Wednesday, 5 October 2016

The South Australian Blackout

Yesterday we had the preliminary report om the blackout.

Here are the key lines
" The predicted weather front moved through SA on the afternoon of Wednesday 28 September 2016, including high winds, thunderstorms, lightning strikes, hail, and heavy rainfall. The weather resulted in multiple transmission system faults. In the short time between 16:16 and 16:18, system faults included the loss of three major 275 kV transmission lines north of Adelaide. Generation initially rode through the faults, but at 16:18, following an extensive number of faults in a short period, 315 MW of wind generation disconnected (one group at 16:18:09, a second group at 16:18:15), also affecting the region north of Adelaide. The uncontrolled reduction in generation resulted in increased flow on the main Victorian interconnector (Heywood) to make up the deficit. This resulted in the Heywood Interconnector overloading. To avoid damage to the interconnector, the automatic-protection mechanism activated, tripping the interconnector. In this event, this resulted in the remaining customer load and electricity generation in SA being lost (referred to as a Black System). This automatic-protection operated in less than half a second at 16:18. The event resulted in the SA regional electricity market being suspended"

THIS article and Katherine Murphy's column are pretty much on the money..

It was a TRANSMISSION failure not a generating failure.
What I found particularly interesting is they do not say the winds were too great for the windmills which is what EVERYONE was saying occurred.
We will have to wait for about six months to get the definitive report on the situation.

Update:
Steve from Brisbane write in this BUT has a wonderful link on the technical stuff

Further Update:

Dylan McConnell with some excellent advice! Tristan Edis as well