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THE Battery Technology Thread pt 3 (merged)

Discussions of conventional and alternative energy production technologies.

Re: THE Battery Technology Thread pt 3 (merged)

Unread postby KaiserJeep » Wed 11 Jan 2017, 16:58:02

vtsnowedin wrote:-snip-
That is an awfully big saltbox for a retired couple. How many grandkids do you have coming to visit?


That was just an image I grabbed from the web. The actual house will be about 1800 square feet plus an unfinished basement and will probably have a "five window" front facade versus the larger "nine window" shown above. Something like this:
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Although the exterior will be strict early colonial saltbox (from the 1700's), it is in most respects an entirely modern house. The other exception being the timber frame, which is an original colonial construction method:
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...mortise and tenon joinery held together with hickory pegs, covered with "SIPs" (Structural Insulated Panels):
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...superinsulated foam/osb panels and erected over an ICF (insulated concrete form) basement:
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Then finished with a Tesla roof (tempered glass in the appearance of period-correct slate) and weatherproof fiber-concrete (i.e. Hardiplank) that mimics colonial white pine siding that is completely fireproof, but has color all the way through, and does not need painting ever.

Such is the state of technology that today one picks a standard home design and works with a graphic designer to make any customizations, rather than an architect. Then when the excavation and ICF foundation/basement are complete (including the vital foam insulation under the basement slab), the timber frame and the SIPs are manufactured on CNC machinery, trucked to the site, and erected in approximately one week. Then roofing and windows make for a weatherproof shell, and several months of electrical/plumbing/drywall/HVAC/misc commence.

Compliance with the "PassivHaus" standard costs about 30% more than a building code compliant structure, but IMHO one would be foolish to build anything else except an off-grid, all electric, super-insulated home. In actual fact, a contractor building code-compliant residences is building the worst-quality homes that can legally be built.

In answer to your question, the wife and I had one daughter who in turn had twins, so I am blessed with two grandchildren, one boy and one girl aged 19 months.
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Re: THE Battery Technology Thread pt 3 (merged)

Unread postby vtsnowedin » Thu 12 Jan 2017, 10:50:43

High end houses here are being built with some or all of that. My daughters house doesn't have the panel walls but has the insulation under the basement floor and on the inside of the basement walls as yet unfinished. Radiant heat from the propane fired boiler under all the floors with a wood stove backup in the basement next to all the gym equipment. 1800 square feet is still quite a house for just two people. You should have plenty of room. I hope your project goes well, it can be an arduous process.
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Re: THE Battery Technology Thread pt 3 (merged)

Unread postby KaiserJeep » Thu 12 Jan 2017, 12:33:59

vtsnowedin wrote:High end houses here are being built with some or all of that. My daughters house doesn't have the panel walls but has the insulation under the basement floor and on the inside of the basement walls as yet unfinished. Radiant heat from the propane fired boiler under all the floors with a wood stove backup in the basement next to all the gym equipment. 1800 square feet is still quite a house for just two people. You should have plenty of room. I hope your project goes well, it can be an arduous process.


There are standards, and there are standards. Many contractors boast of "Energy Star" compliance, which is a Federal standard. Then others boast of "LEED Platinum" or similar things, more rigorous standards still, of private rather than government origin. But PassivHaus, which originated in Europe only a couple of decades back, is the obvious one for a colder climate such as Wisconsin.

Likewise PassivHaus can easily achieve it's HVAC comfort goals without burning any fuels or emitting any carbon, while making one immune to escalating fuel costs. That seems only appropriate as well. How will your family live in the house you described after the cost of natural-gas or propane space heating does a 2X, a 10X, or a 100X escalation?
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Re: THE Battery Technology Thread pt 3 (merged)

Unread postby vtsnowedin » Thu 12 Jan 2017, 13:27:00

KaiserJeep wrote:
vtsnowedin wrote:High end houses here are being built with some or all of that. My daughters house doesn't have the panel walls but has the insulation under the basement floor and on the inside of the basement walls as yet unfinished. Radiant heat from the propane fired boiler under all the floors with a wood stove backup in the basement next to all the gym equipment. 1800 square feet is still quite a house for just two people. You should have plenty of room. I hope your project goes well, it can be an arduous process.


There are standards, and there are standards. Many contractors boast of "Energy Star" compliance, which is a Federal standard. Then others boast of "LEED Platinum" or similar things, more rigorous standards still, of private rather than government origin. But PassivHaus, which originated in Europe only a couple of decades back, is the obvious one for a colder climate such as Wisconsin.

