Some Power Concepts

I had promised in my last post to discuss power generation concepts that are important to  cost analysis. I added a few pages to the site, so here goes:

  • Nameplate Capacity or Rated Output  for a generating plant defines how much power it generates in ideal conditions. It is not always a clean concept to apply to all generators, and can sometimes be skewed by the manufacturer for marketing purposes. Here is an in-depth discussion of nameplate capacity.
  • Availability Factor is, for a given duration, the percentage of the time when the generator is available to feed its rated output to the grid (even if it does not do so). Intuitively, it is a useful concept to compare technologies – but it is difficult to measure externally, since you cannot know if the generator is not generating due to downtime or to management decisions. It is not often tracked. Here is a more thorough discussion of availability factor.

Enjoy, and let me know what you think!

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