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Prospects for large-scale energy storage

Discussions of conventional and alternative energy production technologies.

Re: Prospects for large-scale energy storage

Unread postby Graeme » Mon 29 Jun 2015, 16:01:30

The Concrete Battery

Most of us would be familiar with how hot pavement can get on a summer’s day – and how long it can store heat. It seems concrete may be key to cheap large scale energy storage in the near future.

Norwegian company NEST AS has developed a special concrete called Heatcrete to be used for solid-state thermal energy storage (TES). Heatcrete demonstrates superior thermal performance over normal concretes and was developed in partnership with HeidelbergCement.

The full battery system consist of steel heat exchangers cast into Heatcrete cells, with a heat transfer fluid flowing through the exchangers. The heat transfer fluid can be oil, water, steam or gases. Temperature is controlled through various manifolds and a smart valve control algorithm.


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Re: Prospects for large-scale energy storage

Unread postby Graeme » Tue 14 Jul 2015, 18:27:44

Yet Another Energy Storage Company Takes On Tesla

OXIS Energy certainly isn’t letting any grass grow under its feet. In June, the UK energy storage innovator announced that it will be ready next year to market its super efficient lithium-sulfur battery, and barely a month later, the company has just launched a partnership with Anesco, a leading commercial and home energy storage installer.


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Powerwall Who?

Yes, that’s lithium-sulfur, and OXIS aims to leverage the low, low cost of sulfur to undercut the market for lithium-ion batteries.

Here’s the explainer from the company:

Sulfur represents a natural cathode partner for metallic Li and, in contrast with conventional lithium-ion cells, the chemicals processes include dissolution from the anode surface during discharge and reverse lithium plating to the anode while charging. As a consequence, Lithium-Sulfur allows for a theoretical specific energy in excess of 2700Wh/kg, which is nearly 5 times higher than that of Li-ion.


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Re: Prospects for large-scale energy storage

Unread postby Graeme » Mon 20 Jul 2015, 16:40:10

Dramatic Growth of Energy Storage Depends on Natural Gas Prices

Intersolar North America, including ees™, its new dedicated program on energy storage, concluded this week at Moscone Center West in San Francisco. NAATBatt, as part of its growing partnership with the Intersolar family of international renewable energy conferences, participated heavily in the ees program and produced two workshops, one on storage safety, one on solar-storage policy, as part of the larger Intersolar program.

Overall the ees™ program was interesting on a number of levels. It is clear that the subject of storage has arrived in the consciousness of the solar industry. The ees sessions were packed with solar developers and integrators wanting to learn more about storage technology. The NAATBatt booth on the trade show floor, as well as the booths of the other NAATBatt members I spoke with, enjoyed foot traffic beyond expectation. The keynote speech by JB Straubel of Tesla Motors and several of the ees™ program sessions were standing room only.

Still, I was a bit concerned by the number of projections about the storage market that included hockey sticks. The storage market is still small, with less than 0.1% of solar PV projects including a storage component today (according to GTM Research). Yet the projects of almost every prognosticator at the conference showed expected market growth for storage and solar-storage of exponential dimension over the next few decades.

I do not necessarily disagree with hockey stick projections about the storage market. But it would be helpful and ultimately make the industry more credible if the assumptions that underlie those optimistic projections were stated more explicitly.


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Re: Prospects for large-scale energy storage

Unread postby Graeme » Wed 22 Jul 2015, 14:54:46

Energy Storage Tipping Point Within 10 Years, Tesla Motors CTO JB Straubel Contends

Tesla Motors CTO JB Straubel was the headliner at Intersolar North America last week. He talked about the transition to lithium-ion batteries and how that opened the floodgates for electric cars and stationary storage (eventually); the synergy between EVs, solar, and grid storage; the growth of solar power and grid storage; blah blah blah.

