Posts Tagged ‘energy storage’

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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Electric storage heating has been around for decades, but this is a bit different, storing power rather than heat. After a predicted 10,000 recharge cycles performance may degrade. The researchers say: ‘Our supercapacitor technology adds value to a “dirt-cheap” construction material and demonstrates a scalable process affording energy storage for powering embedded microdevices in architectural applications that utilize fired brick.’
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Helping turn ordinary bricks into energy-storing ones is PEDOT — poly polystyrene sulfonate — a polymer that stores and conducts electricity, says MEA WorldWide.

The walls of your home are capable of storing electricity, like batteries. It would need two materials: the humble red bricks and plastic, according to scientists who turned ordinary bricks into “smart” ones in their new study.

It opens up the possibility of plugging gadgets directly into American homes.

In fact, bricks are known for absorbing and storing the sun’s heat. And because buildings can take up large amounts of space, researchers from Washington University in St Louis wondered if it can also store electricity. So they began testing the feasibility of the idea.

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German hydrogen train [image credit: Euractiv]


Here comes more climate propaganda, but it gives some details of how the hydrogen might be produced if the proposals ever take off. The thorny subject of cost is not mentioned, which is usually a sign that it’s going to be way up high compared to today’s standard fuels. Using electricity to make electricity, with hydrogen in the middle, sounds clunky to say the least but climate obsessives wave away such niggles.
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Eco-friendly hydrogen is regarded as a “silver bullet” [Talkshop comment: or maybe not] when it comes to fighting climate change, asserts Deutschland.de.

With its hydrogen strategy, Germany is now promoting its production.

Hydrogen is regarded as a kind of miracle substance. In an engine or fuel cell, it burns when oxygen is added and becomes pure water.

It can be transported in pipelines or in liquefied form on tankers. Easily storable, it can replace fossil fuels in virtually every situation: in lorries, cars and trains, and in the production of steel, cement and chemicals.

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Image credit: MIT


Who wants to buy a secondhand EV after reading this? Maybe sellers should have to get a test certificate stating how much life there is left in the battery.
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Modeling study shows battery reuse systems could be profitable for both electric vehicle companies and grid-scale solar operations. — Technology.org reporting.

As electric vehicles rapidly grow in popularity worldwide [Talkshop comment – do they?], there will soon be a wave of used batteries whose performance is no longer sufficient for vehicles that need reliable acceleration and range.

But a new study shows that these batteries could still have a useful and profitable second life as backup storage for grid-scale solar photovoltaic installations, where they could perform for more than a decade in this less demanding role.

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Coal mine shaft and winding tower [image credit: Andy Dingley @ Wikipedia]


Like pumped hydro or any gravity-based system it uses more power than it stores. Euan Mearns and Roger Andrews did an interesting analysis on this idea in 2018, comparing it to batteries and hydro. One issue is finding enough suitable disused mine shafts that aren’t flooded. At least heavy weights don’t degrade over time, unlike batteries.
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The pilot project aims to demonstrate the firm’s technology, which works by using excess electricity to lift 12,000 tonnes of weights in a deep shaft and releasing them at a later time to generate energy, says Energy Live News.

The trial aims to assess the response speed of energy generation once the weights are released.

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Hydrogen-powered bus


Interesting, but as ever, cost and practicality questions have to be considered. Hydrogen has to be produced in an industrial process before it can be stored in large volumes. On the other hand, we’re told fuel cells could operate at ‘much safer pressures’ with this method.
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A research team led by Northwestern University has designed and synthesized new materials with ultrahigh porosity and surface area for the storage of hydrogen and methane for fuel cell-powered vehicles, reports Phys.org.

These gases are attractive clean energy alternatives to carbon dioxide-producing fossil fuels.

The designer materials, a type of a metal-organic framework (MOF), can store significantly more hydrogen and methane than conventional adsorbent materials at much safer pressures and at much lower costs.

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More pie in the sky from the green lobby. No sign here of how the hydrogen would be produced in sufficient quantities to replace all the world’s fuels. A bunch of wind turbines and solar installations would barely begin to do it, given they’re already fully occupied with ever-increasing electricity demand. If ‘infrastructure investment in storage might cost around $637 billion by 2050’, who would be willing to pay such eye-watering sums?
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Carbon-free hydrogen production could significantly lower greenhouse gas emissions in power generation and manufacturing, but it will require a mammoth and long-term financial commitment to become cost competitive, says Power Engineering.

