Post by Singleton Engineer on Feb 23, 2017 8:50:49 GMT 9.5
Repeated from BNC's OT26, as suggested.
Here is the missing explanation of the liquid sodium battery which Eclipse Now omitted from his post. NB I have tracked back to the initial source and read through the company's web site.
I'm not convinced that liquid sodium batteries aimed at hours and not weeks storage time and with 30% recovery factor will be of much commercial use. The referenced article and related claim that it is somehow an improvement on load-following, scaleable, reliable electricity generation.
The molten silicon idea has some merit, but as presented has all the hallmarks of a scam, starting with admission that large sums of public money have already been absorbed by its backers, with no practical outcome.
I wish them well with the IPO,but will risk none of my own hard-earned.
Post by Greg Simpson on Feb 27, 2017 16:39:58 GMT 9.5
I often gazed longingly at my CRC handbook at the heat of fusion of silicon. It is ridiculously high, so it makes an ideal target for energy storage. Practical considerations always made me shut up about it, though. I'm happy someone seems to be taking is seriously, but they better have billions of dollars to sink into the project.
Silicon melts at 1683 K. On the one hand that's great, since the Carnot efficiency is over 80%. On the other hand, we have little experience with materials that can work with molten silicon. It's going to take a large tub of it to keep the heat loss down for any long term storage. Many metals will soften too much from heat to be useful, and others may form silicides. Ceramics may be the best bet, but they are hard to work with.
It might be easier to qualify material for a thorium reactor.
Post by David B. Benson on Apr 4, 2019 12:24:45 GMT 9.5
We have a flow battery about 2 km north of my house. It cost the federal government, a grant to Avista Utilities and SEL, Schweitzer Engineering Laboratory, several million dollars. It works great to stabilize the grid against the wind farm up the road and also lightening storms; nary a flicker since the battery was installed. Despite the cost it is a short duration battery, nominally one hour but there just for stabilization.
Finance, not technology, could be the key innovation for flow batteries Peter Maloney 2018 Feb 27 Utility Dive
leads off with an artist's rendition of our local flow battery. The author is rather pessimistic about the future of flow batteries but one readily finds other sources claiming that the cost of newer designs will drop the price to the US $30/kWh range or even lower.
Currently some wind farms include a short duration battery to provide high quality power irrespective of wind gusts. Some solar power farms include 4 hour duration batteries as the demand to run air conditioning extends into the late afternoon and evening hours. However, for Californa several Pacific Northwest utilities are interested in wheeling power south over the Pacific Intertie; I suppose to compensate for the 3% decline in the electricity market in the Pacific Northwest.
the article fails to mention how much a day's storage would cost.
You don't say!
To date these batteries have been inadequate and prohibitively expensive.
Just like the cost of Audi's e-gas and the actual cost/energy of the hydrogen they've been dumping into the natural gas system in Germany (in lieu of any specific use for it, like saving it for FCVs or oil refining) has been almost forbidden to mention.
If you get the feeling that daring to mention cost would turn public support for this "daring, innovative, Green approach" into steadfast opposition, you're probably right. Greens love the idea of energy being a privilege of the right-thinking elite; the public, not so much.
Greens love the idea of energy being a privilege of the right-thinking elite
Yes, it does seem to be more about righteousness than about saving the greenhouse. Those windmills seem to be waving forgiveness to the sinners driving by. I wonder if there are more suburban solar panels facing the street than facing the sun...
Instead of pointing out the rise of nuclear acceptance in the US, David Roberts points to the falling cost of batteries. However he fails to persuade us that the cost of batteries is converging on a practical cost for (say) six months storage of total consumption across every grid. For South Australia's average consumption of 1.3 GW, capacity of such a battery would have to be somewhere more than half a gigawatt-year
The article includes a photograph with a caption that implies that the South Australian renewables are backed up by batteries (i.e., supplying wind energy for all of the time that the wind doesn't blow). Clearly the author wants to believe it, but since the image and presumably its caption was supplied by Tesla itself, he has allowed us to be deceived by their sales talk. In fact the South Australian battery (of a few gigawatt-minutes) is used for phase control, whereas the wind backup is partially supplied by a purposely-installed 250 MW gas peaker, yes gas, bought by the same government that bought the battery.
However he falls short of actually giving a timetable to its extinction. Until we actually see that timetable, we must be sceptical of enthusiasts' and politicians' claims to be decarbonising the economy.
Of course there's no timetable. That would be a standard they'd immediately fail, because the "natural gas bridge" is a bridge to nowhere. The Greens are financed by Big Gas (aka Big Oil) and they have no plans to ever get off it.
Instead of pointing out the rise of nuclear acceptance in the US, David Roberts points to the falling cost of batteries.
Nuclear power is the Energy Source Which Must Not Be Named, because to as much as mention it gives it mindshare that Big Oil wants it denied. "Renewables" and batteries are the concepts used to suck all the oxygen out of the room. Never mind that Australia's grid could be totally decarbonized in the next 20 years by going nuclear; even the possibility must not be mentioned because it threatens Big Gas.
For South Australia's average consumption of 1.3 GW, capacity of such a battery would have to be somewhere more than half a gigawatt-year
I believe the figure for the USA came to something on the order of a cubic mile of lead-acid batteries.
Florida Power & Light is going to install a 409 MW, 2 hour duration, battery. Nothing I could find suggests why.
Besides frequency control and greenwashing, a battery of that size would be good for meeting evening peak demand using stored nuclear or PV power. It would allow for fewer starts of NG-fired peakers and increase the time between overhauls, so it might even save some money.
Batteries are not suitable for so-called backup. Nobody knowledgeable thinks so.
Ahah! So listen up, worried people. If you have been led to believe that renewables-plus-batteries can provide 100% of a nation's power needs, you have been wickedly deceived. The voice in the quote above is about as close as you're going to get to the conscience of the world's power engineers. When he says "nobody knowledgeable thinks so", that includes not just the world's power engineers, but the engineers who advise entrepreneurs, speculators, heads of government departments, – and political leaders with their hands on taxpayers' money and their eyes on environmentally-worried voters. Having been advised, they too are knowledgeable. Every one of them who assures us that renewables-plus-batteries can replace all fossil fuels is lying. When they profit, it is fraud.
It seems that the familiar promotions of renewables-plus-batteries have never been more than sanctified bullshit for the credulous. Meanwhile, our concern to decarbonise the future remains. The kiddies have charged us with inaction – they can see that we are all talk and no action. Could it be that all this talk about 100% renewable energy has always been fraudulent, deflecting our attacks on fossil fuels?