LNG or Electricity? Find out!

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LNG or Electricity? Find out!

Postby sustainablejake » Wed Apr 16, 2014 11:41 am

Hello All!

Along with a group of fellow students, I am conducting a research project regarding the residential efficiency and affordability of LNG and electricity. If you have 10 minutes, take this short 11 question survey to aid us in finding out the most affordable and reliable source of household energy in Australia!

Follow this link to take the survey, it's very easy:

https://docs.google.com/forms/d/1iCgfjo ... 8/viewform

Thanks!
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Re: LNG or Electricity? Find out!

Postby Smurf1976 » Thu Apr 17, 2014 12:20 am

Just a point, but I assume you mean natural gas in its' gaseous state and not LNG (Liquified Natural Gas).

Other than by means of it being shipped in bulk to a gas utility who then turns it back to actual gas an distributes it as such, I've never heard of a household anywhere on earth using LNG directly. The hassle of storing it, including the natural boil-off, make it highly problematic in such use. Hence those wanting gas but not able to get it from a pipeline use LPG (Liquefied Petroleum Gas, that is propane or butane) not LNG (methane).

The only real direct users of LNG are power stations (but only where pipeline gas isn't available), large factories, ships, trucks and buses etc. It's not an easy thing to be using at home.
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Re: LNG or Electricity? Find out!

Postby davidg » Thu Apr 17, 2014 7:13 am

Yes as "smurf" says LNG is not used in domestic situation for all the reasons mentioned, even places like MT buller VIC use LPG (large scale system) for gas supply as its not connected to the main stream reticulated gas system used elsewhere.

There's one question about what you use either gas or electricity, the rest are about what you cook mainly.

A point I note that like most questionares it will relate a highly inaccurate set of results because things like tea and coffee most people use an electric kettle for boiling water most the time, where they might use gas for cooking, electricity for making toast, microwave for either reheating or some of the cooking or defrosting and so on.


I'm not sure it's trying to arrive at, I suspect the result will not reflect real world Australia very accurately.

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Re: LNG or Electricity? Find out!

Postby Warpspeed » Thu Apr 17, 2014 9:14 am

Most larger Australian cities are connected to natural gas, so bottled gas (except for barbecues) is a non starter.

Don't know of any applications in Australia for LNG, its all either Propane or natural gas.
And any Aussies that respond to your survey will almost certainly not be using LNG.
A very different situation in Australia compared to countries like Japan or Europe where LNG is more common.
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Re: LNG or Electricity? Find out!

Postby Smurf1976 » Thu Apr 17, 2014 10:25 pm

LNG use in Australia:

There's a small production, storage and re-gasification plant in Melbourne that's used as a short term "peak" source of gas for the distribution system in Vic. They take gas out of the distribution system under normal circumstances to produce the LNG slowly (it takes months to fill the tank) and can very quickly (they can empty the tank in a couple of days) return it if there's a supply problem (eg breakdown of normal supplies or simply very high demand due to weather).

There are a number of "micro" LNG plants around the country that produce LNG for use in trucks etc. Eg there's one in Tasmania that takes pipeline gas (which comes from Vic) to produce LNG for a small number of road transport vehicles using it. LNG from there has also been used for trials of Tasmanian-built gas-powered ships etc. There are similar things in other states too, eg there's one in the NT which supplies LNG to a resort with it's own small power station running on it (not sure, but they might also use some of it as gas for cooking etc?).

But we don't have anyone shipping large amounts of LNG into a plant that is then used as the normal source of supply for a gas distribution system or even a gas-fired power station. It's all done by means of moving the gas in pipelines from production source to end user.
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Re: LNG or Electricity? Find out!

Postby Tracker » Fri Apr 18, 2014 7:35 am

LNG.. CNG

Are we talking the same thing... , compressed is NOT liquified..