This is according to a new report by BloombergNEF. The research wing of media giant Bloomberg is focused on next-generation energy technologies which also reduce carbon emissions.

Hydrogen can be a zero-carbon substitute for fossil fuels. Companies such as Mitsubishi Hitachi Power Systems (MHPS), GE, Siemens and Ansaldo Energia already are working on programs to blend hydrogen into their turbine fuel mixes.

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It turns out that a method based on reacting to internal resistance during fast recharges should be less damaging to the battery. However, this suggests not-so-fast mid-journey recharge times.
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Commercial fast-charging stations subject electric car batteries to high temperatures and high resistance that can cause them to crack, leak, and lose their storage capacity, according to researchers at the University of California, Riverside (UCR) in a new open-access study published in the journal Energy Storage.

To remedy this, the researchers have developed a method for charging at lower temperatures with less risk of catastrophic damage and loss of storage capacity, reports Green Car Congress.

In order to make EVs more competitive with combustion engine vehicles, development of an effective fast charging technique is inevitable. However, improper employment of fast charging can damage the battery and bring safety hazards. Herein, industry based along with our proposed internal resistance (IR) based fast charging techniques were performed on commercial Panasonic NCR 18650B cylindrical batteries. To further investigate the fast charging impact and electrode degradation mechanisms, electrochemical analysis and material characterization techniques including EIS (electrochemical impedance spectroscopy), GITT (galvanostatic intermittent titration technique), SEM (scanning electron microscopy), and XRD (X-ray diffraction) were implemented.

—Sebastian et al.

Mihri Ozkan, a professor of electrical and computer engineering and Cengiz Ozkan, a professor of mechanical engineering in the Marlan and Rosemary Bourns College of Engineering, led a group that charged one set of discharged Panasonic NCR 18650B cylindrical lithium-ion batteries, found in Tesla cars, using the same industry fast-charging method as fast chargers found along freeways.

They also charged a set using a new fast-charging algorithm based on the battery’s internal resistance, which interferes with the flow of electrons. The internal resistance of a battery fluctuates according to temperature, charge state, battery age, and other factors. High internal resistance can cause problems during charging.

The UC Riverside Battery Team charging method is an adaptive system that learns from the battery by checking the battery’s internal resistance during charging. It rests when internal resistance kicks in to eliminate loss of charge capacity.

For the first 13 charging cycles, the battery storage capacities for both charging techniques remained similar. After that, however, the industry fast-charging technique caused capacity to fade much faster—after 40 charging cycles the batteries kept only 60% of their storage capacity.

Batteries charged using the internal resistance charging method retained more than 80% capacity after the 40th cycle.

Full report here.

Solar power complex in California [USA.Gov – BLM – BUREAU OF LAND MANAGEMENT]


This public statement looks long on ambition but short on realistic and/or affordable possibilities. They openly admit that existing ‘green’ tech won’t cut the mustard on its own, as everyone knew – or should have known – all along. In other words their legislated targets can’t be met, as things stand. The same problems will exist everywhere else that tries to enforce similar energy policies in pursuit of a ‘carbon-free’ mirage.

The California Energy Commission (CEC) has released a solicitation (GFO-19-305) to fund innovative, non-Li-ion energy storage research projects, including green electrolytic hydrogen systems, reports Green Car Congress.

The Commission notes that the state’s statutory requirements (SB-350, SB-100) for low-GHG electricity cannot be met with currently fielded technologies alone, because those technologies do not have the energy density, daily cycle capability, longevity, safety, and price to be viable for the diverse set of applications that will be needed in the State.

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CRYOBattery plant (model) [credit: Highview Power]


The fact that this kind of thing gets touted at all says a lot about the state of electricity generation in today’s trace-gas-fearing climate obsessed world. They talk of a ‘carbon free future’, but ignore the reality that world demand for oil, coal and gas is rising year on year as prosperity spreads around the globe and populations continue to increase.

It sounds like magic but it is real – a plan to store cheap night-time wind energy in the form of liquid air, reports BBC News.

Here is how: you use the off-peak electricity to compress and cool air in a tank, so it becomes a freezing liquid.

When demand peaks, you warm the liquid back into a gas, and as that expands it drives a turbine to create more electricity.

The technology, created by a backyard inventor, is about to hit the big time.

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