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Old 07-07-2013, 06:34 AM   #135 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by oil pan 4 View Post
But isn't most of the new solar generating capacity PV?
Yes ... but that's deceptive ... that's like pointing out that the bulk of battery storage is for small consumer electronics ... it's a different fact that doesn't bare directly to the issue of utility scale storage options being discussed previously.

What it does bare directly to is the multiple pros and cons of the utility system.

For example Solar-Thermal-Electric is more energy efficient than PV ... and it's thermal storage is more efficient ... etc ... etc ... it has many pros.

PV has other different pros ... it scales down very well ... all the way down to the solar powered calculator ... Solar-Thermal can't do that ... this one particular aspect also more allows PV as a better fit for distributed generation ... and PV leveraging the mass produced semi-conductor fields has been able to drop it's initial $/W rate faster than solar thermal.... etc ... etc.

Neither one PV nor Solar-Thermal is the best in all cases for utility scale ... they have different pros and cons ... and will each fit into different rolls better than the other ... right tool for the job.

Originally Posted by oil pan 4 View Post
If so you cant really use thermal storage with PV, cost effectively.
I disagree.

Electricity can be converted to heat at over 99% efficiency ... very little loss ... and resistive loads that can do that are both fairly inexpensive , and fairly low maintenance.

And when you already have the heat ... from burning coal , oil , natural gas , etc ... than you don't even have to convert it into heat ... you just have to have a smart enough grid to know you won't need it ... to then choose to store it instead.

An additional interesting potentiality for electrical source to thermal storage ... is if that electricity is used to run a heat pump ... one can actually store more thermal joules of heat energy than one had electrical joules of energy in the first place ... ie , more than 100% of the applied electrical energy can be output as heat energy ... the extra heat energy comes from ambient sources ... because heat pumps exploit the fact that it takes less energy to move heat energy than it does to convert that same electrical energy into heat energy.

And sense the vast bulk of the utility electric power is produced by steam driven turbines ... be they coal heated, oil heated, natural gas heated, solar heated ... etc ... sense it is the thermal to electric conversion by a steam driven turbine that produces the vast majority of all utility scale electrical power ... there is significant potential at all those steam turbines to make use of thermal energy storage.

Originally Posted by oil pan 4 View Post
If you are working with a solar driven steam turbine then thermal storage is a great idea and does not require the smart grid.
Require , no ... you are correct.

But it is not about weather it is required or not ... it is more about weather there is the potential for improvement with it ... and there is.

A smarter grid is more able to fully exploit the benefits of thermal storage ... be it solar, coal, oil, etc ... whatever is used for the heat source.

Originally Posted by oil pan 4 View Post
As far as storage batteries you cant use lithium, its far too expensive.
The utilities that are already buying lithium based battery storage seem to disagree with you... initial cost $/Wh is higher for lithium , yes ... that part you are correct ... that is a con ... but 98% or better round trip cycle efficiency compared to ~67% for lead is a massive difference ... higher cycle life count is also a massive difference... Better DoD is a massive difference ... etc.

A123 alone did 11MW of battery back up in 2012 ... and they just did 1 MWh facility just this last June 2013... Link

AFAIK that is more utility bought , grid back up than the utility has ever bought from lead ... Unless you know of more than 12MW of Lead grid battery back up somewhere ??? I don't know of even a 1MW lead utility grid back up system.

Originally Posted by oil pan 4 View Post
On the other hand there is no shortage of lead for the time being.
You see it yet?
There is no known ( to you or me ) lead utility grid storage ... but there are Lithium utility grid storage facilities.

Originally Posted by oil pan 4 View Post
You can use Ni it will be expensive, but then there will be a lot less around for electric car and hybrid batteries.
Supply and Demand.
If supply from the nickle producers can't keep pace with the demand than the Price goes up ... it might make other alternative more appeal from a cost effective aspect ... that's all that happens ... there is more than enough Ni on this planet.

Also of the total global Ni market ... HEV batteries are a insignificantly tiny % of that Ni Market.

Originally Posted by oil pan 4 View Post
Take away lithium and nickel whats left?
There are a vast number of other options.
Many other types of batteries ... there are more than 3 kinds of chemistry.
Many other types of utility storage ... that are not batteries.

They all have pros and cons ... there is no one best fit for all of the various cases... use the right tool for the job at hand.

Last edited by IamIan; 07-07-2013 at 06:41 AM..
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