Posts Tagged ‘energy storage’


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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Some expensive ways of trying to ‘solve’ a non-existent problem, namely reducing the amount (currently about 0.04%) of the vital trace gas CO2 in the atmosphere, which gets spuriously linked to pollution. These proposed so-called solutions usually turn out to be not sufficiently ‘mature’ or ‘advanced’ – yet – suggesting it’s only a matter of time, or is that wishful thinking?

P2X, P2Y, PtG, PtL, power-to-gas… These somewhat cryptic terms stand for energy conversion processes that can be used to store surplus power from renewable sources and help meet climate targets.

But whether they will actually reduce emissions depends on many  different factors, EURACTIV Germany reports.

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Swiss Alps near Davos


No doubt the Swiss have already taken the best sites for hydro-electricity for themselves. How many of the ones left would they be willing to drown, to benefit outsiders? This smacks of desperation as pumped hydro is usually only a short-term fix when peak loads need to be met. Several days of low wind for turbines can’t be compensated by using energy to pump water up mountainsides, and then letting it drop down again to create near-instant electricity.

Germany is interested in finding an agreement with neighbouring Switzerland on how the Alpine country could contribute to German and European power supply security, the German government says in an answer to a parliamentary inquiry.

Thanks to its mountainous terrain and ample potential for pumped-hydro storage, Switzerland could provide “flexibility options” for European power markets and help balance supply and demand during times “in which there’s no wind or sunshine”, reports Clean Energy Wire.

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Thermal battery


Various battery proposals sound promising, but few seem to survive the development stage and make it commercially. This outfit says it already has some sales, and plans to ‘build 100-megawatt-plus installations within a couple of years.’ Will it work out that way?

A South Australia-based startup says it’s built a thermal energy storage device with a lifetime of at least 20 years​ that can store six times more energy than lithium-ion batteries per volume, for 60-80 percent of the price, reports New Atlas.

South Australia has recently put the world’s biggest lithium battery into operation – but perhaps it should’ve waited.

Climate Change Technologies, also known as CCT Energy Storage, has launched its TED (Thermal Energy Device) with a set of remarkable claims.

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This looks like a ‘build it and they will come’ strategy. But the problems of EVs such as high cost, range anxiety and heavy depreciation mainly due to uncertain battery life, are not going away – as shown by the very low numbers of adopters compared to fuel-burners. Using EVs to help charge the grid, as proposed here, could adversely affect their battery life.

A consortium is preparing to start building solar-powered car parks across Scotland as part of a trial project for so-called Smart Hubs that will feature both EV charging points and battery storage, reports OilPrice.com.

The six trial sites will also include vehicle-to-grid facilities (V2G) so EVs can feed energy back into the grid when necessary.

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Virtual power plant concept


In a nutshell: when part-time renewables aren’t producing, something else – which has to be paid for and is likely to be expensive – must take over, because virtual electricity doesn’t work.

Norwegian energy group Statkraft has unveiled a virtual power plant in the UK which connects wind, solar and gas engines with battery storage and can respond to market demands in seconds, reports PEI.

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Lithium ion battery


As ever there’s a big gap to be bridged between lab tests and industrial-scale application, but tests seem promising.

The latest lithium-ion batteries on the market are likely to extend the charge-to-charge life of phones and electric cars by as much as 40 percent, says TechXplore.

This leap forward, which comes after more than a decade of incremental improvements, is happening because developers replaced the battery’s graphite anode with one made from silicon.

Research from Drexel University and Trinity College in Ireland now suggests that an even greater improvement could be in line if the silicon is fortified with a special type of material called MXene.

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Quite right, but not what climate-obsessed politicians and the ‘Greenblob’ crowd want to hear.

STOP THESE THINGS

Bill says it’s time to stop jerking around with wind & solar.

When the world’s richest entrepreneur says wind and solar will never work, it’s probably time to listen.

Bill Gates made a fortune applying common sense to the untapped market of home computing. The meme has it that IBM’s CEO believed there was only a market for five computers in the entire world. Gates thought otherwise. Building a better system than any of his rivals and shrewdly working the marketplace, resulted in hundreds of millions hooked on PCs, Windows and Office. This is a man that knows a thing or two about systems and a lot about what it takes to satisfy the market.

For almost a century, electricity generation and distribution were treated as a tightly integrated system: it was designed and built as one, and is meant to operate as designed. However, the chaotic delivery of wind…

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Image credit: energy-storage.news


No surprise there, but the points made deserve emphasis. No amount of ideology can defeat the realities of engineering and economics.

