Kenya's national grid down

Looks like Kenya suffered a total power blackout.


Thankfully it is hydro-based, and not multiple distributed synchronised coal plants… :slight_smile:

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Yes, the updated news report says that most of the country’s power have been restored already.

Looks like they made quick work of fixing the collapsed pylons.

Maby because they want to get the job done, and realize that electricity is KEY to building the economic.

If I remember, only 2 or 3 power stations in SA can be used to black start the rest, the majority of stations can’t restart themselves.

Those stations have massive diesel generators for doing this.
I know a guy who worked for the contractor who installed one of these black start generators at Kusile a few years ago. One day he explained the black start process to me and all I can say is we better hope that will never be necessary.

I expect it will be something like running a Diesel generator for a few days while you get the boilers nice and hot, not using the steam to do any actual power generation, after which you will turn on some of your loads (a small town maybe), and start feeding that energy into the grid. You will likely do this simultaneously for all your black start stations, and then you will synchronise these three.

Then you will use that power to start the next one, and the next one. Each one likely taking a few days, each one adding a bit more load (another town or neighbourhood). It would be a balancing act for sure.

I don’t think it is possible to start all your generators and getting them up to fill power without also starting some of your loads at the same time. I think this is a topic @Phil.g00 would know more about.

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Plus if you look at how many sub stations, cables and transformers pop after bringing a single suburb back online after load shedding, just imagine the potential disaster of trying to get an entire station back online.

I was told that they need more “reliable” loads than a town and very likely to use RBM or something like that with huge smelters to provide a reliable load at first.

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Yes, but there would be no need to black start from completely cold. If there is a huge “trip” that desyncs the country, the restart can kick in near immediately.

Indeed, I thought of that too, after my last post. If you have a huge trip… the coal station is not making much power anymore (nowhere to put it), but the boilers are still hot and in all likelihood the conveyor belts and crushers are still running under some form of its own power.

I would expect that an automated controlled shutdown would commence immediately and things would begin to wind down, but I can also foresee that you could override this and get such a coal station back online faster that way.

On the other hand, there is a cold-start plan which requires that you start at a specific point, so having multiple unsynced stations around the nation could well require a shutdown and restart from scratch, simply because it makes no sense to run a coal station (with no load) for a week or two until the official plan “gets to it”.

All of this is speculation and conjecture though.