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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 sparky » Fri 31 Mar 2017, 05:06:27

.
An interesting test of renewables would be if it is profitable for a company solely to store energy during peak production
to sell it later at a profit during peak price
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Re: Prospects for large-scale energy storage

Unread postby ROCKMAN » Fri 31 Mar 2017, 11:25:02

Monkey - Thanks for the details. So: "The project includes a 330 megawatt solar farm costing $700 million and a 100MW battery with four hours of storage – or 400MWh capacity." First question: what does the battery cost? Second, if it only stores 4 hours worth are the going to use it for nighttime supply even if there's no blackout? If it is only going to be held in reserve do you think that cost/insurance premium is worth it? And if the do run a complete cycle a night that will greatly reduce the life of the system: how long be it has to be replaced and at what cost?

As I've pointed out before: waiting for a economically justified storage system to handle the intermittent problem would have delayed the Texas building of our world class wind power. Using our existing fossil fuel fired generators cost us nothing. Likewise solar is starting to boom in Texas. The sun sets here as it does in most countries but the wind can blow at night. And if it doesn't on some nights we still have our ff burners on standby.

Eventually if battery systems become viable we'll already have significant alt energy infrastructure in place. If our alt energy systems were good investments as stand-alones think how much better it will be when we can go to the batteries instead of burning more NG and lignite.

As been said before: waiting for the "perfect solution" is the enemy of the imperfect but incremental improvement.

sparky - "An interesting test of renewables would be if it is profitable for a company solely to store energy during peak production to sell it later at a profit during peak price". Perhaps an even better test: are the renewables profitable without storage? If they are think of the improvement when large scale storage becomes economical.
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Re: Prospects for large-scale energy storage

Unread postby Zarquon » Fri 31 Mar 2017, 12:40:18

ROCKMAN wrote:And if the do run a complete cycle a night that will greatly reduce the life of the system: how long be it has to be replaced and at what cost?


I don't know what type of battery is going to be used there, but certainly nothing like lithium-ion or lead-acid batteries. Probably something like these (which the Aussies themselves developed in the 80's):

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vanadium_redox_battery

"The limited self-discharge characteristics of vanadium redox batteries make them useful in applications where the batteries must be stored for long periods of time with little maintenance while maintaining a ready state.
...
Their ability to fully cycle and stay at 0% state of charge makes them suitable for solar + storage applications where the battery must start each day empty and fill up depending upon the load and weather. Lithium Ion batteries, for example, are typically damaged when they are allowed to discharge below 20% state of charge, so they typically only operate between about 20% and 100%, meaning they are only using 80% of their nameplate capacity."
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Re: Prospects for large-scale energy storage

Unread postby ROCKMAN » Fri 31 Mar 2017, 12:53:37

Z - Good poop...mucho thanks. One of the reasons the Rockman hangs out: someone usually knows something worth reading.
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Re: Prospects for large-scale energy storage

Unread postby KaiserJeep » Fri 31 Mar 2017, 14:24:18

My personal contribution: seeking "large-scale energy storage" is doing the wrong thing for the wrong reason. Modern technology includes heat pumps for HVAC and domestic hot water. It includes LED lighting and efficient electric motors managed with solid-state controls. It includes extremely power-efficient electronics, a good portion of it battery powered.

The electric grid is obsolete, because the infrastructure attached to the grid is obsolete. I have said more than once in this forum that my professional opinion - as an EE with 36 years of work experience - is that all Americans can have a lifestyle very similar to the energy-intensive lifestyle they possess today, using 1/6th the grid power that we use today.

It won't happen overnight. The necessary changes will include abandoning and salvaging materials from the least efficient portion of the grid, which is the last mile between a hugh tension grid feed and consumers - mostly the rural consumers. It will include implementing new distributed power generation - wind and solar and a limited hydro, plus efficient batteries - for such consumers, as a first priority. Second priority would be to do similar things in the suburbs, where depending upon actual local population density and consumer preferences, the consumers could choose between on-grid and off-grid living. In urban enviroinments, we use the power grid, supplemented by wind and solar where possible.

In everything that we do, we consider power consumption. A good amount of the power we use for lighting is actually being squandered to no good purpose, for example - security systems exist which can monitor an area using infrared optics, and turn on the lights and sound the alarm when intruders are present. Cars should also be equipped with supplementary sensors (of several types) to eliminate street lighting except in areas where there are pedestrians.

Buildings should be required to meet the current energy standards every 50 years, with no grandfathered energy-hog structures. This is not a major expense over what we build today, and within the first 50 years, all structures will have gotten super-insulation, new energy-efficient glazing, active/passive solar features - or will have been torn down and replaced with newer more efficient buildings.

We can do this. We can evolve the grid we have into a power grid suitable to serve the new infrastructure I just described. Until then, we need to abandon all thoughts of "large-scale energy storage", because it is an obsolete idea, aimed at the obsolete goal of preserving our current energy-hog lifestyles.
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Re: Prospects for large-scale energy storage

Unread postby Zarquon » Fri 31 Mar 2017, 17:03:24

I agree about the energy-hog lifestyle, but there's one thing that's slowly beginning to irk me: where ever there's a debate about energy, alt-energy, conversation, etc., it's always about households. Doesn't take a minute before somebody mentions the number of power plants we'll make obsolete by all the LEDs in our living rooms. Households, households, households. Fine. It's just that households consume a mere third of our electricity (roughly similar numbers here in Europe).

And the biggest energy hogs of all are not the ancient light bulbs in our living rooms. It's the big industrial users - especially the biggest ones who should know perfectly well how big their potential for conservation is. Incidentally they're also the ones who can bargain for the lowest electricity prices and thus have the lowest incentive to reduce consumption.

And then you have yet another discussion where two thirds of the issue are not even mentioned. Practically never. It's all about the bloody LED in the living room. For politicians and pundits it's yet another third rail. Mention the other two thirds of the issue and out comes the "job killer" club. Better pretend they don't exist.

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Re: Prospects for large-scale energy storage

Unread postby sparky » Fri 31 Mar 2017, 17:33:48

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" the biggest energy hogs of all are not the ancient light bulbs in our living rooms. It's the big industrial users - "
" the issue are not even mentioned. Practically never. It's all about the bloody LED in the living room"

Certainly the whole discussion is about petty selfish lifestyle
there is a world out there factories ,manufacturing , distribution
it all get ignored like if individual household were the only reality

A large factory need constant , reliable power it take less than a tenth of a second to crash it and hours to restart
industry is very aware of its costs , they are carefully monitored , they get bulk price because they are bulk users
a large part of the cost for individuals are the cost of individual distribution

of course some people do not want industry or large users ,
their idea of society is not very clear but it does seems to involve little gardens ,a smithy and people wearing homespun

I have never read or heard a proponent of the alternative lifestyle have a coherent proposition for large industries
the issue is simply swept under the carpet
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