Gallery: AUSTRALIA: Turn off your lights!


You can tell that people are really thinking about the environment these days. Two separate events are being held in Australia with the goal of saving some energy by doing the simplest thing that everyone can do, turning off your lights.

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  1. Theo March 13, 2008 at 7:13 am

    I am not an enginner but do know a thing or two about the way power stations work. If everyone was to turn their lights off at the same time there would be a sudden drop in the load on the grid. Power grids are designed to cope with sudden increases in power (everyone knows the half time cuppa scenario) but are not designed to cope with a sudden drop. As the load drops, resistance in the spinning generators attached to gas turbines would also drop causing the revs per minute to increase significantly. As gas turbines spin at about 15% below their designed maximum rpm, a sudden increase would potentially cause the turbine blades to expand and catch on the outside of the rotor housing with catastrophic results. The gas turbines would go out of action for months and the reduced capacity would be met by turning on the dirty coal fired plants that stand as reserve capacity.

    Knowing this, it doesn’t take a rocket scientist to conclude that these “everyone turn your lights out at the same time” schemes, if ‘sucessful’, are only likey to knock out our more efficient generators and ultimately produce more emissions in the long run as the less efficient generators, normally reserved for peak periods, are brought online to supply base load power. It can take months to fix a bust gas turbine. If all of them went at once, well, you can imagine the consequences!

  2. nick April 3, 2007 at 10:07 am

    It only took them this long to figure out you need to turn off your lights…prety quick.

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