I know, I actually love all that stuff as much as the rest of you — it’s what I read, edit, & write about every day(!) — but it’s basically all general history and trends we know all about. But then JB dropped the awesome-bomb:

“I think we’re at the beginning of a new cost-decline curve, and, you know, this is something where there’s a lot of similarities to what happened with photovoltaics. Almost no one [would have predicted] that photovoltaic prices would have dropped as fast as they have, and storage is right at the cliff, heading down that price curve. It’s soon going to be cheaper to drive a car on electricity — a pure EV on electricity — than it is to drive a gasoline car. And as soon as we see that kind of shift in the actual cost of operation in a car that you can actually use for your daily driver, you know, from all manufacturers I believe we’re going to see electric vehicles come to dominate the whole transportation fleet.


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Re: Prospects for large-scale energy storage

Unread postby Graeme » Wed 22 Jul 2015, 17:01:29

Europe’s Largest Energy Storage Project Begins Construction

AES has begun construction of what will be the largest energy storage project in Europe when it comes online later this year in Carrickfergus, Northern Ireland.

The 10-MW/40-MWh Kilroot Advancion Energy Storage Array is being added to the AES UK & Ireland Kilroot Power Station in County Antrim along the country’s east coast. The grid-connected lithium-ion storage facility, which will help balance supply and demand and support the island-wide grid via system operator SONI, is expected to begin operations by the end of 2015. It will also enable more efficient dispatch of existing generation and increase the ability to integrate renewable power sources.

Northern Ireland has around 660 MW of installed wind capacity, according to the Irish Wind Energy Association, with another 2.3 GW installed in the Republic of Ireland. John Zahurancik, president of AES Energy Storage, told POWER last year that one of the Kilroot project’s goals is to allow the island to make the most use of its wind farms and cope with overgeneration situations. “It’s about making sure they can take all the wind generation they’re paying for,” he said.


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Re: Prospects for large-scale energy storage

Unread postby EdwinSm » Fri 03 Mar 2017, 01:53:58

Nordics' biggest lithium ion battery helping hydropower

This is not so much for large scale storage of energy, but more to smooth out the flow of power and help save some of the wear on the physical plant. [Note: the article could have been better written :roll: especially to references to solar and wind possibly supplementing the hydropower]

....Finland's biggest power company, Fortum, switched on a huge lithium ion battery at its power plant in Järvenpää on Wednesday.

The battery array - called the 'Batcave' and housed in a shipping container - is the largest of its kind in the Nordic countries.

The battery supply enables power levels to remain steady during peak electricity consumption spikes and - compared to older methods - reduces the risk of power outages.

At the Järvenpää plant, the technology is used in tandem with hydropower, according to the Batcave project's manager, Roosa Nieminen.

The mechanical parts of hydropower generators tend to wear out and a big lithium ion battery station - charged with solar and wind power - is able to provide extra power to the grid as needed.

The two-megawatt (2MW/1MWh) Batcave's primary role, she says, is to provide rapid adjustment. When the battery's output capacity is reached, hydropower is then switched on. The Batcave's capacity is roughly equal to that of 100,000 cellphone batteries.

...The price of lithium ion batteries is dropping fast..... She says that as demand for the technology grows prices will likely continue to drop.
http://yle.fi/uutiset/osasto/news/nordics_biggest_lithium_ion_battery_helping_hydropower_in_jarvenpaa/9488025
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Re: Prospects for large-scale energy storage

Unread postby pstarr » Fri 03 Mar 2017, 11:40:36

At best lithium ion batteries lose only 10-20% of delivered power during the charge/discharge phase. That means for every 10 kilowatt hours delivered by the power plant, 1-2 kilowatt hours are lost to heat. That electricity must be made up by burning more. Why not just run natural gas peaking power plants when needed. Why an expensive battery? Other than the kewl factor?
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Re: Prospects for large-scale energy storage

Unread postby Hawkcreek » Fri 03 Mar 2017, 12:04:26

I worked on the fire protection system on one of these in West Texas.
Was impressed with the complexity and cost, for what seemed like it should be a simple process.
http://energystorage.org/compressed-air-energy-storage-caes
But they claim it can be up to 70% efficient.
Seemed like a lot of equipment for a little storage, to me.
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Re: Prospects for large-scale energy storage

Unread postby EdwinSm » Sat 04 Mar 2017, 01:06:06

pstarr wrote: Why not just run natural gas peaking power plants when needed?


