How do you run a steel blast furnace without power? You don’t

“Desperately trying to stop hundreds of tonnes of molten steel from cooling.”

“If this was to happen, four 180 tonne ladles full of molten steel would have to be jackhammered out later.

South Australia’s two blast furnaces are in serious trouble after the statewide blackout.  They tried to keep running using back-up power, but to no avail.

The Premier blamed the mass blackout on the fact that wind power turbines cannot run during extreme weather.

Thanks to Lyn Roberts for this link

See also:

Entire state of of South Australia Blacked out – “Unprecedented”

11 thoughts on “How do you run a steel blast furnace without power? You don’t”

  1. As I understand this Port Pirie is where the blackout originated due to damaged transmission towers. Because the wind turbines need to shut down in times of high wind speed this meant the interstate connector transmission line supplying power to SA from Victoria where thermal (coal fired) power stations supply most of the power became totally unbalanced and had to shut down – huge demand but no local power plus downed power lines.

    If the interstate connector had not shut down Victoria’s power supply was in severe jeopardy due to the unstable grid in SA.

    Had Victoria experienced major load imbalance the problem could have involved NSW and possibly even Queensland as we are all now connected via an eastern Australia grid.

    Port Pirie is about 200 kilometres north of Adelaide while the interstate connector comes into SA from the east south of Adelaide.

    This shows a major flaw in relying on wind power – a grid destabilized by transmission lines hundreds of kilometres from the major urban areas causes major blackouts.

    This emphasizes what engineers have been saying for decades – a reliable stable electricity transmission grid requires stable base load power and SA no longer has this without the interstate connector but even this is not sufficient as it needs to remain stable and when the load imbalance occurred it had to be shut down.

    Without thermal power SA would still be blacked out – this is a taste of the future if this renewable insanity continues.

    • hi Roscoe
      yeah pt Augusta was shut down n ripped to bits n flogged off recently
      they demolished the stacks about 2 weeks back now
      they were bloody indecently fast in the complete destruction to ensure it couldnt be used ever again
      Melrose is a bit maybe 50k away
      and I sent Robert a picture that shows WHY the huge towers fell over..
      the concrete supports tell a very damning tale of skimped concrete..seriously bad
      and theyd probably have been done when it was still ETSA and govt run..someones bum should be over coalfires:-)
      whyallas been battling to keep the steelworks going
      the last super demand for Vic power cost them Millions extra on the power bill
      this even may well be the last straw
      in which case whyalla would pretty much fold n die
      its already lost huge numbers of jobs and residents from the time I lived there in 81..and the locals were saying how the town was dying back then- from the 50s/60s
      like pt A its not got much else going for it
      pt Piries the same
      severe cutbacks on smelters and coal shipping , places empty out fast
      those that stay are the poor and elderly.

    • It also shows why bigger isn’t better. A set of smaller independent grids is better than one big one which could have been taken out in a domino effect. It happened in Northern Europe due to erratic windmills.

    • Anne Rand was anti Socialist/Communist! She was right then & always will be!

      It’s only our dummy politicians who can’t see the wood for the trees.

      Thick as pigshit they are OR they are obeying their Socialist masters!

  2. Dependence on only one alternative energy source like unreliable windfarms is asking for trouble, but Australia could make much more use of solar panelfarms and maybe harness the energy of tidal movements, which is present 24/7.
    And if the latest fossilfuel powerplants produce little CO2 emission, it seems sensible to keep them going, even if only as a backup for expensive and unreliable windfarms.

    • “harness the energy of tidal movements, which is present 24/7.”

      NO it is not. Two tides a day, 2 highs, 2 lows, during those 4 periods there is so little flow that you can produce NO power. The periods can be between 1/2 an hour to an hour, depending on location etc.

      Solar does nothing in a storm, think “clouds”.

      “it seems sensible to keep them going, even if only as a backup for expensive and unreliable windfarms”
      But no one in their right mind is going to run a fossil fuel power station just so it gets used during storm time. It has to be commercially viable. While wind/solar etc get ALL their power bought first, fossils are simply under utilised and unprofitable.
      The UK is about to get the same show as SA next time it gets cold and dark. Fossils are closing, nothing new is being built in terms of stable supply (bar Hinkley point at horrendous cost) so very soon there is nothing left and the whole shower goes down permanently,


  3. And has anyone else, our political knowalls for example, taken notice of just one little piece of this disaster? Not a chance. They still believe in myths and legends like the “money tree” and “AGW”. Stupidity rules!

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