Vanadium flow batteries offer the prospect of soon providing $100/kWh storage.
I seem to recall that vanadium is produced as a byproduct of other mining. Where are you going to get enough for these massive storage projects, and what price will you have to pay to get that much?
And is often mentioned, worn down Li-ion batteries no longer suitable for transportation use have a secondary life as utility batteries.
Same problem as vanadium.
Consider the US vehicle fleet, selling roughly 17.5 million new LDVs per year. If all of them were BEVs carrying 60 kWh of Li-ion cells each, that's 1.05 TWh of battery capacity per year. If retired after 10 years at 70% of original capacity, that's 735 GWh of second-life batteries per year (which will continue to degrade). 735 GWh is 92.5 minutes of storage at the 2018 US average electric generation of 476.5 GW. Assuming no battery degradation you might get to 1 day of storage in 16 years, but more likely you'll have to recycle the packs around year 20 and so be limited to perhaps 12-15 hours.
If you're going to solve the climate problem, you have to think a LOT bigger than that. We need huge solutions much sooner than the first second-life battery packs will start coming out of an even-mostly BEV fleet.
vanadium ... Where are you going to get enough for these massive storage projects?
Engineerpoet, we must not entertain any notion that this or that mineral commodity is limited. Any indulgence of the idea panders to the religious ideology that relies on the fear that non-renewables are limited, making renewables necessary for sustainable existence. Such people should be listened to – if at all – from a position of superior knowledge, as unshakeable as theirs. The Earth is vast; it is humanity that is finite, both our future in this environment and our capacity to destroy it. We have more mineral resources than we can ever possibly use before our jetsetting parasites drive us to extinction.
Oil, coal, lithium, vanadium, you name it, we got it. (You might guess that I have worked in this industry). You wanna f*** the greenhouse? We got more coal than you could burn by operating incinerators on every corner to warm the passers-by. You wanna pipe gas? We got enough gas to power your homes and factories, enough to power every windmill, solar panel, battery when it runs out of puff and every hydro station when it runs out of water. We got enough gas to power every so-called renewable industry when the auditor isn't looking. You wanna poison the soil? We got lead, plenty of lead, more lead than you need to solubilise and spread through the urban environment. You wanna unbalance the brains of future generations? We got lithium, plenty of lithium, enough to poison every wreckers yard and rubbish dump. You wanna put pretty colours in the groundwater, spring water, storm water in the gutters, outflows to the sea? We got vanadium, plenty of vanadium, more than you could squander on silly projects of the 2020s. You want uranium? We got enough uranium to put a thousand years' fuel in every person's backpack. You want it? We got it. At a small fee of course…
What we do lack is somewhere to put our wastes. There is absolutely nowhere to put ten tonnes per person per year of fossil waste gas except into the air above our heads. Alternatively, it is a trivial matter to bury one gram of fission products per person per year, as deep as the most fearful could ask. But that religious bigot is getting in the way.
Engineerpoet, we must not entertain any notion that this or that mineral commodity is limited. Any indulgence of the idea panders to the religious ideology that relies on the fear that non-renewables are limited, making renewables necessary for sustainable existence.
Many words, no facts Two paragraphs, emptiness Begs the question: where?
Ultimately, the whereabouts of any mineral is the entire continental crust. We have good estimates of the average crustal concentration of every element. Of course it varies. Even if the variation were completely random there would be some volumes richer than others, with the richest targeted by the miners. However the crust is diffused with cycling water, with chemical reactions slowly enriching one deposit at the expense of another, so tracking down the richest deposits is more a matter of scientific detective work than random chance. Once having found enough to supply the market for ten years or so, the geoscientists stop exploring. Seeing as most mines nowadays are open cut, that is, they are within a few tens of metres of the surface of the crust, it is clear that there are many more undiscovered deposits than discovered.
I call it religious thinking when people say that they don't know about these deposits, so therefore they don't exist. It would then follow that in 10 years or so we are going to run out of all mineral commodities. But the ignorant have been saying that for the last hundred years, so we can be confident that we will never run out of things to dig up, consume and convert to waste. What we are running out of though, is somewhere to put the waste.
Last Edit: Mar 10, 2020 18:04:00 GMT 9.5 by Roger Clifton: Accidental deletion
Here we see a claim that solar power alone can cold start a grid.
