Posts Tagged ‘energy storage’

containbatts

Image credit: energy-storage.news

The report says these batteries are not covered by the Control of Major Accident Hazards regulations, meaning they’re now popping up all over the place, sometimes near people’s homes. Any problems however serious have to be faced by the local fire services. Lithium-ion storage battery fires are far from rare, as well as notoriously violent, fiercely hot and difficult to deal with.
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The first thing you notice is the noise – a strange, low-octave hum growing louder as you approach across the fields, says the Mail on Sunday (via The GWPF).

It’s coming from a group of bland metal cabins sitting on land that was once used to grow wheat and barley.

Yet these new agricultural buildings are nothing to do with food production. Instead, they contain huge batteries storing electricity for the National Grid – a new form of crop for farmers scrambling to cash in on the ‘green’ energy revolution.

And, according to a troubling new report from leading physicists, these vast batteries amount to electrical bombs with the force of many hundreds of tons of TNT.

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buoyant-energy

Image credit: buoyant-energy.com

That’s the headline, but is ‘novel’ its only merit? Buoyant Energy is described as promising but then, aren’t they all? Energy storage on a meaningful scale seems as far away as ever, having rejected the obvious ones: coal, oil, gas and sometimes even nuclear.
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What do pipes and anchors have to do with storing energy? More than you might think, suggests TechXplore.

A new IIASA-led study explored the potential of a lesser known, but promising sustainable energy storage system called Buoyancy Energy Storage.

There is general consensus that renewable energy sources will play an important role in ensuring a healthier and more sustainable future for the planet and its people, and many countries are indeed already seeing such technologies displacing “dirty” fossil fuels in the power sector in an effort to lower emissions. [Talkshop comment – CO2 emissions have absolutely nothing to do with dirt].

The biggest problem with renewable energy sources, however, is that power supply is intermittent, meaning that the energy output at any given time does not necessarily meet the demand at that time.

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Credit: impactlab.net

Like ‘free beer tomorrow’, projects such as this one may sound good to some, but does the promised tomorrow ever arrive? So far, no. Not even close. And equating so-called ‘clean tech’ with the climate is yet another obviously absurd media fantasy. Solving the issue by 2030 is the target — good luck with that. Of course gas, coal and oil are their own energy storage, but don’t mention those any more.
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A major project aims to overcome a barrier to electricity grids wholly supplied by renewable energy, says BBC News.

Output from wind turbines varies because wind speeds fluctuate; output from solar cells changes according to cloud cover and other factors [Talkshop comment – such as 50% darkness per year].

This is called variability, and overcoming it is crucial for increasing the share of renewables on the grid.

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Struc_batt

Schematic of a laminated structural battery cell containing carbon fiber electrodes and a structural battery electrolyte [image credit: Quay2021 @ Wikipedia]

Another day, another battery ‘breakthrough’, you may be thinking. The idea being to make the battery part of the device itself, rather than being inserted into it. Tesla has already designed its own version of the idea.
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Researchers from Chalmers University of Technology have produced a structural battery that performs ten times better than all previous versions, says TechXplore.

It contains carbon fiber that serves simultaneously as an electrode, conductor, and load-bearing material.

Their latest research breakthrough paves the way for essentially ‘massless’ energy storage in vehicles and other technology.

The batteries in today’s electric cars constitute a large part of the vehicles’ weight, without fulfilling any load-bearing function.

A structural battery, on the other hand, is one that works as both a power source and as part of the structure—for example, in a car body.

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The Brick Generator

Posted: March 7, 2021 by oldbrew in Critique, Energy
Tags: ,

Credit: impactlab.net


The Australian Snowy 2 hydro scheme plans to use electricity to pump water up hill to get some of that energy back by running the water downhill again, writes Viv Forbes @ The Saltbush Club.

Some Australian mining companies are planning a dry version of Snowy 2 – a huge brick-powered battery using the force of gravity to drive a generator when solar and wind energy are on strike.

Each unit of this brick-powered battery would comprise a 30 storey tower enclosing a 35 tonne brick which is hauled up using surplus renewable energy (around noon on any clear windy day) and then released to turn generators when there is no renewable energy being produced (every still night or calm cloudy day).

