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Re: THE Battery Technology Thread pt 3 (merged)

Unread postPosted: Sat 07 Jan 2017, 09:13:12
by vtsnowedin
baha wrote:Don't have a number, I'm sure it's significant...But what you are talking about is more jobs. http://fortune.com/2016/03/29/lithium-t ... ne-nevada/

There will be new infrastructure built and jobs created and who knows what the $ tradeoff will be...but it leads in a sustainable direction. Just like Aluminum, Lithium will be cheaper to recycle than mine. Unlike FFs it will still be in there after the battery is dead.

I was just contemplating the dent that Giga factory would make in the worlds supply.
I've found that current production is about 35,000 tonnes a year and that is expected to more then double shortly. Also from various sources prices can vary from $10,000 to $25,000 per tonne but some of that was stock scam hype.

Re: THE Battery Technology Thread pt 3 (merged)

Unread postPosted: Sat 07 Jan 2017, 10:00:35
by baha
In case you haven't figured it out, I've already invested in Tesla:)

I think my next purchase will be Lithium mining.

Re: THE Battery Technology Thread pt 3 (merged)

Unread postPosted: Sat 07 Jan 2017, 11:47:22
by KaiserJeep
I will mention that I invested $7500 in the Cape Wind offshore wind farm about a decade ago. Although Obama called it "shovel ready" in 2007 during his first campaign, I have slowly realized that I am never going to see any return on that money.

I have also related the cost of PV electricity here in sunny California in a message in this thread dated May 21, 2016. My grid-attached solar roof produces energy at a cost of $0.31/kWh. In an off-grid situation, the cost with Powerwall batteries would be $0.59/kWh, because I would need more panels plus batteries. I should note that I am a retired Electrical Engineer and I have been monitoring my PV roof for what will be 7 years in July of this year. The cost of Chinese-made PV panels has decreased by about 35% during that same period, but labor costs have increased slightly, today that same solar roof would be implemented at an electricity cost of about $0.28/kWh.

You appear to be confusing the ongoing costs of capital expenditures with fuel costs for power generation. Solar PV has zero fuel costs but very high capital expenditures and these are even higher with battery storage. My 2.8 kVA rooftop solar is both undersized for off-grid usage and lacks battery storage. I am in a near-ideal location for solar power in sunny California and in a near-ideal regulatory environment, with both Federal tax rebates and State of California tax rebates under the CSI (California Solar Initiative), and state-mandated "net metering", which forces the power company to purchase back my piddly little 2.8kW of power at retail electricity rates.

I would not be willing to teach you the mathematics of Capex in this forum, it is a long and involved discussion, and I would recommend an Economics textbook instead. I will summarize what is happening when I say that the Feds and the State of California are overcharging everybody around me for their electricity and rewarding those of us with Solar PV by in effect giving us OPM (other people's money). That $0.28/kWh is expensive electricity for a US state, but the CARB (California Air Resources Board) has increased the cost of electricity in this state with decades of tinkering. The US average cost for grid electricity is about 1/3rd lower than in California, and the wholesale electrical cost is about $0.12/kWh for the "green" electricity that we buy from Texas. (Note that these are burdened costs, not simple cost-of-fuel figures.)

Bottom line is that because of all the government meddling with grid electricity, I have saved about $2200 on my electrical bill in six and a half years. In a state without solar incentives I would be paying a lot less for power, consequently there would also be fewer reasons to add PV panels to my roof.

Re: THE Battery Technology Thread pt 3 (merged)

Unread postPosted: Sat 07 Jan 2017, 17:39:46
by baha
Thanks KJ,
Real data is always welcome and I appreciate your support of alternatives.

CA definitely has the best incentives. But unless you overproduce the price they pay you doesn't matter. Most people net-metering are just using the grid as a battery, they're lucky if they can overproduce over a years time.

And as far as your neighbors paying for your power, that's as it should be...we are all paying for the effects of burning FFs too.

Solar prices are dropping fast, lots more than 35% in the last 7 years, I don't know the number because my interest lies in the science, not the finance. But when my system is complete I will enjoy analyzing the results. I also worked for the Navy as a EE for 20 years, but my degree is in Physics. Read science geek:)

I know lifestyles will have to change. We cannot continue to waste power like we do now. I am a special case in that my power needs are very low. My house is almost at a passive house level and small. That means the capital investment on PV up front is small. And I will get my equipment at wholesale prices. I estimate my breakeven is 8 years even with the batteries. Because I only need one battery and 5 kilowatts of PV. Actually I only need 3.8 kw to be net zero but overcapacity allows me to charge the battery faster.

Re: THE Battery Technology Thread pt 3 (merged)

Unread postPosted: Sat 07 Jan 2017, 18:11:53
by diemos
KaiserJeep wrote: I will summarize what is happening when I say that the Feds and the State of California are overcharging everybody around me for their electricity and rewarding those of us with Solar PV by in effect giving us OPM (other people's money).


The grid operators have been putting up with this because it put off the day when they would have to site and build new power lines. An expensive regulatory nightmare.

