- Hydroelectric Technology
- List of Hydroelectric Power
Posted by Energetic
Water is stored at a high altitude in Marchlyn Mawr reservoir and is discharged into Llyn Peris through the turbines during times of peak electricity demand. It is pumped back from Llyn Peris to Marchlyn Mawr during off-peak times. Although it uses more electricity to pump the water back than it generates on the way down, pumping is generally done at periods of low demand, when the energy is cheaper to consume.
The Dinorwig Pumped Storage Hydroelectric Power Plant comprises six 300MW GEC generator/motors coupled to Francis-type reversible turbines. The generators are vertical shaft, salient pole, air cooled units each having 12 electromagnetic poles weighing 10 tonnes a piece, producing a terminal voltage of 18kV, synchronous speed is 500rpm. From standstill, a single 450-tonne generator can synchronise and achieve full load in approximately 75 seconds. With all six units synchronised and spinning-in-air (compressed air), 0MW to 1800MW load can be achieved in approximately 16 seconds. Once running, the station can provide power for up to 6 hours before running out of water.
Another important feature of Dinorwig is that it has been designed to assist restarting the National Grid on the occasion of a complete power failure (a black start). It includes diesel generators and large batteries which would allow the plant to restart even in the event of a complete shutdown of the grid (Dinorwig is not unique in this respect as some fossil-fuel plants are also able to self-start).
The Dinorwig Pumped Storage Hydroelectric Power Plant runs on average at 74-75% efficiency - i.e. it uses 33% more electricity (when pumping the water back up to the Machlyn Mawr) than it actually produces. It fills an important need in the system by responding to sudden surges in electricity demand because of its rapid ability to deliver power on load spikes. One of the alternatives would be to be to have spare capacity from conventional power stations running part loaded - spinning reserve, hence at lower efficiency than otherwise, and thus capable of being rapidly run up to full load. This would mean generating an additional 1330-1590GWh of power each year and releasing more than 140,000 tonnes of CO2 into the atmosphere each year. Other forms of power plant compete in this market for reserve power such as gas turbines and diesel generators for the National Grid Reserve Service.
Excess water overflows to Llyn Padarn and is lost from the Reservoir system. Both Llyn Peris and Llyn Padarn were ancestral homes to the Arctic char, a rare fish in the UK. When the scheme was commissioned, a fish rescue was undertaken to transfer the char from Llyn Peris to other local suitable lakes and it is believed that due to the very variable water levels in Llyn Peris, Arctic char are now absent from the lake.
The Dinorwig Pumped Storage Hydroelectric Power Plant is also promoted as a Welsh tourist attraction, with visitors able to take a minibus trip to see the workings inside the so called "Electric Mountain".
|Dinorwig Pumped Storage Plant|
|Construction cost||£425 million|
|Creates||Upper: Marchlyn Mawr |
Lower: Llyn Peris
|Turbines||6 × 300 MW|
|Installed capacity||1,800 MW|