These flint-stone miners will also have to replace all diesel mining equipment with electric machines, then build enough wind/solar generators to not only run the mine, but also to elevate the giant bricks.

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Upper reservoir (Llyn Stwlan) and dam of the Ffestiniog Pumped Storage Scheme in north Wales
[credit: Arpingstone/English Wikipedia]


The idea would be to have either a smaller site or a lower site, compared to a standard pumped hydro scheme, or a combination of both. Reasonable cost is suggested.
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An energy storage system from RheEnergise could be installed on thousands of hills around the UK, according to the company.

It uses dense liquid, which is two-and-a-half-times denser than water, and could therefore potentially provide two-and-a-half-times the power of equivalent conventional systems, reports Elemental.

As reported by Professional Engineering, the High-Density Hydro systems would be built underground.

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Another ‘net zero’ stumbling block for climate-obsessed governments is investigated by researchers. This time it’s the question of where and how to keep all the hydrogen – assuming it can be produced from renewables on an industrial scale in the first place.
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Large-scale storage of hydrogen remains largely untested but is essential if hydrogen is to realize its potential to make a significant contribution to achieving net-zero emissions, says TechXplore.

A new perspectives paper sets out the key scientific challenges and knowledge gaps in large scale hydrogen storage in porous geological environments.

These underground hydrogen reservoirs could be used as energy storages to face high demand periods.

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Solar power complex in California [USA. Gov – BLM – Bureau of Land Management]


Welcome to the inglorious green revolution, where the lives of ageing gas power plants have to be extended and various other mini ‘solutions’, some relying on equipment owned by individual citizens, have to be adopted in a frantic effort to keep the lights on. Of course none of this was necessary before renewables were deemed to be the future of electricity supply, in the vain hope of altering the climate. What’s next if these measures are not enough?
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Sometime next summer, there’s a decent chance a heat wave will bake the American West, and California’s power grid will again be stretched to its limits, says TechXplore.

As the sun sets, solar panels will start generating less electricity even as temperatures remain high.

Power plants that burn natural gas will fire up as quickly as possible, in a race to keep air conditioners blowing and avert the need for rolling blackouts.

But the fossil fuel won’t be alone in riding to the rescue.

As power supplies tighten, lithium-ion batteries—some connected to sprawling solar farms in the desert and others tucked away in household garages—will dispense electricity produced during the afternoon sunlight.

A small but growing number of household batteries will be part of coordinated networks, discharging in unison as dictated by the needs of the grid.

Meanwhile, millions of people will cut back on electricity use in their homes, in some cases because state officials asked nicely and in others because they’re getting paid to conserve.

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All these battery systems can do is give power providers a brief window to figure out what they’re really going to do about the imminent blackout situation, due to the latest weather-related dip in renewable power generation.

PA Pundits - International

By David Wojick, Ph.D. ~

New York City will soon be home to the world’s biggest utility-scale battery system, designed to back up its growing reliance on intermittent renewables. At 400 MWh this batch of batteries will be more than triple the 129 MWh world leader in Australia.

The City of New Yorks director of sustainability (I am not making this title up), Mark Chambers, is ecstatic, bragging: Expanding battery storage is a critical part of how we advance momentum to confront the climate emergency while meeting the energy needs of all New Yorkers. Today’s announcement demonstrates how we can deliver this need at significant scale.” (Emphasis added)

In reality the scale here is incredibly insignificant.

In the same nonsensical way, Tim Cawley, the president of Con Edison, New York’s power utility, gushes thus: Utility scale battery storage will play a vital role in…

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Power lines in Victoria, Australia [credit: Wikipedia]


Come the next potential blackout situation, the battery could give Victorians up to an hour to find a way out of trouble. But making the wind blow harder or the sun shine more won’t be among their options, of course.
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Australia is poised to construct one of the world’s largest batteries, using Tesla’s technology for lithium-ion batteries, reports TechXplore.