Re: THE Battery Technology Thread pt 3 (merged)

Unread postPosted: Sat 07 Jan 2017, 18:33:25
by KaiserJeep
diemos wrote:-snip-

The grid operators have been putting up with this because it put off the day when they would have to site and build new power lines. An expensive regulatory nightmare.


Yes, quite correct. However the present regulatory environment is also much more optimal for implementing renewable energies while taking advantage of an uneven playing field.

In my planned move to Wisconsin and my hoped-for newly-constructed passive home, I hope to have Tesla's solar roofing and Powerwall batteries over both house and garage and a wind turbine which will still be charging on cold Winter nights. The house design we have settled on is a distinct style called Early New England saltbox:
Image
Hopefully, the Tesla roofing will be on the larger roof area, facing S, with perhaps more such solar PV on the garage, since I plan to have at least on longer-ranged EV.

The basic idea is a superinsulated home, all electric, off-grid, energy plus design, that requires no hydrocarbons be burned - not even wood - for HVAC or cooking or other systems. I believe that this can be done for a price premium of +35% over simple building-code-compliant home design.

Re: THE Battery Technology Thread pt 3 (merged)

Unread postPosted: Sat 07 Jan 2017, 18:43:33
by pstarr
diemos wrote:
KaiserJeep wrote: I will summarize what is happening when I say that the Feds and the State of California are overcharging everybody around me for their electricity and rewarding those of us with Solar PV by in effect giving us OPM (other people's money).


The grid operators have been putting up with this because it put off the day when they would have to site and build new power lines. An expensive regulatory nightmare.

Interesting diemos. Never considered that. :)

The visionaries here used to discuss a distributed local electric generation/consumption, with backup grid connect. See Lovin's Hydrogen Economy.

It included Hypercars, small lightweight and truly efficient EV's and solar-fuel cell hydrogen storage. Truly a system for an energy-efficient local economy. We've done none of that. Tesla hot rods are just a limited and marketable version of what could have been great. :cry:

Re: THE Battery Technology Thread pt 3 (merged)

Unread postPosted: Sat 07 Jan 2017, 19:18:36
by KaiserJeep
In fact, the power grid high tension high voltage transmission lines are designed for longevity and low maintenance expenses. The problem is with the "last mile" power transmission which often involves wooden poles, overloaded transformers, and crappy contractor-installed, barely compliant building wiring, all poorly protected from lightning strikes.

If I was a power company, I'd be all in favor of grid-attached distributed solar, which would make my life less annoying. However those off-grid residences would be worrisome, if your business was generating power (or buying it wholesale) and selling it retail.

Re: THE Battery Technology Thread pt 3 (merged)

Unread postPosted: Sat 07 Jan 2017, 19:51:02
by pstarr
KaiserJeep wrote:In fact, the power grid high tension high voltage transmission lines are designed for longevity and low maintenance expenses. The problem is with the "last mile" power transmission which often involves wooden poles, overloaded transformers, and crappy contractor-installed, barely compliant building wiring, all poorly protected from lightning strikes.

If I was a power company, I'd be all in favor of grid-attached distributed solar, which would make my life less annoying. However those off-grid residences would be worrisome, if your business was generating power (or buying it wholesale) and selling it retail.

There was a solution to those problems a long long long time ago. Back before we privatized every damn thing that is tied down. Or running wild. Things worked back in the day.

Re: THE Battery Technology Thread pt 3 (merged)

Unread postPosted: Sun 08 Jan 2017, 07:25:07
by baha
These batteries are not intended to be a market manipulation device. To buy power at low rates and sell at high rates is a money making scheme worthy of TPTB and works about as well as they do.

But battery plus PV is a different story. When I install PV, Duke power will force me to change to a time of day payment plan. It is to their advantange because when prices are high loads are high and a PV system may not carry the entire load. Therefore they get max value from you when you are needy.

With a battery system I can chose when to give my free power back to Duke (if at all). If, over a 24 hour period I overproduce, I can chose to put it out on the grid when rates are highest to get max value from them. I just love sticking it to 'the man':)

I will also add an Eguage power monitoring system. So I will know where my power comes from and where it goes. I will have complete control of my destiny.

Re: THE Battery Technology Thread pt 3 (merged)

Unread postPosted: Sun 08 Jan 2017, 07:34:30
by vtsnowedin
KaiserJeep wrote:
diemos wrote:-snip-

The grid operators have been putting up with this because it put off the day when they would have to site and build new power lines. An expensive regulatory nightmare.


Yes, quite correct. However the present regulatory environment is also much more optimal for implementing renewable energies while taking advantage of an uneven playing field.

In my planned move to Wisconsin and my hoped-for newly-constructed passive home, I hope to have Tesla's solar roofing and Powerwall batteries over both house and garage and a wind turbine which will still be charging on cold Winter nights. The house design we have settled on is a distinct style called Early New England saltbox:
Image
Hopefully, the Tesla roofing will be on the larger roof area, facing S, with perhaps more such solar PV on the garage, since I plan to have at least on longer-ranged EV.

