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$3B to turn Hoover Dam into a Massive Grid Battery?

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Re: $3B to turn Hoover Dam into a Massive Grid Battery?

Unread postby GHung » Mon 30 Jul 2018, 07:59:53

Call it Rube Goldberg all you want. Pumped storage has been proven all over the world for many decades, but don't let that affect your biases. Please answer one question though. When it comes to smoothing intermittent energy and balancing loads, how is this different from the giant Tesla batteries you seem to favor (other than it's likely to last much longer)?
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Re: $3B to turn Hoover Dam into a Massive Grid Battery?

Unread postby KaiserJeep » Mon 30 Jul 2018, 09:39:40

Before anybody runs off at the mouth about pumped hydro storage, I would make this point:
Image

In 2014 (latest figures I can find) the total grid storage capacity was 1,400,000 MWhrs, and 1,399,024MWhrs of this was pumped hydro, and the remaining 976MWhrs was everything else (that would be 0.697%) . Also, the nature of pumped hydro makes it the most suitable for utility-scale applications. The reasoning for that would be:
Image

Source: https://www.iea.org/
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Re: $3B to turn Hoover Dam into a Massive Grid Battery?

Unread postby Plantagenet » Mon 30 Jul 2018, 12:06:43

GHung wrote:Call it Rube Goldberg all you want. Pumped storage has been proven all over the world for many decades, but don't let that affect your biases.


No one is "biased" except you who seems to have a bias against talking about things. Contrary to your claims, I fully agree that pumped storage is effective and useful in many applications.

What I'm questioning is the scale and complexity of this particular proposal.

First of all, there isn't enough water at Lake Mead to create the kind of power California wants. Where will all the water come from? The Ogallala aquifer is largely spoken for, so that leaves the Pacific Ocean. But the water there is salt water, so any water pumped all the way from the Pacific Ocean to Lake Mead will then have to be desalinated before it can be dumped into Lake Mead.

Thats where the Rube Goldberg fantasies come in. (1) Where on the California coast will the pipeline be sucking the water from? Is it going to go through Hollywood? I don't think so. California is a NIMBY state. It will be very difficult for them to build such a pipeline to the coast. (2) Where will the desalination take place? What technology will used to desalinate huge amounts of water? Where will the energy come from to do the desalination?

This proposal will require the construction of huge new energy sources to operate the desalination system and the pipeline to get a huge new energy source from the pumped storage at Lake Mead. Is something that complicated really necessary just to supply energy to LA?

Why not just use the new energy sources you'd have to build to operate the pipeline and the desalination plants and use those to supplement California's baseline energy requirements. Then you could skip building the pipeline and the desalination systems and the pumped storage at Lake Mead. You could just build one thing (power generation facilities) instead of four----thats a lot simpler and cheaper.

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Yes, Lake Mead has some available storage capacity---but thats because the west is in a drought.
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Re: $3B to turn Hoover Dam into a Massive Grid Battery?

Unread postby Pops » Mon 30 Jul 2018, 12:12:06

Where will all the water come from?

All you need is enough water to run the turbines for 12 hours.

Then when the sun comes up the VERY SAME water that just came through the turbines gets pumped back up using excess PV (or whatever) power.

It only needs enough rain to replenish evaporation, otherwise it need never rain again.

LOL, it is STORAGE.
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Re: $3B to turn Hoover Dam into a Massive Grid Battery?

Unread postby Pops » Mon 30 Jul 2018, 14:16:30

pstarr wrote:You also need a second reservoir at the bottom of the sluice gate. Equal in size (minus evaporation) to the upper reservoir.

No, equal in size to half the water that flows through the turbines in a day. couldn't find that in a quick search but certainly not the size of the entire lake!

There are impoundments downstream already, I don't remember how far but certainly big enough
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Re: $3B to turn Hoover Dam into a Massive Grid Battery?

Unread postby Pops » Mon 30 Jul 2018, 14:56:08

The biggest problem with the whole thing is that as the pool elevation gets lower with prolonged drought there is less "head" over the turbines, basically less water pressure so less power output. Currently the pool is at 40% so they've already ben downgraded a lot.

Hoover was made as an impoundment for irrigation, power was an afterthought. Different than the Columbia for example where the hydro dams were designed for power so are "run of the river" and provide little or no storage.
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Re: $3B to turn Hoover Dam into a Massive Grid Battery?

Unread postby Plantagenet » Mon 30 Jul 2018, 17:08:00

All you need is enough water to run the turbines for 12 hours.

Then when the sun comes up the VERY SAME water that just came through the turbines gets pumped back up using excess PV (or whatever) power.