Likewise PassivHaus can easily achieve it's HVAC comfort goals without burning any fuels or emitting any carbon, while making one immune to escalating fuel costs. That seems only appropriate as well. How will your family live in the house you described after the cost of natural-gas or propane space heating does a 2X, a 10X, or a 100X escalation?

That house though large could be easily converted to a wood fired boiler and would only take about three to four cords a year based on it's propane consumption and that can easily be supplied by the wooded land it sits on. Throw some solar panels on the south roof or the wall or put up a wind turbine and off grid non carbon is a real possibility.
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Re: THE Battery Technology Thread pt 3 (merged)

Unread postby KaiserJeep » Thu 12 Jan 2017, 15:18:42

Only if you don't care about climate change. Burning wood means that you take hydrocarbons that were sequestered by trees in a forest over decades, and burn them in a day. All of the sequestered carbon spews into the air.

Understand that I don't care, I'm not an AGW fanboy myself. But if you believe that atmospheric carbon is messing with climate then burning wood is no better than burning oil or natural gas - and all three are probably better than burning coal.

The only legitimate goal is to burn no hydrocarbons whatsoever. This can easily be done if your residence is super-insulated and extremely airtight. Geothermal HVAC and photovoltaic or wind turbine electricity are then all you need.
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Re: THE Battery Technology Thread pt 3 (merged)

Unread postby vtsnowedin » Thu 12 Jan 2017, 18:58:33

KaiserJeep wrote:Only if you don't care about climate change. Burning wood means that you take hydrocarbons that were sequestered by trees in a forest over decades, and burn them in a day. All of the sequestered carbon spews into the air.

Understand that I don't care, I'm not an AGW fanboy myself. But if you believe that atmospheric carbon is messing with climate then burning wood is no better than burning oil or natural gas - and all three are probably better than burning coal.

The only legitimate goal is to burn no hydrocarbons whatsoever. This can easily be done if your residence is super-insulated and extremely airtight. Geothermal HVAC and photovoltaic or wind turbine electricity are then all you need.
Have to disagree with you there. If you don't burn the wood it dies and rots on the forest floor which is the same chemically as burning. The forest on my land will take up more CO2 then I release by burning some of it. We are talking a hundred year cycle here vs. the fifty million year sequestration of the fossil fuels which we are releasing at 80 million barrels a day.
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Re: THE Battery Technology Thread pt 3 (merged)

Unread postby KaiserJeep » Thu 12 Jan 2017, 19:38:45

You see, I believe that downed wood converts to loam and eventually to coal. Not all coals originate in swamps as peat.

But burning wood also releases nasty hydrocarbons and other chemicals that cause cancer. Even the catylytic combustor stoves and the wood gasification furnaces are very dirty heat sources.

Wind and solar are not.
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Re: THE Battery Technology Thread pt 3 (merged)

Unread postby vtsnowedin » Thu 12 Jan 2017, 21:32:33

KaiserJeep wrote:You see, I believe that downed wood converts to loam and eventually to coal. Not all coals originate in swamps as peat.

But burning wood also releases nasty hydrocarbons and other chemicals that cause cancer. Even the catylytic combustor stoves and the wood gasification furnaces are very dirty heat sources.

Wind and solar are not.

I don't think there is any forest in the world today that is depositing vegetable matter that will end up as coal. It was a one time deal with atmospheric and climate conditions that were unique and cannot be repeated.
Rotting wood and leaves do end up as loam or topsoil but much of the carbon they contained while living has been released as CO2 during the rotting process.
But all the wood fires in the world,from cooking fires to forest fires covering square miles are minuscule compared to the oil and coal burned every day in the twenty first century.
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Re: THE Battery Technology Thread pt 3 (merged)

Unread postby Zarquon » Thu 12 Jan 2017, 23:46:59

baha wrote:So in other words, an 18% efficient PV panel only has to double one more time to be more efficient than the best tech you can offer.


I think the theoretical physical maximum of silicon cells is somewhere in the neighborhood of 32%, so there's no doubling of efficiency possible. Factor in various losses and the practical maximum efficiency is pretty close to what we have today. Multilayer cells are built for powering satellites, not anything you'll ever see on roofs. I'd say your 18% today is about as good as it gets.

Cell prices have dropped so far that they make up perhaps 30% or less of total system cost for a typical roof system, so even if the price dropped by half again, which is unlikely IMO, it would hardly matter.