The basic idea is a superinsulated home, all electric, off-grid, energy plus design, that requires no hydrocarbons be burned - not even wood - for HVAC or cooking or other systems. I believe that this can be done for a price premium of +35% over simple building-code-compliant home design.

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

Re: THE Battery Technology Thread pt 3 (merged)

Unread postPosted: Tue 10 Jan 2017, 01:39:48
by kublikhan
baha wrote:And as far as your neighbors paying for your power, that's as it should be...we are all paying for the effects of burning FFs too.
They had the same thought in Spain and Nevada. But it turns out government subsidies were not as stable as some hoped. One day the government decided they were going to cut the gravy train of Solar subsidies. And the Solar industry in Spain & Nevada collapsed as a result.

One of the main producers of renewable energy in Europe, Spain’s solar industry, is edging toward bankruptcy. Producers say they’ll be unable to repay credits after the government’s decision to cut subsidies. Banks will suffer and jobs will be lost.

Energy Minister José Manuel Soria has introduced a new compensation plan for calculating levels of "reasonable profitability" for renewable-energy production, distribution and transportation. It will reduce payments to companies serving the nation's electrical system by up to 2.7 billion euro annually. It’s hoped the move could help cope with the electricity system deficit that has been growing since 2005 and now exceeds 25 billion euro.

Experts are warning that with the increased levies on self-consumed solar energy so high many households will have to pay more for the electricity they generate themselves than they would for regular grid power. The main trade association for Spain's electric utilities which distribute most the country's electricity said "the cuts will compel our member companies to undertake a drastic reduction in jobs and review their investments in Spain"

Spain has over 4GW of installed capacity. For several years the government reportedly pushed electricity retailers to pay above-market, unaffordable prices to renewable-power producers. In 2012 clean energy subsidies in Spain hit 8.6 billion euro, nearly 1 percent of GDP. To fund the expansion, Spanish banks lent the solar-energy companies nearly 30 billion euro. Potential loan defaults could worsen the already heavy burden on Spanish banks.
Spain’s solar industry to collapse

Louise Helton, owner of One Sun Solar Electric in Las Vegas, says that since January her company is doing more work removing solar panels from rooftops than installing them. “During the recession, rooftop solar was the bright spot in the Nevada economy,” Helton tells DeSmog. “We were booming. And now we’re dead.”

By removing a key incentive for rooftop solar customers — net metering — the PUC made it prohibitively expensive for existing and future solar customers to use solar panels to generate part or all or their electricity needs. And it turned electricity-generating rooftop panels from a net-plus for homeowners to a technological albatross.

“Seniors have tried to make the right decision to preserve their future dollars. All of this is impacting them. Now the value of your greatest asset, a home, and the equity, for solar panels to present themselves as something that was a huge asset, now they’re the opposite. It’s devastating.”

Nevada Hemorrhages Solar Jobs
Since January, national rooftop solar companies SolarCity and Sunrun have stopped seeking new business in the state and laid off hundreds of workers. The few small companies left are trying to stay above water and telling potential customers to be patient and wait out the storm. “My feeling is 80 percent of all (small solar) companies are gone”
We Were Booming and Now We're Dead" — How Nevada's Solar Industry Bright Spot Turned Dark

Re: THE Battery Technology Thread pt 3 (merged)

Unread postPosted: Tue 10 Jan 2017, 08:16:24
by baha
The fact that nothing the government does is stable is why we are all here. The real problem is no one is paying $ for the damage caused by FFs...yet!

Re: THE Battery Technology Thread pt 3 (merged)

Unread postPosted: Wed 11 Jan 2017, 15:23:11
by baha
The question has been raised as to whether renewables can power the next technological revolution...I guess we are going to find out.

http://www.cnbc.com/2017/01/11/tesla-wi ... -farm.html

Does anyone wonder why Tesla bought Solar City?

Re: THE Battery Technology Thread pt 3 (merged)

Unread postPosted: Wed 11 Jan 2017, 16:58:02
by KaiserJeep
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:
Image
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:
Image
...mortise and tenon joinery held together with hickory pegs, covered with "SIPs" (Structural Insulated Panels):
Image
...superinsulated foam/osb panels and erected over an ICF (insulated concrete form) basement:
Image
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.

Re: THE Battery Technology Thread pt 3 (merged)

Unread postPosted: Thu 12 Jan 2017, 10:50:43
by vtsnowedin
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.

Re: THE Battery Technology Thread pt 3 (merged)

Unread postPosted: Thu 12 Jan 2017, 12:33:59
by KaiserJeep
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?

Re: THE Battery Technology Thread pt 3 (merged)

Unread postPosted: Thu 12 Jan 2017, 13:27:00
by vtsnowedin
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.
Image

Re: THE Battery Technology Thread pt 3 (merged)

Unread postPosted: Thu 12 Jan 2017, 15:18:42
by KaiserJeep
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.

Re: THE Battery Technology Thread pt 3 (merged)

Unread postPosted: Thu 12 Jan 2017, 18:58:33
by vtsnowedin
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.