Yes, but its not like you can turn Lake Mead and Hoover Dam into a perpetual motion machine that endlessly throws off more and more energy.

The fact is that energy will be lost at each step of the water going around the cycle, i.e. it will take MORE energy to pump the water back up again then you will get by running the water back down through the turbines. Energy is lost to friction in the pipes, and energy is lost due to inefficiencies in the pumps that will be pumping the water back up hill and into the lake.

So if takes more energy to pump the water back up then you get from running the water down through the turbines, why not use that energy directly to power LA instead of wasting some of it pumping the water back up hill and using the energy from water going through the turbines to power LA. Why not just skip all the pumping and turbine turning and just use whatever energy source is doing all of that work?

The energy losses are not insignificant. Water turbines are about 85-90% efficient, and water pumps maybe about 80-85% efficient. There's a lot of energy lost to friction in pipelines---lets say 5%. Transmission lines also lose power, and are maybe 90% efficient. This means this project would waste about 30-40% of the energy created at lake Mead by the time it gets to LA. That doesn't seem like a good idea.

I'm just offended at the complexity and inefficiency and scale of this project, I guess. It seems to me that LA could save an amount of energy comparable to this project just by banning 6 cylinder cars, or painting all their roofs white, or banning swimming pools. Or, as I said earlier in this thread, a nuclear power plant built nearby in southern California could also provide baseline energy support at night when the sun don't shine.

Pumping ocean water from the California coast to Lake Mead in southern Nevada so Californians can continue to waste huge amounts of energy just seems like wretched excess to me.

Cheers!
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Re: $3B to turn Hoover Dam into a Massive Grid Battery?

Unread postby Pops » Mon 30 Jul 2018, 17:20:25

Plantagenet wrote:Yes, but its not like you can turn Lake Mead and Hoover Dam into a perpetual motion machine that endlessly throws off more and more energy.

Crimeny Plant, what part of "STORAGE" do you not get?
A battery is not a perpetual motion machine is it?
Notice in the title of the thread the word "battery"

In this line which verily I gave to thee I'm pretty sure I pointed that out:
Then when the sun comes up the VERY SAME water that just came through the turbines gets pumped back up using excess PV (or whatever) power.


The water and the dam and gravity are the storage mechanism for excess solar power produced during the day. Of course there are losses just like the loss to heat when I charge a battery.

Something in the OP sure sent people down some strange paths
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Re: $3B to turn Hoover Dam into a Massive Grid Battery?

Unread postby GHung » Mon 30 Jul 2018, 18:58:08

I see Planty is still floating the ridiculous strawman fantasy-from-nowhere about pumping aquifers and ocean water into lake Meade, then accuses me of not wanting to discuss things. NO Plantoid, I don't want to discuss fantastic plans that no one is considering. Since you want to apply ridiculous propositions that have absolutely no bearing on what is being proposed, I'm done here. Go back down your rabbit hole and tell it to your frinds in Wonderland.

Jeez.
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Re: $3B to turn Hoover Dam into a Massive Grid Battery?

Unread postby Plantagenet » Mon 30 Jul 2018, 20:52:38

GHung wrote:I see Planty is still floating the ridiculous strawman fantasy-from-nowhere about pumping aquifers and ocean water into lake Meade


You've gone rogue again, Gungy. It was KJ who floated the ridiculous straw man of pumping water from the Ogallala Aquifer to Lake Mead, and Baha who floated the ridiculous straw man of pumping water from the pacific Ocean to lake mead. Read their posts on the first page of this thread.

I didn't float those ridiculous ideas and I don't support or agree with them. In fact, if your reading comprehension skills were better, you'd realize my posts are critiques of the straw men posted by KJ and Baha that you find so ridiculous.

GHung wrote: NO Plantoid, I don't want to discuss fantastic plans that no one is considering. Since you want to apply ridiculous propositions that have absolutely no bearing on what is being proposed, I'm done here. .


Well, Gungoid, you didn't even understand who said what in this discussion and the result is you didn't understand the conversation and you've become all wee-wee'd up over nothing as usual.

I suggest that you work on centering yourself and staying calm. You get so riled up that you lose track of who posted what, and then you go off half-cocked. You're an intelligent person with a lot to contribute, but when you get things totally backwards and go all flame on then stomp off with a final "I'm done here" one has to wonder why you are so angry all the time.

Life is short. Slow down and enjoy this beautiful world we live in.

Cheers!
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Re: $3B to turn Hoover Dam into a Massive Grid Battery?

Unread postby Pops » Mon 30 Jul 2018, 21:18:28

And plant it was you trying to float the strawman of perpetual motion just 2 posts up that was wasting everyone's time.