I wonder what the final product cost of LNG is when you take into account the electricity to compress it, vs the cost distributed as a gas.
Or are we getting confused as to what constitutes. NG, LPG, LNG, CNG, ETC.. OR. Are they much the same other than the embedded energy to pipe it or compress it or liquidity it... :oops:

I have assumed that it is all the same and Japan and China get the liquified stuff because it is the most portable..
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Re: LNG or Electricity? Find out!

Postby Warpspeed » Fri Apr 18, 2014 7:55 am

Smurf1976 wrote:LNG use in Australia:

There's a small production, storage and re-gasification plant in Melbourne that's used as a short term "peak" source of gas for the distribution system in Vic. They take gas out of the distribution system under normal circumstances to produce the LNG slowly.

I can see no logical reason to do this.

The natural gas comes on shore through the Esso/BHP gas plant located at Longford.
The gas is processed there to remove any residual oil, remove water, and add the familiar gas smell.
The nature of this gas processing is that the Longford gas processing plant has to run either flat out or be shut down, it cannot be run at reduced capacity.

There are two large diameter high pressure gas pipelines that bring the gas from Longford to Melbourne, and these act as a gas storage reservoirs 2 x 200Km long, containing at high pressure about a three day reserve of gas supply to Melbourne.
That storage volume is more than sufficient to overcome any possible peak in demand.

The Longford gas processing plant fires up whenever the gas pressure in the storage lines begins to fall off.
If there is a big problem at Longford, they have several days to fix it before there will be any interruption of gas supplies to Melbourne.
If one of the pipelines has to be shut down, the other is more than capable of supplying all the gas required even in mid winter peak.

I just cannot imagine why they would ever need to liquify gas at horrific cost as a short term reserve supply?

I used to work at the Gas and Fuel Research Labs, and am quite familiar with how the system works as I was personally responsibe for the calibration and maintenance of the Gas and Fuel instrumentation and data logging located both at Longford and our gas quality lab in Melbourne.
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Re: LNG or Electricity? Find out!

Postby Tracker » Fri Apr 18, 2014 8:59 am

Warpspeed wrote:I can see no logical reason to do this...


Umm. Was there not a massive accident that shut the plant down.
I can only assume that the compression is just an emergency facility, to give days of grace to set up alternatives...
(Whatever that may mean)

I just cannot imagine why they would ever need to liquify gas at horrific cost as a short term reserve supply?

As seen from my questions, I am not full-bottle on gas technology, but I can imangine a need to have a reserve at the pointy end of the supply chain.. what happens if a terrorist blows the HP gas line

I find the suggestion that they compress the regular supply to form the reserve, interesting...
.. I would have thought it would be better to recompress the supply from the high pressure line... :oops:

The other reason that I could see for the city end reserve, has likely something to do with the comment that at the other end, it's either all or nothing..
How can you smooth out supply, without a reserve... did I not see that there is some gas-peak-demand generation in Vic..
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Re: LNG or Electricity? Find out!

Postby Warpspeed » Fri Apr 18, 2014 9:12 am

Tracker wrote:
Umm. Was there not a massive accident that shut the plant down.

Yes, the Longford plant seriously blew up at a very critical point, and the system was totally down for several weeks for major repairs.
There is no way possible that any bulk gas strage could have ever supplied a sufficient volume of gas to cover a situation like that.
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Re: LNG or Electricity? Find out!

Postby Smurf1976 » Fri Apr 18, 2014 1:12 pm

According to AEMO (Australian Energy Market Operator), maximum gas demand in Victoria for 2013 was on 24 June at 1200.4 TJ (terajoules) of consumption.

21.4 TJ of LNG was used on that day, the rest from actual gas production at Longford etc. One issue was that at the start of the day, line pressures were already below target (presumably due to high consumption the day before?). Hence the use of the LNG.

In terms of overall capacity, it's worth mentioning that not all production from Longford actually goes to Victoria these days. It is the sole source of gas to Tasmania and some also goes into NSW. There's also a link between Vic and SA too.
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