Seems obvious. If you start with all loads disconnected and curtail excess power (which PV can do electronically), you can bring up plants and loads piecemeal using the curtailment capacity of the PV system as the buffer.
Ironically, this requires a reversal of the "must-take" provision which renewables enjoy under normal circumstances. We'd have a much more stable grid with better frequency control if more regulation was done by curtailment of the RE, but the law is written to force the other generators to do more and more balancing even as their share of generation shrinks. This is a recipe for trouble.
... Seems obvious. ... ... but the law is written to force the other generators to do more and more balancing even as their share of generation shrinks. ...
Actually accomplishing a cold start starting from solar power alone is non-trivial.
That's not what "the law" states, but a matter of FERC regulations. Nothing there diminishes grid stability, just distribution of the funds received. Of course, ERCOT is not subject to FERC regulation as the grid is only intrastate in Texas. Nonetheless, the market there are PJM style, which FERC does accept as "fair"; generators receive what was bid in the day-ahead market.
In Sweden the source of the exhaust gas might well be from burning wood.
Wood emits considerably more CO2 per MJ of heat than fossil fuel does, especially when it is not fully dried before burning. Wood usually comes from sources which have had their carbon-capture potential severely impaired or destroyed in the harvesting process; it takes several decades for the "renewable" carbon to be removed from the atmosphere again. These are decades we do not have.
Combining H2 with CO2 reclaimed from burning fuel to make methanol begs the question: why not just use H2 in lieu of the carbon-emitting fuel in the first place? Or use whatever energy that was used to make the H2? These schemes quickly begin to resemble a Rube Goldberg machine; they are full of redundant and lossy steps which would be the first to be eliminated in any workable system.
Post by David B. Benson on Mar 29, 2020 14:13:00 GMT 9.5
Oh dear. I should have stated forestry wastes. The Swedes are not about to stop using their forests to make toilet paper and whatever, anymore than this will cease in Washington state. So the goal is to make a transportation fuel with properties far more useful than the hard-to-store and dangerous H2.
Post by engineerpoet on Mar 30, 2020 8:09:45 GMT 9.5
I was thinking of the forest-burning schemes of companies like Drax. Forestry wastes are another matter entirely. The carbon in them will return to the atmosphere quickly in any event, so there is little downside to using them to make fuel.
There was actually a guy next door in Denmark, Anker Jarl Jacobsen, who patented a scheme for using such materials to make syngas (which can be made into almost anything). His notion was basically to throw extremely hot gas (including steam and CO2 as oxygen donors) at it and let the heat break it all down into light molecules. At 1000 C and above, carbon will react with either CO2 or H2O to yield carbon monoxide and go essentially to completion.
Post by David B. Benson on Mar 30, 2020 8:18:16 GMT 9.5
Drax claims to use only "waste" wood from forestry operations which have been centralized at the wood processing plants in the southeastern part of the USA. There are those that dispute that what Drax is doing is actually carbon-neutral.
Post by engineerpoet on Mar 31, 2020 7:34:16 GMT 9.5
This is an interview with a guy who shows every sign of getting it. His name is Gregg Kresge and he's been working to make RE work better in Maui and on the island of Moloka'i. He's not a rah-rah believer, he's a hard-headed techie and it shows. I know I like to talk smack about "ruinables" but for small communities with no industry and costly imported fuel they are just the ticket.
Importance of EV Innovation on the Island of Moloka’i
“If done right, EVs can play an important role in incorporating more renewable energy on Moloka‘i and further cut our dependency on imported fossil fuels. In serving about 3,200 customers on the island, the average minimum daytime load is about 1.6 megawatts (MW), peak load is about 5.6 MW between the hours of 5 PM and 9 PM, and private rooftop solar installed or approved is about 2.7 MW.
This exhibits a perfect example of a “duck curve,” with higher demand in the morning before the solar peak, then dropping drastically in the middle of the day, and finally soaring to even higher in the evening. What drives the middle daytime demand down so low is the large amount of uncontrollable PV coming onto the grid from private rooftop installations.
With such an abundance of solar energy during a time when the island’s energy demand is fairly low already, if EV adoption is increased on Moloka‘i and more EVs are charging during the day then it’s a perfect marriage of displacing fossil fuels with renewable energy.
Note that the EV solution to peak PV generation at noon is equally applicable to surplus nuclear generation overnight.