Where the battery was installed, to run a natural gas plant would mean relying on Russia, given where pipe lines are in that part of the world :oops:
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Re: Prospects for large-scale energy storage

Unread postby Shaved Monkey » Sat 04 Mar 2017, 07:09:30

Molten Silica may be an answer.
When its windy or sunny you melt silica and it releases energy slowly for when it isnt
................................................................
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“The know-how is crucial.
Anyone can go and buy some silicon, it’s cheap, it’s $2000 a tonne,” he said.
“A single tonne of that (a 50sq cm block), just to melt that, to hold it at melting temperature, what they call the latent heat, in other words the energy of melting, is the equivalent of taking a tonne of water and raising it 200m in the air.

“One block like that will store enough energy to keep 28 houses operating for a day.

“This was recognised in CSIRO some years ago although they worked mostly with molten salt because that operates at around 500 degrees.

This melts only at 1414 degrees.
It will stay at that temperature while it’s melting and provide energy until fully solidified at a constant potential like hydro. No other heat storage system does that.

“You can store it, then you can regenerate it.’’

http://reneweconomy.com.au/sa-made-sili ... gap-23607/
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Re: Prospects for large-scale energy storage

Unread postby ROCKMAN » Sat 04 Mar 2017, 11:47:52

Whenever large scale and ECONOMICAL commercial storage becomes available Texas will be able to immediately take advantage of it. And due to the fact that we kept fossil fuel generation capability intact to deal with the intermittency issue. Thus we were able to already build out a world class alt energy system instead of waiting...and waiting...and waiting for the storage problem to be solved, In fact, now that costs have declined enough, Texas is beginning to see a surge in commercial solar build out. When it does we can begin cutting back on fossil fuel consumption stretching those resources even further into the future. In fact, when the "miracle" storage solution is ever perfected the existing major alt energy developments will likely be the first to utilize it since their generating systems are already in place.

Speaking of solar I need to check out a radio ad heard just yesterday. A company is looking for folks to subscribe to their future commercial solar farm. In Texas anyone one delivering electricity into our grid can sell directly to any residential consumer on the grid...about 80% of our population. I assume the company is looking for subscribers to be able to float the loan needed to build he solar field. Same "subscription program" used by pipeline companies to justify their multibillion investments: a guaranteed revenue stream.

The too good to believe ad: a flat $50/mth fee for 5 years. Given the average bill in Texas is around $1,700/yr that $600/yr for 5 years sounds unbelievable. The devil is in the details...which I'll start digging for now..
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Re: Prospects for large-scale energy storage

Unread postby KaiserJeep » Sat 04 Mar 2017, 12:37:58

RM, I understand that the Saudis have made an offer for Texas, and Donald Trump is seriously considering selling that state to them.

(Just kidding)

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Re: Prospects for large-scale energy storage

Unread postby ROCKMAN » Sat 04 Mar 2017, 16:32:53

KJ - I'll tell you one thing: if Texas hooked up with KSA the Rail Road Commission would finally get a handle on how much oil reserves they really have left. And don't forget: the TRRC still has the absolute authority to set production limits. And the Texas Rangers to back it up. And less we fobet: Teas citizens possess more firearms then the vast majority of countries...including the KSA. Even our women folk are tougher then KSA soldiers. LOL.
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Re: Prospects for large-scale energy storage

Unread postby Hawkcreek » Sat 04 Mar 2017, 18:53:50

I believe you, Rock, but you gotta admit that it was a funny cartoon. :)
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Re: Prospects for large-scale energy storage

Unread postby kublikhan » Sat 04 Mar 2017, 21:21:14

It seems to me large scale pumped storage is economical today and the problems with expanding this technology are not economical nor technical but rather regulatory:

Prohibition on ownership by TSOS and operation by DNOs
The characterisation of storage as a form of generation has an impact on who can own and operate storage assets. The liberalisation of the electricity market required the splitting up of those segments which are natural monopolies (transmission and distribution) from those which are open to competition (generation and supply). Transmission System Operators (TSOs) are prohibited from owning licenced generation assets and Distribution Network Operators (DNOs) must guarantee the operational independence of any licenced generation assets they own through stringent legal, accounting and functional unbundling requirements. Since storage is classed as a form of generation, this means that TSOs and DNOs cannot own or operate any generating asset which requires a licence. Whilst they may own storage assets that do not require a licence (i.e. those that a smaller than 50MW), this represents an obstacle to the development of large scale storage.

