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Old 07-06-2013, 05:49 PM   #131 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by oil pan 4 View Post
So how do you get more power out of a system by adding on a new system that has automatic losses of up to 30%?
When , without that system your no storage system has over 30% losses ... 30% is better than 31%... or 40% etc.

Also , not all storage systems have the 30% losses you are assuming.

Depending on the details the storage can be from 50% to 90% round trip efficiency ... For example Solar Thermal cycle efficency for storage has been demonstrated at 97%... link

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Originally Posted by oil pan 4 View Post
Lead is the most likely candidate for battery storage.
I'll disagree.
Lead has a poor cycle efficiency , compared to other options.
Lead has a high self discharge rate , compared to other options.
Lead has a poor life cycle count , compared to the other options.
etc.

From a utility scale point of view ... lead is one of the worst battery options.

Utility scale solar storage does not use Lead ... not one such instance that I am aware of , in the entire history of utility scale solar ... because lead is such a horribly bad candidate for that function... why trade the 97% cycle efficiency of some thermal storage systems ( see above ) for ~67% cycle efficiency of lead .... that makes no sense.

Lead's only pro is the initial $/wh ... which in some situations ... might be enough to counter all of its other cons... but in other cases ... it won't be good enough.

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The only grid storage that has good potential is the one we have been using for years already. Its safe, there are no toxic metals involved and makes up over 99% of grid storage capacity already. Its called pumped hydroelectric storage. Only problem is it doesn't work every where.
And that would still be a perfectly viable example of the Option C for storage I pointed to ... that does not require the production changes or demand mandates you said were the only way... thank for agreeing with me ... even if you tried to agree by disagreeing.

Also ... Hydro storage works everywhere ... gravity is all over the planet.

It is not equally cost effective at all locations , because different locations have different design factors.

- - - - - - -

Example of the gap that can happen between over production compared to demand... see graph bellow... They 'fixed' their over production massive waste , by exporting large amounts to others ... which would be a 4th option... to balance between production and demand ... still not requiring changes in production not mandates to load.

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Old 07-06-2013, 07:04 PM   #132 (permalink)
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Old 07-07-2013, 01:41 AM   #133 (permalink)
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Grid power storage is a bad idea, you instantly lose up to 10% to 30% of the power you are trying to store by storing it up and releasing it.
It depends upon how the energy is stored. If it is being stored in the final form in which it is to be used, such as the aforementioned cold or hot thermal storage or compressed air, it is possible for there to be very little loss in comparison to using the electrical energy immediately it is generated.

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If the smart grid uses batteries or some other means to store power its going to be even less efficient and cost more than what we have now.
It sounds like the smart grid has a huge potential to increase wastes of all different kinds.
Cost more, yes. If it didn't we'd probably already be using it. Lower efficiency? That matters less if the energy is free once you've built the equipment to capture it.

If we take one step back and look at the problem which is to be solved; that of providing the services that electric power is used for, when they are needed, there are many possible solutions.

Demand management is one but there will be a minimum power requirement below which it is not possible to manage past.

Another is to build overcapacity into the renewable power generation, most notably with wind but also with more direct forms of solar energy, such that there is a very high probability of power being available from somewhere.

Because excess capacity is then available for much of the time, and the excess capacity has to be there anyway, the loss in storing it for re-release as electrical power is less important. The energy and economic equation improves to favor the provision of storage.

If you can store the energy, there's less need for overcapacity and vice versa. There will be a sweet spot where overcapacity and storage solutions intersect.

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The only grid storage that has good potential is the one we have been using for years already. Its safe, there are no toxic metals involved and makes up over 99% of grid storage capacity already. Its called pumped hydroelectric storage. Only problem is it doesn't work every where.
If excess electrical energy is available at low cost, cryogenic air/Nitrogen storage is another one that looks OK. It's clean and can be built anywhere.

It might be interesting to investigate building it near refrigerated warehouses or A/C'd buildings, and piping the air/N2 or rejected heat around, much like centralised steam heating. Maybe get two solutions for the price of one (and a half?).

There's no need for demand mandates. Price the energy appropriately and the market will find the most efficient solutions.
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Old 07-07-2013, 02:05 AM   #134 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by IamIan View Post
Utility scale solar storage does not use Lead ... not one such instance that I am aware of , in the entire history of utility scale solar ... because lead is such a horribly bad candidate for that function... why trade the 97% cycle efficiency of some thermal storage systems ( see above ) for ~67% cycle efficiency of lead .... that makes no sense.
But isn't most of the new solar generating capacity PV?
If so you cant really use thermal storage with PV, cost effectively.

