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Discussion in 'Perisher' started by skifree, Oct 7, 2019.
It's a beautiful thing.
Here's a clearer shot. Taken just at the start of the melt on the Friday morning before the long weekend (hence the high flows into Guthega Dam and also belew the power station even though only one turbine was running - each turb only does about 13 m3/s).
I went to Guthega for the first time ever today.
Very windy and cold.
Surprised that they left many kilometres unpaved.
So unlike Australian resorts
Also tried driving through the dirt road that links Guthega to Smiggin.
After both roads, if my little car could speak it sure would curse me for taking it there lol
Do you have any more info on that Bogong?
I'm glad someone got that. It comes from a guide back in the days when they still ran tours of (I think) the Kiewa Hydro scheme, who said that someone on a tour sincerely asked "What do they do with the water after they've taken the electricity out of it?" I think his views on just how dumb members of the public could be changed after that question.
Yeah, Currawong and I were referring to a maintenance project at Dartmouth Dam that went disastrously wrong back in 1990. They were doing maintenance on the top water intake for the hydro station on Dartmouth, Australia's highest dam. The lid was left off the hatch while they were swinging steel girders around with a crane, something went awry and a steel girder plummeted straight down the 180 vertical metre penstock and smashed Australia's largest hydro turbine into a million atoms. Fortunately no one was in the generator hall at the time, but the shrapnel holes in the walls put bombed out World War Two bunkers to shame. It took three years before the mess could be cleaned up and a new power station could be built.
That's just from memory, (too lazy to drag out my sources and check them), but I'm confident I've got it fairly right.
there's a retired guy in mt beauty who was in the sec control room when it happened. I can't recall the details but he certainly can
Fascinating. Been looking at this image for ages. I'm guessing the negative figures coming out of Island Bend indicate pumping back uphill to Eucumbene & Geehi, hence their turbines are sitting idle. This is the beauty of pumped hydro now that we have relatively low cost energy from solar and wind, so when supply exceeds demand, water is pumped back uphill to be used later?
Exactly. When supply of electricity exceeds demand, that excess electricity goes to waste. It doesn't matter how the power is produced, wind, coal, nuclear, solar PV, whatever.
But if that electricity can be stored and then used at times of peak demand, it means that we don't have to install expensive extra generation to supply power for only a couple of hours a day at times of peak demand.
There are only two ways to 'store' electricity. Giant batteries are expensive, not totally reliable, full of nasty chemicals and have a fairly short life. By contrast, pumped hydro infrastructure lasts forever and once it has been built, it's super cheap to maintain. Over 70% of the electricity used to pump the water uphill at times of low demand for electricity (typically at 4.00 in the morning) can be generated when the water is reused to produce electricity at times of peak demand at 4.00 in the afternoon.
I have always been an active/passive when it comes to renewables and hydro on a smaller scale always interested me. Many moons ago, I was fascinated by the hippies (mostly barristers, lawyers and former CEO's) in the foothills around Nimbin who used mini hydro systems to power their fridges and mobile phones.
I noticed on the Snowy Hydro chart that they have a mini-hydro system near Jindabyne and it made me wonder why certain regional Councils don't use such systems. Not far from here, there is an extinct volcano, the core of which is fully intact and would make a perfect 'elevated' dam. It's all in the middle of nowhere - just cow paddocks and nuffingness. I also recall that pumped hydro retained circa 80% of the energy put in - which is pretty bloody good!
I think the mini hydro was installed as part of the Jindy dam rebuild, it’s mini as there is not a lot of head difference from the dam to the turbines, I think.
Maybe someone can confirm?
Over 20 years ago, a few companies had a similar idea. One was called Pacific Hydro. They analysed irrigation infrastructure in south eastern Australia and installed hydro power stations at Lake Glenmaggie on the Gippsland Plains, Lake William Hovel in North East Vic , Eildon Pondage in central Vic and 'The Drop' in the NSW Riverina. They were about to whack hydro generation on Lake Eppalock as well, but the water released from the dam was already used to mechanically pump water up to Bendigo, so that project fell through after a long dispute. They also put a generator on the Ord River Dam at the top of Western Australia.
