The Anonymous Widower

British And French Engineers Can Work Together

In the Sunday Times today, they are talking about a £4billion project to import electricity into the UK from Iceland,  It is called Icelink and it would appear to have the backing of both the UK and Iceland governments. There’s more about it in this article in Utility Week.

So it got me thinking about undersea electricity connections around the world. There is a list of them here. And there is forty-four of them

Perhaps the best known is the connection between Kent and France, which is called the HVDC Cross Channel.  It is actually the second one and it has been running for nearly thirty years. A section in Wikipedia describes its significance.

Since the commissioning of the 2,000 MW DC link in the 1980s, the bulk of power flow through the link has been from France to Britain. However, France imports energy as needed during the summer to meet demand, or when there is low availability of nuclear or hydroelectric power.

As of 2005 imports of electricity from France have historically accounted for about 5% of electricity available in the UK. Imports through the interconnector have generally been around the highest possible level, given the capacity of the link. In 2006, 97.5% of the energy transfers have been made from France to UK, supplying the equivalent of 3 million English homes. The link availability is around 98%, which is among the best rates in the world. The continued size and duration of this flow is open to some doubt, given the growth in demand in continental Europe for clean electricity, and increasing electricity demand within France.

So it would appear it’s been successful and proves that we can work with the French on an engineering project.

It strikes me that we need to connect all of our power systems together in Western Europe. The UK is being connected to Ireland, Iceland and Norway and the Netherlands, Belgium and Germany are getting in on the act.

What you won’t find from reading about the cables, but you will in some newspaper articles, is that Norway will have the ability to store electricity in a pumped storage system in the future.

So when the wind is blowing and we have too much electricity, the Norwegians will pump water from a low to a high lake and when we want it back, the water will be released through a turbine. It’s like putting your KWh in a bank!

February 16, 2014 Posted by | World | , , , | Leave a comment

Lamborghinis Are For Racing Round Knightsbridge At 2:35 In The Morning

Jeremy Clarkson said this tonight on Top Gear.

I found it funny, as the only time, I saw a Lamborghini P400 Miura, was making a tremendous amount of noise on a Sunday morning in Oxford Street in about 1968!

February 16, 2014 Posted by | World | , | Leave a comment

I’m All Right, Jack

When I bought the house that I live in, I checked all the maps and it looked as far as I could tell it was unlikely to flood.

But then C and myself lived in six places and we were never flooded once.  Admittedly, three properties were flats on the third, fifth and eleventh floors of well-built blocks.

My father had always said buy a house on top of the hill, so you don’t get flooded! I think he may have had trouble once, as he lived in a house in River Avenue in Palmers Green.

To make this current house even safer, I live on the first floor above the garage and the downstairs bedrooms and bathroom.

The roof does leak slightly though, but I think I’m more likely to be killed by a falling aircraft in my bed than be drowned.

But some of the flooded houses I’ve seen on the news, were in such a position, that even Noah wouldn’t have looked at them!

If you want to read some sense on the floods read Charles Clover in The Sunday Times today.

He misses out one thing that would improve matters and that is build more flats! As you can’t predict weather like we’ve been having lately and it’ll probably get worse in the next twenty years, if the geography of a site could possibly lead to flooding, then build accordingly.

February 16, 2014 Posted by | World | , | Leave a comment

The Cable Car Was Busy

The Emirates Air Line has been criticised for low usage lately.

The Cable Car Was Busy

The Cable Car Was Busy

However, this picture shows that the sun brings out the punters.

Later, I was able to have my first outdoor cup of tea.

My First Outdoor Drink Of 2014

My First Outdoor Drink Of 2014

In fact, the only problem was the breeze made it difficult to control the bills.

February 16, 2014 Posted by | Transport | , , , | Leave a comment

The Closed Thames Barrier From The Cable Car

I took these pictures from the Emirates Air Line.

They clearly show that the Thames Barrier is closed, as it has been for much of this year.

February 16, 2014 Posted by | World | , , | 1 Comment