If you are working with a solar driven steam turbine then thermal storage is a great idea and does not require the smart grid.

As far as storage batteries you cant use lithium, its far too expensive. You can use Ni it will be expensive, but then there will be a lot less around for electric car and hybrid batteries.
Take away lithium and nickel whats left?
On the other hand there is no shortage of lead for the time being.
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Old 07-07-2013, 07:34 AM   #135 (permalink)
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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.

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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.

Quote:
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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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 07:41 AM..
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Old 07-07-2013, 09:06 AM   #136 (permalink)
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how come I am competing with the electric companies for lithium batteries again?

And how does making heat at 99% efficiency translate to making electricity?!?

Last edited by P-hack; 07-07-2013 at 09:11 AM..
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Old 07-07-2013, 10:16 AM   #137 (permalink)
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Thermal storage is for solar heat systems, and PV would use grid storage batteries. Have you heard of the new low cost grid batteries? For example, the MIT spinoff that cost a lot less than car batteries, because they don't have weight issues and by using common as dirt materials.

Ambri

What Germany is finding is that storage is not as critical as first thought - a well designed mix of renewable sources makes a predictable output, and methane digesters using farm waste and sewage can power gas turbines that burn renewable gas to meet peak demands.

Electric cars have only about 15% total losses from plug to wheel, and the motor and the controller are about half of that, so a grid battery system could be only 7-10% loss. With renewable energy, as long as you can gather enough energy - then losses do NOT really matter.
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Old 07-07-2013, 10:30 AM   #138 (permalink)
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how come I am competing with the electric companies for lithium batteries again?
Supply and Demand ... both you and the electric companies have a use for electrical energy storage ... Lithium batteries are one way to do that.

Although the utility grid has deeper pockets than you ... so it might be a good thing ... eventually ... as they provide the funding today for the battery improvements you can take advantage of latter.

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And how does making heat at 99% efficiency translate to making electricity?!?
The heat produced can be used to make electricity ... it's one part of one type of energy storage cycle.

There are always losses ... but ... when it takes hours or even days for some of the electric company facilities to power up or power down ... the utility grid often doesn't even bother to start to power them down ... if they are producing 10% or 20% more power than the current real time grid demand is for ... they just throw the extra production away.

Thus recycling any of that energy that would have been thrown away is better for over all energy efficiency than just throwing it away... even 1% round trip cycle efficiency is better net energy efficiency than 100% thrown away.

It would be better net efficiency if the grid is smart enough to know you will need to store it before the heat to electric stream turbine has converted the heat to electric ... because then you can just store the heat as heat.
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Old 07-07-2013, 11:26 AM   #139 (permalink)
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but you used %99 efficiency in converting electricity to heat, when the question was about making heat from electricity, that got more than a little misleading.

The electric companies are using lithium to store electricity, this has initial and ongoing costs with it, and alluding to %99 efficiency costs credibility in the discussion.
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Old 07-07-2013, 12:43 PM   #140 (permalink)
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but you used %99 efficiency in converting electricity to heat, when the question was about making heat from electricity, that got more than a little misleading.
How it is misleading?

The electricity can be converted to heat at over 99% efficiency ... that's what I wrote... that's what can be done ... under some setups you can even store more than 100% of the electrical joules you started with as joules of heat ( thanks to heat pumps ).

- - - - - -

Also it might be useful to keep in mind the context of the reply:
My reply was not in response to someone asking about making heat from electricity as you claim here.

It was claimed Grid Storage = bad idea ... reason given ( 30% assumed loss )

When I pointed out that not all storage systems have 30% loss ... and gave an example of one having shown only 3%.

The reply was that it wouldn't be cost effective for PV to use thermal storage.

PV in particular was not the whole grid that I was referring to previously ... and I pointed to how the thermal storage listed would be better used for other cycles than PV ... but I overlooked that narrowing of the topic , and also chose to described how it could potentially be cost effective even for PV as well... which it can.

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The electric companies are using lithium to store electricity, this has initial and ongoing costs with it, and alluding to %99 efficiency costs credibility in the discussion.
I did not claim 99% for the Lithium ... those are separate things.
I don't see how any credibility is cost at all???? please explain??

I agree ( and never said otherwise ) that Lithium has costs , initial and on going ... it has other cons as well... which I have mentioned... all the options have pros and cons.

I brought the Lithium example up in response to the claim that :
"As far as storage batteries you cant use lithium, its far too expensive." ... which the evidence at hand seems to show that some utility companies disagree with that claim... as they have and are using it for just that very thing.

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