Pacific Hydro and other companies checked out a bunch of other dams but engineers deemed almost all of them unsuitable. Then they decided to get into wind turbines and hydro electricity in Chile and abandoned further small hydro in Australia. The company was listed on the ASX, but union controlled super funds made a takeover bid at a very big premium above the price the shares were selling for. (I really cleaned up on that one!) Subsequently the unions decided they couldn't run Pacific Hydro effectively after all and I think they sold it to the Chinese.
Anyway, the point of this post is that 20 years ago, a company cherry-picked some of the best sites for mini hydro in south eastern Australia, so many of the best sites already have hydro generation installed.
If you're talking about Mt Warning good luck
The local indigenous people are bucking for a no climb policy a la Uluru
Apparently it's sacred(whatever that means in 2020)
Coustoun Lakes near Biggenden was my thoughtie. Drought now, so (a) getting water to start with and (b) proximity to existing power network issues I guess.Oh, and a 'pondage' to store the water before it is pumped back up into the volcano cavity.
So will you get electrikked if you swim in the dam then? Also wondered about the 'No Swimming' signs?
The only pumped Hydro in the scheme at the moment is between Blowering and Jounama. Eucumbene and Geehj are both downhill from Island Bend and there is no ability to pump back up hill there. I don't know what the negatives mean.
It was installed as a part of the rebuild to make up for summer generation losses created by the environmental releases into the Snowy.
Yarrangobilly Caves village is powered by a mini-hydro setup off a small creek. Diesel genset for backup.
Talbingo Reservoir and Jounama?
Oops, thems the ones.
Yes, it's a pity that this data is not available on the net but only at the Snowy Info sites at Cooma, Cabramurra and Murray 2. By way of explanation Guthega water level is 0.32 m above full supply hence the nice pix of the spill. One unit at the PS is out of service as shown by the black icon. The red icon is the turbine that is operating. Rated water use is 14.15 cumecs.
So the dam spill plus side creeks plus PS flow totals 43 cumecs which gives canoeists a buzz as it flows to Island Bend gaining another 2 cumecs. It is all being diverted to Eucumbene via a tunnel with a rated capacity of 96 cumecs so there's plenty to spare. Flow in this direction is given a negative number. Note the 3 cumecs coming in from the beautifully named Burrungubuggee and Gungarlin diversions so 45 + 3 = 48.
The -21 from Geehi to Jindabyne means flow is in that direction and it is all spraying out of the bypass and into the ski - jump spillway. Se pix here: https://www.exploroz.com/places/112040/nsw+jindabyne-pumping-station
The 22 plus 6 entering Geehi is not needed to run Murray1 and 2 PS as they are not operating as shown by their green generator icons..................W
I caught up with an old friend who usually goes down for the Snowy River kayak race.
Normally the event runs from Guthega Power Station to Island bend with two turbines worth of flow. That part of the river is easy-ish grade 4 or "a little bit spicy" according to my friend. With the dam spilling this year, they had the equivalent of six turbines worth of flow! For the race they ended up only running the lower half of the course which is normally grade 2.
Outside of the event they themselves didn't paddle the whole section on the day of the highest flow, but they did the day after, when it had dropped to "merely" four turbines worth. Apparently though it was starting to "wash out", that is, it actually became technically easier, because although the flow was extremely high, the river was deep enough that a lot of the obstacles at lower levels are completely underwater (kind of like how a rocky or tight ski run can become a lot easier with a deep snowpack).
Generally though, aside from the spring snowmelt season in the Snowys (including rivers like the Thredbo, upper Murray, Gooberagandra, and Gooderadigbee) the whitewater kayking in SE Australia, marginal and intermittent at the best of times, has obviously been really really grim with the drought.
More info and photos of the event for the curious. http://www.snowyriverextremerace.com.au/ and Instagram https://www.instagram.com/snowyriverextremerace/
So a serious question. Can you jump into Guthega Dam (Pondage, I guess) to cool off in the middle of summer? I'm not looking to swim the length of it, just cool off. If so, is there an ideal spot below the village to dive in? Trying to escape the summer heat without heading to the South Coast.
It's a 500m walk past a gate to the dam then no swimming within 1-200m? of spillway. Island Bend pondage has a lovely swimming hole at the camping area. Should be refreshing. Pix here: https://www.exploroz.com/places/73816/nsw+guthega-dam
Thanks. When I asked the question (on 25/12), going to KNP (and Guthega in particular) seemed like a good alternative to the South Coast. Not now obviously.