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This R4 news story about a solar eclipse potentially disrupting the electricity supply...

Discussion in 'CycleChat Cafe' started by MontyVeda, 12 Aug 2017.

  1. MontyVeda

    MontyVeda a short-tempered ill-controlled small-minded troll

    ...it's bollocks, surely?

    Yes we use a lot more solar generated power these days but... the big penumbra and the brief blackout isn't going to be any worse than thick cloud cover... and thick cloud often lasts far longer than a fleeting eclipse.

    Has the Beeb run out of news and are resorting BS instead?
     
    Beebo and simon.r like this.
  2. The Velvet Curtain

    The Velvet Curtain Hasa Diga Eebowai

    I think night lasts even longer.
     
    McWobble, Profpointy, MacB and 7 others like this.
  3. MontyVeda

    MontyVeda a short-tempered ill-controlled small-minded troll

    My lord you're right!

    I only hope the 'scientists' involved in investigating the potential disruption aren't funded by the tax payer. :blush:
     
  4. Drago

    Drago Guru

    Location:
    The middle bit
    Well, I'm stocked up with food, water, fuel and weapons, just in case.
     
  5. Supersuperleeds

    Supersuperleeds Guru

    Location:
    Leicester
    This morning's unprecedented solar eclipse is no cause for alarm


    For those under the age of 40:

     
  6. John the Monkey

    John the Monkey Frivolous Cyclist

    Location:
    Crewe
    Oil companies would have a bigger stake in discrediting solar than the tax payer, shorely?
     
    MontyVeda likes this.
  7. jefmcg

    jefmcg Apparently I shouldn't use the default, "guru"

    I love solar eclipses. very strange and confuses plants and animals - and people, too, except they were forewarned.

    I suspect the electricity grid will be ok. But the eclipse will be seen (at least partially) across the whole of the 48 states, so this is presumably something new. Obviously they take night into account, but maybe every solar panel in the US getting less or no light at an unplanned time might be a problem.

    BTW, don't you love google. I remember at least 2 eclipses in my life time so ... google?
    1. Melbourne, full eclipse Melbourne 23 October, 1976
    2. London, partial, August 11, 1999
    The second was a month after I got my first digital camera. Here is a photo I took of the light coming through the trees onto concrete. You don't realise that the dappled light is all sunshaped until the source takes a different shape.
    eclipse.jpg
     
    Katherine, FishFright and MontyVeda like this.
  8. Drago

    Drago Guru

    Location:
    The middle bit
    Radio 4 might get a shock when a phenomenon called "night" arrives.
     
    captain nemo1701 likes this.
  9. Tim Hall

    Tim Hall Guru

    Location:
    Crawley
    There's an excellent story by Asimov (I think), set on a planet which orbits a binary star, so that night is unknown and there is no need, it seems, for artificial light. Anthropologists trace the rise and fall of civilisations, which seem to always end in fire. Meanwhile, an eclipse or some other astronomical phenomenon is on its way and people don't know exactly what's going to happen. Stuff called "darkness" falls. There is panic. Then people find out how to create artificial light with burning torches. They don't live happily ever after.
     
    Drago likes this.
  10. MontyVeda

    MontyVeda a short-tempered ill-controlled small-minded troll

    More of a problem than a huge weather system full of big thick clouds?


    Nice photo by the way.... i only noticed the weird shadows during my second eclipse in Turkey.
     
    jefmcg likes this.
  11. machew

    machew Veteran

    During a 2015 solar eclipse that passed over Europe, 80 percent of Germany’s sunlight was cut off. For a country whose electricity is 40 percent powered by solar, it was hit hard. But despite the dramatic seesawing of solar production, the eclipse came and went without major disturbance. Germany stabilized its grid and electricity supply by dialing up its fossil fuel, nuclear, and hydro power, while also asking four energy-hogging aluminum smelters to dial down their power use temporarily.
     
    winjim likes this.
  12. MontyVeda

    MontyVeda a short-tempered ill-controlled small-minded troll

    How does Germany cope when it's cloudy?
     
  13. jefmcg

    jefmcg Apparently I shouldn't use the default, "guru"

    Does anyone know enough about meteorology to know if a country the size of Germany, or the USA is ever blanketed by cloud?

    <Google isn't telling me :sad: >

    Edit: or even the UK?
     
  14. MontyVeda

    MontyVeda a short-tempered ill-controlled small-minded troll

    I'm sure it's entirely feasible for a country the size of Germany to be blanketed in cloud... just google pictures of the earth from space.

    msg-4_first_image_august42015_f2.jpg

    ...and let's not forget, the penumbra of an eclipse moves a lot quicker than a weather system.
     
    jefmcg likes this.
  15. winjim

    winjim A youth of interminable age

    A few years ago we visited the "Hollow Mountain" in Scotland. It's a hydroelectric energy storage facility built inside a mountain like some kind of Bond villain's lair. When there's spare capacity in the electricity network, usually at night, they use it to pump water up into the reservoir. Then at peak times they can use that stored energy to drive the turbines. So it smooths out fluctuations in supply and demand.

    I reckon it could cope with a solar eclipse.
     
    classic33 and Katherine like this.