The football-field sized battery will provide up to 300 megawatts of power output and 450 megawatts-hours of storage in a country that has been struggling to meet energy demands during skyrocketing power usage triggered by record-breaking temperatures.

Last year, Australia suffered its hottest and driest year ever, with temperatures topping 121 degrees Fahrenheit last December.

The battery, known as the Victorian Big Battery Megapack, will be located in the state of Victoria, Australia’s second most populous region.

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UK energy plant to use liquid air

Posted: November 7, 2020 by oldbrew in Energy, innovation
Tags: ,

Liquid air energy storage: Highview’s 5 MW pre-commercial demonstrator [credit: ModernPowerSystems]


Under the heading ‘Cool air technology for a cooler planet’, the firm behind the scheme says:
‘Our CRYOBattery can deliver anywhere from 20 MW/80 MWh to more than 200 MW/1.2 GWh of energy and can power up to 200,000 homes for a whole day. We do this at half the cost of lithium-ion batteries and release zero emissions in the process.’
The system is intended to run on surplus night-time output from wind farms, but as ever, converting electricity to some form of storage and then back to electricity again is adding yet more costs and complexity to the system.

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Work is beginning on what is thought to be the world’s first major plant to store energy in the form of liquid air, reports BBC News.

It will use surplus electricity from wind farms at night to compress air so hard that it becomes a liquid at -196 Celsius.

Then when there is a peak in demand in a day or a month, the liquid air will be warmed so it expands.

The resulting rush of air will drive a turbine to make electricity, which can be sold back to the grid.

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Some extraordinary claims are being made, or at least suggested, here. The idea of charging a battery in a few seconds, especially a lithium one, using microwaves (not the kitchen version) sounds a bit hairy to say the least.
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A team of researchers from the Polytechnic University of Valencia and the Spanish National Research Council (CSIC) has discovered a new method that makes it possible to transform electricity into hydrogen or chemical products solely using microwaves — without cables and without any type of contact with electrodes, reports TechXplore.

This represents a revolution in the field of energy research and a key development for the process of industrial decarbonisation, as well as for the future of the automotive sector and the chemical industry, among many others.

The study has been published in the latest edition of Nature Energy, where the discovery is explained.

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China has invested heavily in pumped storage in recent decades. But the worldwide difficulty is clear: ‘Outside China, the world’s largest pumped storage producer, year-on-year installed capacity growth has been just 1.5% since 2014.’ Developed countries have usually already taken advantage of many of their best locations for such projects, so rapidly increasing existing capacity is highly problematic for them. Once again we see the folly of aiming to rely heavily on intermittent and/or weather-dependent renewables for power generation. Brace for power outages.
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The International Hydropower Association (IHA) and the US Department of Energy (DOE) are leading the International Forum on Pumped Storage Hydropower this week, reports PEI.

The forum is a global, multi-stakeholder initiative of 11 governments and more than 60 organisations aimed at addressing the urgent need for clean and reliable energy storage.

Premiered on 3 November 2020, the week-long forum brings together the governments of the USA, Austria, Brazil, Estonia, Greece, India, Indonesia, Israel, Morocco, Norway and Switzerland, as well as international financial institutions, non-profit organisations and leading energy companies such as EDF, GE Renewable Energy, Voith and Hydro Tasmania.

Keynote speaker and former Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull urged governments and industry to move quickly to develop projects at the scale needed to support the rapid roll-out of variable renewables.

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It’s much cheaper to cut off your electricity supply for a while than it is to provide adequate backup from supposedly ‘green’ sources like batteries. Who knew?

STOP THESE THINGS

Cough up, or the kid gets it!

So-called smart meters are a very dumb response to intermittent wind and solar, even dumber energy sources. Wherever governments attempt to run on sunshine and breezes, the push to control and micromanage household power use, quickly follows.

Over the last few Australian summers, we’ve been treated to power rationing on a grand scale – which the Market Operator euphemistically tags “demand management”.

‘Demand management’ is not about supplying power consumers with what they need, it simply means shutting off power to industry, businesses and households – and even forcing hospitals to switch their lights and air conditioners off – among other indignities, whenever the sun sets and/or calm weather sets in. That’s what our ‘inevitable transition’ looks like at the macro level.