A further obstacle to the development of large scale storage comes from the de minimis restrictions placed on DNOs. DNOs may not generate more than 2.5% of their revenue from non-distribution activities or make investments in non-distribution activities that exceed on an aggregate basis 2.5% of their issued share capital, share premium and consolidated reserves. While the current scale of storage does not come close to threatening these de minimis restrictions, if storage is to become an integral part of the electricity market, it may soon become an issue.

These barriers to entry on TSOs and DNOs prevent the organisations that are best placed to manage the smart grid from acquiring the assets to do so. While the ownership restrictions clearly represent an opportunity for independent storage operators, they also present an obstacle to widespread storage uptake. DNOs, in particular, are better able to exploit storage’s potential by optimising storage assets to balance the system. They also have the scale, technical expertise and financial clout to develop large scale storage projects. Therefore the restrictions on DNOs and TSOs pose a significant obstacle to integrating storage into the UK’s electricity sector.
Energy Storage – Is the regulation ready for what’s in store?

Hydropower pumped storage is the only commercially proven technology available for grid-scale energy storage. While benefits of expanding pumped storage capacity are clear, current market structures and regulatory frameworks do not present an effective means of achieving this goal. Policy changes are needed to support the timely development of additional grid-scale energy storage. To this end, NHA has developed a series of recommendations to guide the energy industry and policy makers. NHA’s key policy recommendations are presented in detail in Section 4 of this paper, and include:

* Create market products that allow flexible resources to provide services that help meet electric grid requirements, including very fast responding systems that provide critical capacity during key energy need periods. Level the policy playing field for pumped storage hydropower with other storage technologies to encourage the development and deployment of all energy storage technologies. Recognize the regional differences within the U.S. generation portfolio and the unique roles energy storage technologies play in different regions. Recognize the energy security role pumped storage hydropower plays in the domestic electric grid.

* Establish an alternative, streamlined licensing process for low-impact pumped storage hydropower, such as off-channel or closed-loop projects. Improve integration of Federal and state agencies into the early-stage licensing processes for pumped storage hydropower.

* Improve integration of Federal and state agencies into the early-stage licensing processes for pumped storage hydropower. Facilitate an energy market structure where transmission providers benefit from long-term agreements with energy storage facility developers.

* Facilitate an energy market structure where transmission providers benefit from long-term agreements with energy storage facility developers.
Pumped Storage Development Council Challenges and Opportunities For New Pumped Storage Development
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Re: Prospects for large-scale energy storage

Unread postby Shaved Monkey » Sat 04 Mar 2017, 22:06:03

kublikhan wrote:It seems to me large scale pumped storage is economical today and the problems with expanding this technology are not economical nor technical but rather regulatory:

In Australia its a geographic limitation
Not enough mountains and rivers.
Plenty of wind and sun makes heat storage a more viable solution
Wether its molten silica or superheated graphite as part of a solar thermal plant or both including water storage where possible.
Then add batteries and a gas fired power station for back up
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Re: Prospects for large-scale energy storage

Unread postby ROCKMAN » Sun 05 Mar 2017, 00:44:30

Monkey - Here's the numbers I found for Aussie alt energy: wind...2% and solar 2.4%. But they also have a great deal of coal...just like Texas. So again I'll use Texas as an example: we didn't wait for commercial scale storage to developed: we've developed about 6X as much wind power % of consumption as the Aussies. And we have no problem when the wind stops blowing: we just fire up some more fossil fuel plants. Which is the same thing the Aussies does now when they need more electricity. But when the wind is blowing we can cut back those same plants. And when the wind blows really hard in the winter our turbines have delivered 20X the percentage of Texas demand compared to what they have down under.