Man up, admit your mistake, don't try to do the "I'm rubber and you're glue" schtick, it's for 3rd graders.
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Re: $3B to turn Hoover Dam into a Massive Grid Battery?

Unread postby Plantagenet » Mon 30 Jul 2018, 21:35:44

Pops wrote:And plant it was you trying to float the strawman of perpetual motion just 2 posts up that was wasting everyone's time.


Its a scientific fact that pumps and generators and pipelines and transmission liness are not 100% energy efficient. Energy losses will occur at each of these kinds of facilities. Its a factor that should be considered when designing (or discussing) a complex infrastructure development like this.

Or to put it more simply, quite a bit more energy will be used to pump water back up into Lake Mead then will be generated when the same water comes back down through the turbines.

I don't see how discussing basic scientific facts and posting numerical estimates of the energy loss that can be expected is a "straw man" or a "waste of time." IMHO this is one of the fundamental technical issues that this project---if it is ever built--- must overcome.

Cheers!
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Re: $3B to turn Hoover Dam into a Massive Grid Battery?

Unread postby dissident » Mon 30 Jul 2018, 21:59:46

First we have the development of fossil reservoir dregs (fracked gas and oil, tar sands). Now we have dam reservoir conversion into pumped storage fantasies. That's digging under the dregs in the rotting wood of the swill barrel.

The 12 hour claim is utter BS. You can only supply some small fraction of Las Vegas electrical demand with this amount of turbine operation.

The installed capacity is 2080 megawatts with a capacity factor of 23%. So we have 478.4 MW from 24 hours of turbine operation or 239.2 MW from 12 hours of operation (effective production rate based on total energy produced since demand is 24 hours). Las Vegas consumes 7400 MW. Let that one sink in.
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Re: $3B to turn Hoover Dam into a Massive Grid Battery?

Unread postby Pops » Mon 30 Jul 2018, 22:06:39

Plantagenet wrote:Yes, but its not like you can turn Lake Mead and Hoover Dam into a perpetual motion machine that endlessly throws off more and more energy.

Is not a scientific discussion of pumped storage, it's a misstating of the proposal in order to discredit it.

A strawman.

Of course there will be a loss, just as there is a loss in all systems. Loss is a given in all energy systems, our overall system loses 60% and still going.

Image

The fundamental problem with solar energy generation is storage, pumped hydro is the largest capacity, longest duration system available.

Image

But at least you didn't say "its a 3rd law statement"
LOL
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Re: $3B to turn Hoover Dam into a Massive Grid Battery?

Unread postby Pops » Mon 30 Jul 2018, 22:13:14

dissident wrote:The 12 hour claim is utter BS. You can only supply some small fraction of Las Vegas electrical demand with this amount of turbine operation.

What vegas uses means nothing to the idea, neither does the nameplate power. I was trying to illustrate to plant the simple idea of using pumped storage to spin turbines at night with water pumped during daylight using excess solar energy. 12 hours flow/storage or 2 or 96 mean nothing to the idea for that matter.
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Re: $3B to turn Hoover Dam into a Massive Grid Battery?

Unread postby Plantagenet » Mon 30 Jul 2018, 22:47:38

Pops wrote:Of course there will be a loss, just as there is a loss in all systems. Loss is a given in all energy systems, our overall system loses 60% and still going.



Yes, of course. And thats why I brought the subject of energy losses up in the first place. Its an important consideration that no one else had addressed.

The more complex and the more steps in an energy system, the more losses will occur--- and the Hoover Dam proposal is perhaps the largest and most complex pumped water storage system ever proposed.

If there is a 15% energy loss in pumping water up hill into Lake Mead and another 10-15% energy loss when the water goes through the turbines, those are very significant numbers. Add in another 10-15% energy loss as power goes hundreds of miles over transmission back to California and you've got some really big honking energy losses built into this proposal.

Was it wrong of me to bring up and discuss some of the very real technical problems associated with the the Hoover Dam idea? Gosh...I really don't think so. I actually think the discussion would be better here if people would discuss facts and numbers and data a bit more, instead of getting upset when fact and numbers and data show up in a post.

Cheers!
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Re: $3B to turn Hoover Dam into a Massive Grid Battery?

Unread postby Pops » Mon 30 Jul 2018, 23:16:45

Plantagenet wrote:So if takes more energy to pump the water back up then you get from running the water down through the turbines, why not use that energy directly to power LA instead of wasting some of it pumping the water back up hill and using the energy from water going through the turbines to power LA. Why not just skip all the pumping and turbine turning and just use whatever energy source is doing all of that work?

Because, golly plant, solar power only works when the sun shines.

I'm bored repeating things i know we all know, guess that means you win.
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