At the micro level, there’s the push to have smart meters installed in every home or business premise, in order that…

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Risky business [image credit: safetysource.co.nz]


It’s the climate propaganda that’s mounting, not the concern about it, judging by opinion polls that put climate change last as an issue. But recycling of lithium batteries is considered to be uneconomic and can be dangerous.
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As concern mounts over the impacts of climate change, many experts are calling for greater use of electricity as a substitute for fossil fuels, asserts The Conversation (via TechXplore).

Powered by advancements in battery technology, the number of plug-in hybrid and electric vehicles on U.S. roads is increasing.

And utilities are generating a growing share of their power from renewable fuels, supported by large-scale battery storage systems.

These trends, coupled with a growing volume of battery-powered phones, watches, laptops, wearable devices and other consumer technologies, leave us wondering: What will happen to all these batteries once they wear out?

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The plan is to use abandoned coal mining shafts globally as power storage plants, and/or drill their own shafts if necessary. Costs are estimated to be lower than other existing energy storage options (see report for details).
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Gravity has been the center of wonderment for physicists, mathematicians and thinkers of all kinds for centuries, says TechXplore.

In the early 1600s, astronomer Galileo dropped balls from the Tower of Pisa and declared that gravitational acceleration is the same for all objects.

Decades later, Isaac Newton expanded on those thoughts and devised his theory of gravity, that all particles attract all other particles with a force directly proportional to the square of the distance between their centers.

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As the report below points out: ‘until we see some output figures the claims are still hazy, and until we see some proof, they are of course just claims’.
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California company NDB says its nano-diamond batteries will absolutely upend the energy equation, acting like tiny nuclear generators, reports New Atlas.

They will blow any energy density comparison out of the water, lasting anywhere from a decade to 28,000 years without ever needing a charge.

They will offer higher power density than lithium-ion. They will be nigh-on indestructible and totally safe in an electric car crash.

And in some applications, like electric cars, they stand to be considerably cheaper than current lithium-ion packs despite their huge advantages.

The heart of each cell is a small piece of recycled nuclear waste.

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A self-induced shortage of reliable electricity generation is the real issue in California but its leaders can’t accept that, for mistaken ideological reasons supposedly related to the climate of the Earth. Instead they create their own problems due to unworkable energy policies, then discover they can’t solve them. Other leaders with similar ideas should take note and learn, but probably won’t, preferring to parrot ‘net zero’.

H/T The GWPF
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Problem is there aren’t enough of these massive batteries to go around right now, says Bloomberg Green.

As the threat of blackouts continues to plague California, officials are pointing to battery storage as a key to preventing future power shortfalls.

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Green dreamland


Only five ‘grand’ challenges? Better be quick — we keep hearing there’s supposed to be a climate emergency on. Yes, throw out existing successful energy solutions when there’s nothing of equivalence to replace them with. Then wonder what to do next, while muttering about climate change. Great plan! Or maybe not.
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Solar and wind power are an important part of solving the problem of climate change, but these renewable technologies on their own probably will never provide the energy for many industrial processes, like making steel, reports TechXplore.

Approximately 90 percent of the world’s energy use involves generation or manipulation of heat, including the cooling of buildings and food.

Maintaining modern economies and improving life in developing economies while mitigating climate change will require five major advances in how we convert, store and transmit thermal energy, according to a new paper in Nature Energy from Stanford University, Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory.

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BYD electric bus, London [image credit: China Daily]


What effect this could have on the life of the bus batteries remains to be seen, but it’s unlikely to be beneficial. The efficiency or otherwise of the power transfer process is also open to question.
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A north London bus garage is to become the world’s largest trial site for a new eco-friendly method of generating electricity, reports the Evening Standard.

Northumberland Park garage is to be transformed into a “virtual power station” – taking energy stored in the batteries of parked electric buses and feeding it back into the electricity network.

Putting energy back into the grid when demand is high and recharging buses when demand is low helps make the network more efficient by balancing the peaks and troughs.

The Government-funded Bus2Grid project will become operational in November and will run for three years.

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