So what we need to make a significant difference quickly is not more small PV installations on roofs. We need larger installations to power 10 or 50 or 500 houses each. As far as I understand it economy of scale is where you could squeeze some significant $$$ out of the equation.
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Re: THE Battery Technology Thread pt 3 (merged)

Unread postby baha » Fri 13 Jan 2017, 07:52:53

You could be right...I just like having control.

If a more efficient panel can be had on a satellite, it's only a matter of time before I can have one too. If fact the ones I have used to be used on satellites:) In the 7 years I have been working in solar a standard size panel has gone from 185 watts to 305. And if you pay top dollar (Sunpower) you can get 360. This is all from efficiency improvements.

And if you include solar thermal collectors your efficiency jumps to over 60% Of course this is only heat but that's all you get from FFs too.
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Re: THE Battery Technology Thread pt 3 (merged)

Unread postby baha » Fri 13 Jan 2017, 08:09:28

Did I mention the 50-75% more efficient panel is also 30% cheaper...
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Re: THE Battery Technology Thread pt 3 (merged)

Unread postby baha » Fri 13 Jan 2017, 08:27:05

You've heard of Moore's law about semiconductors and transistors...

I'm going to call it 'Baha's law' Solar PV panels (which are made of semiconductors) will increase in output by an average of 10 watts every 6 months.

Of course I realize Moore's law just recently fell on it's face but he had a good run:)
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Re: THE Battery Technology Thread pt 3 (merged)

Unread postby vtsnowedin » Fri 13 Jan 2017, 08:35:55

baha wrote:You've heard of Moore's law about semiconductors and transistors...

I'm going to call it 'Baha's law' Solar PV panels (which are made of semiconductors) will increase in output by an average of 10 watts every 6 months.

Of course I realize Moore's law just recently fell on it's face but he had a good run:)

You still have long winter nights and cloudy days in Northern latitudes so there are hard limits to the amount of power that can possibly be generated by any given area of solar panel.
I do expect that over the next decade or so we will expand both solar and wind installations to the point that they provide about thirty percent of our electric power but after that unless battery storage becomes much cheaper we will reach a limit on what the grid can handle.
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Re: THE Battery Technology Thread pt 3 (merged)

Unread postby baha » Fri 13 Jan 2017, 09:13:58

If you want to hear the hard truth...over the next decade or so...The other 70% of folks will go dark and riot.
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Re: THE Battery Technology Thread pt 3 (merged)

Unread postby vtsnowedin » Fri 13 Jan 2017, 11:03:19

baha wrote:If you want to hear the hard truth...over the next decade or so...The other 70% of folks will go dark and riot.

That is quite likely in Africa and south east Asia but I think unlikely in the USA. We still have quite a bit of oil and lots of coal to exploit and could get by without any imports at all. How to not get drawn into the riots is the tricky part.
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Re: THE Battery Technology Thread pt 3 (merged)

Unread postby kiwichick » Fri 13 Jan 2017, 11:50:58

even with grid storage I don't believe solar and wind will be the only sources of renewable energy......

apart from Hydro there is also potential for marine power .....some official estimates in Australia put wave power at approx. 10 % of Australia's current demand......

and for geothermal ......after all we are essentially sitting on molten rock.....its just that we have to drill deeper in some places
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Re: THE Battery Technology Thread pt 3 (merged)

Unread postby Revi » Fri 13 Jan 2017, 11:53:01

We won't be able to run what we're running now unless we figure out cold fusion or something.
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Re: THE Battery Technology Thread pt 3 (merged)

Unread postby vtsnowedin » Fri 13 Jan 2017, 11:59:22

Revi wrote:We won't be able to run what we're running now ........

Do we need to? Do Americans need to drive their SUVs with one occupant fifteen thousand miles a year?
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Re: THE Battery Technology Thread pt 3 (merged)

Unread postby LulaNord » Tue 07 Mar 2017, 11:25:17

Hi everyone...i am a new user here. As per my knowledge in most lithium batteries, they are mostly aluminum, copper, electrolyte, and plastic separators. The US has lithium mines sitting idle because right now the price of lithium is too low. Lithium recycling probably isn't profitable right now for the same reason, though Toxco and Umicore are both working on recycling lithium batteries, more for the other components than the lithium.
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Re: THE Battery Technology Thread pt 3 (merged)

Unread postby misterno » Thu 09 Mar 2017, 18:07:07

LulaNord wrote:As per my knowledge in most lithium batteries, they are mostly aluminum, copper, electrolyte, and plastic separators.


So what you are saying is there is no lithium in lithium batteries, or I am misunderstanding?
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