
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March 20th, 2020 at 7:01:55 AM permalink
First everyone on here didn't believe there would be any disruption. Now the entire nation will never be the same lol.

My prediction:. At home testing kits mitigate the situation along with means to treat the infected (so it's not a death sentence to so many)

Takes about six weeks and we are all back to work at that time. Perhaps start seeing reopening in two weeks but i'm doubtful(optimistic) on that. Four weeks would be when operations starting to reopen probably begin
For Whom the bus tolls; The bus tolls for thee
TumblingBones
TumblingBones
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Thanks for this post from:
Joeman
March 20th, 2020 at 7:48:06 AM permalink
Good question. The grid runs mostly of 4 types of fuel: hydro, nuc, coal, and gas. The 1st two are obviously not issues in regards to fuel supply. Coal is used in the US for about 23% of the generated power and gas is another 38% according to the EIA. That means 62% of the power is from sources requiring resupply.
But that assumes normal load. With the shutdown of the economy demand will drop as businesses and factories close. The utilities prioritize generation on a number of factors with the main one being fuel cost. That means if there is excess capacity they will shut down first the gas plants, then the coal. So for the next 6 months expect the percentage generated from hydrocarbons to drop. How much it drops is too complicated for me to predict. Lets assume for now its less than a 10% drop so non-renewables would still account for more than 50%. Loss of 50% of capacity would be a problem folks would notice in day-to-day life (i.e., rolling blackouts).
Transport isn't going to be an issue. The gas comes from shale oil fields via pipelines. Coal is shipped by train. Very very long trains (up to 2 miles long) so again minimal manpower is required for loading and transporting. Only issue left is mining and refining. That's the area I know the least about but my impression is that it's not man-power intensive and the working conditions tend to result in a fair amount of distance between workers. But as i said, that's just my impression.
My goal of being well informed conflicts with my goal of remaining sane.
Joeman
Joeman
Joined: Feb 21, 2014
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March 20th, 2020 at 8:10:43 AM permalink
Thanks for the post! Lots of good info here.

Quote: TumblingBones

Good question. The grid runs mostly of 4 types of fuel: hydro, nuc, coal, and gas. The 1st two are obviously not issues in regards to fuel supply. Coal is used in the US for about 23% of the generated power and gas is another 38% according to the EIA.

Wow, I didn't realize that we had transitioned that much away from petroleum! The plant near where I grew up used fuel oil. I just assumed that was the norm. I just looked them up, and they had transitioned to natural gas in 2014. I guess things like that have happened to plants all over the country.

As for nuclear, do you know how often do they need refueling?

Quote:

Coal is shipped by train. Very very long trains (up to 2 miles long) so again minimal manpower is required for loading and transporting.

Yeah, one of those trains rumbles right by my office every other day. It's like a small earthquake. Really bounces my monitors around!
"Dealer has 'rock'... Pay 'paper!'"
Indy70
Indy70
Joined: Jul 30, 2015
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March 20th, 2020 at 8:36:31 AM permalink
Quote: TumblingBones

Good question. The grid runs mostly of 4 types of fuel: hydro, nuc, coal, and gas. The 1st two are obviously not issues in regards to fuel supply. Coal is used in the US for about 23% of the generated power and gas is another 38% according to the EIA. That means 62% of the power is from sources requiring resupply.
But that assumes normal load. With the shutdown of the economy demand will drop as businesses and factories close. The utilities prioritize generation on a number of factors with the main one being fuel cost. That means if there is excess capacity they will shut down first the gas plants, then the coal. So for the next 6 months expect the percentage generated from hydrocarbons to drop. How much it drops is too complicated for me to predict. Lets assume for now its less than a 10% drop so non-renewables would still account for more than 50%. Loss of 50% of capacity would be a problem folks would notice in day-to-day life (i.e., rolling blackouts).
Transport isn't going to be an issue. The gas comes from shale oil fields via pipelines. Coal is shipped by train. Very very long trains (up to 2 miles long) so again minimal manpower is required for loading and transporting. Only issue left is mining and refining. That's the area I know the least about but my impression is that it's not man-power intensive and the working conditions tend to result in a fair amount of distance between workers. But as i said, that's just my impression.



Good post!
Some things to consider, is the resiliency of the grid. Not just reliability.
Nukes have two years of fuel. And most coal plants have 90 days. Natural gas has about 30 seconds. And per your info above 38% is from gas, and is the most susceptible to interruption. Because there is no storage on site. Having over a third of the grid being the most vulnerable is not good imo.
onenickelmiracle
onenickelmiracle
Joined: Jan 26, 2012
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March 20th, 2020 at 8:39:25 AM permalink
Quote: TumblingBones

So far we haven't had problems with Amazon or WF other than some substitutions by WF (e.g. they were out of the cheaper brands of sugar and napkins my wife ordered so we had to substitute a more expensive brand). Not sure about the Amazon subscriptions my wife set up. I'll ask her later (she's sleeping late today). So far no problems with the non-subscription stuff including some antibacterial hand wipes she ordered about 10 days back. They were delivered after a 4 day delay.

Amazon has already shut down their warehouse in NY because a worker has COVID19.
In the land of the blind, the man with one eye is the care taker. Hold my beer.
onenickelmiracle
onenickelmiracle
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March 20th, 2020 at 8:40:57 AM permalink
Maybe it would be a good idea to grow a garden and have quick growing food like lettuce.
In the land of the blind, the man with one eye is the care taker. Hold my beer.
ThatDonGuy
ThatDonGuy 
Joined: Jun 22, 2011
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March 20th, 2020 at 8:58:54 AM permalink
I have a feeling that most of the shortages are being caused by:
1. Early panic buying
2. There's plenty of product, but there's no way to get it onto the shelves fast enough
3. "The shelves are emptying! Buy as much as you can!"
A misunderstanding of the "shelter in place" laws isn't helping matters ("I need to stock up now as I won't be able to leave the house for who knows how long!" - actually, that's not true; everybody can leave their house to shop for groceries).
billryan
billryan
Joined: Nov 2, 2009
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March 20th, 2020 at 9:05:14 AM permalink
Quote: onenickelmiracle

Maybe it would be a good idea to grow a garden and have quick growing food like lettuce.



Plenty of protein in almost every yard. If you don't have a yard, use a public park.
Fifteen minutes of internet research will turn up plenty of recipes.
rxwine
rxwine
Joined: Feb 28, 2010
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March 20th, 2020 at 9:07:25 AM permalink
Quote: TumblingBones


But that assumes normal load. With the shutdown of the economy demand will drop as businesses and factories close.



I was wondering if it would go up or down. If an office closes and 5 people go home, that could be 5 additional houses using more power?
Quasimodo? Does that name ring a bell?
onenickelmiracle
onenickelmiracle
Joined: Jan 26, 2012
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March 20th, 2020 at 9:47:58 AM permalink
Quote: rxwine

I was wondering if it would go up or down. If an office closes and 5 people go home, that could be 5 additional houses using more power?

The net use will be going down I think, with businesses and factories closing. Has to be, housing is just a portion of our country's use. Weather is a good thing, temperatures are mild for this time of year.
In the land of the blind, the man with one eye is the care taker. Hold my beer.

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