Yes, it's nice to fantasize about commercial storage eventually allowing Australia or Texas to go 100% alt energy. But in the meantime Texas is producing a lot less GHG while we're waiting for large scale storage to develop. And if/when it develops we can immediately take advantage of it with a good bit of our generating systems already operational. And now Texas solar is beginning to boom since costs have gone down significantly. Given the millions of acres of sun drenched and barren land in Australia it could build enough solar farms to supply 100% of consumption...when the sun is shinning. And at night just ramp up those coal plants. Thus 50% of demand would be met with wind/solar compared to about 4.5% today. And no large scale storage required.

Yes, not the "perfect solution" the greenies dream about. But a hell of a lot better then what's going on now.
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Re: Prospects for large-scale energy storage

Unread postby Shaved Monkey » Mon 06 Mar 2017, 03:20:39

Australias blackout problem is political not physical
The coal industry and conservative government are playing games

A Danish guy has been out here talking of living on a 100% renewable powered island with no blackouts.
Talking about small communities investing in renewables and generating income.
All the kind of stuff that scares the coal industry and corporation loving conservative governments

http://www.theage.com.au/comment/my-sma ... ulh0h.html
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Re: Prospects for large-scale energy storage

Unread postby ROCKMAN » Mon 06 Mar 2017, 10:41:00

Monkey - Maybe you could spread the word to Aussie communities about the plans of Georgetown, Texas, to go 100% alt energy. The critical aspect is that by this town of 50,000 signing long term contracts (initially above market rates) the wind and solar investors are able to get financing. In addition to reducing the blackout potential but also creating lower rates down the road. Get enough Aussie communities going that route and it will definitely scare the crap out of the coal miners. especially the ones that last summer saw the price of their coal almost double. From: https://www.texastribune.org/2015/03/18 ... le-energy/

Georgetown’s municipal utility has unveiled plans to tap wind and solar energy to meet all of its customers’ power needs, making it the first Texas city-owned utility to abandon fossil fuels

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Re: Prospects for large-scale energy storage

Unread postby KaiserJeep » Mon 06 Mar 2017, 13:27:55

It seems to me that large scale energy storage is another of those obsolete ideas. We don't know any good way of doing so, aside from pumped storage associated with hydropower facilities, and all the really good hydropower has already been built.

I believe distributed wind and solar are a better answer. We abandon a business model that requires large central power plants and a power grid, in favor of distributed power generation and distributed power storage. You can easily power a single family residence with $10,000 in solar panels or a wind turbine, and a Powerwall battery increases that tab another 50%. After that, no monthly power bills for 20-30 years. When we do this, we give each and every homeowner a very good reason to conserve energy, a motive he feels in his pocketbook.

After this change is made, the homeowner remodels to save energy, not just for cosmetics. He selects appliances and windows for energy efficiency, and he probably incorporates passive or active thermal solar into his HVAC plans. It beats the heck out of online bill paying, where you don't feel much pain from being an energy hog.

Meanwhile, we keep only the high power capacity part of the grid, and we use it to power cities and manufacturing and offices. We abandon the costliest part of the power grid, all of our least efficient power plants, and the very idea that we have to pay for power every month, unless you are an urbanite or live in high density housing. Likewise you replace gas furnaces and oil-fired boilers with electric power that does not require that anything be burned or any carbon be spewed into the air.

Give everybody a real and continuous motive to conserve energy, and energy will be conserved. Then we renew our buildings and other infrastructure to conserve power, and we ourselves willingly alter our lifestyles to minimize energy usage. Over a period of just a few decades, we gradually go from where we are today to a new lifestyle where suburban and rural occupants begin living in residences with integrated power generation, and HVAC systems that don't require burning FF's or even wood. Make the new paradigm of "Home Economics" include energy for HVAC, lighting, cooking, and entertainment.

The power grid and the energy companies just don't make financial sense any more. Burning FF's is not any kind of a plan when you know that you are running out of FF's.
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