Engineer pours cold water on battery and hydrogen technologies – GWPF press release.
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A new briefing paper from the Global Warming Policy Foundation (GWPF) dismisses the idea that grid-scale electricity storage can help bring about a UK renewables revolution.

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Scottish offshore wind project [image credit : urbanrealm.com]


The very fact that these kinds of idea are being put forward is another admission that renewables are chronically intermittent and unreliable as electricity generators. We’re told ‘considerable investment’ would be needed but they ignore the fact that, for less cost and complexity, some reliable new gas power stations would be a far more practical plan.

By pumping compressed air into porous rocks deep under the sea floor, scientists think we could effectively store energy for months at a time, says Discover magazine.

With reports about climate change becoming increasingly dire, it’s increasingly important to find an eco-friendly way to not only generate energy, but also store it.

After all, wind turbines and solar power and the like don’t run steadily. So we can’t just stick that extra energy in a bottle to use when the wind dies down and the sun sets.

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


Well, partly battery-powered to be more exact. Government subsidies play a part in the economics of this, as the article shows. Battery purchase and installation costs are not stated, nor is the expected lifetime. Then there’s the insurance bill for a lot of fire-prone lithium in or next to a building.

The Gyle Premier Inn in Edinburgh is trialling a new 100kW lithium-ion battery supplied and installed by E.ON at its 200-room site in a bid to improve energy efficiency, secure power supply and enable onsite energy cost savings.

The battery is 3m3 in size and weighs approximately five tonnes, reports PEI.

It can run the hotel – including powering meals cooked at its restaurant – for up to three hours.

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This may or may not have its uses, but any idea that the whole world could get electricity mainly from the sun and the wind is not credible, with today’s technology at least.

MIT engineers have come up with a conceptual design for a system to store renewable energy, such as solar and wind power, and deliver that energy back into an electric grid on demand, says TechExplore.

The system may be designed to power a small city not just when the sun is up or the wind is high, but around the clock.

The new design stores heat generated by excess electricity from solar or wind power in large tanks of white-hot molten silicon, and then converts the light from the glowing metal back into electricity when it’s needed.

The researchers estimate that such a system would be vastly more affordable than lithium-ion batteries, which have been proposed as a viable, though expensive, method to store renewable energy. They also estimate that the system would cost about half as much as pumped hydroelectric storage—the cheapest form of grid-scale energy storage to date.

“Even if we wanted to run the grid on renewables right now we couldn’t, because you’d need fossil-fueled turbines to make up for the fact that the renewable supply cannot be dispatched on demand,” says Asegun Henry, the Robert N. Noyce Career Development Associate Professor in the Department of Mechanical Engineering. “We’re developing a new technology that, if successful, would solve this most important and critical problem in energy and climate change, namely, the storage problem.”

Henry and his colleagues have published their design today in the journal Energy and Environmental Science.

Record temps

The new storage system stems from a project in which the researchers looked for ways to increase the efficiency of a form of renewable energy known as concentrated solar power.

Unlike conventional solar plants that use solar panels to convert light directly into electricity, concentrated solar power requires vast fields of huge mirrors that concentrate sunlight onto a central tower, where the light is converted into heat that is eventually turned into electricity.

“The reason that technology is interesting is, once you do this process of focusing the light to get heat, you can store heat much more cheaply than you can store electricity,” Henry notes.

Concentrated solar plants store solar heat in large tanks filled with molten salt, which is heated to high temperatures of about 1,000 degrees Fahrenheit. When electricity is needed, the hot salt is pumped through a heat exchanger, which transfers the salt’s heat into steam. A turbine then turns that steam into electricity.

“This technology has been around for a while, but the thinking has been that its cost will never get low enough to compete with natural gas,” Henry says. “So there was a push to operate at much higher temperatures, so you could use a more efficient heat engine and get the cost down.”

However, if operators were to heat the salt much beyond current temperatures, the salt would corrode the stainless steel tanks in which it’s stored. So Henry’s team looked for a medium other than salt that might store heat at much higher temperatures.

They initially proposed a liquid metal and eventually settled on silicon—the most abundant metal on Earth, which can withstand incredibly high temperatures of over 4,000 degrees Fahrenheit.

Last year, the team developed a pump that could withstand such blistering heat, and could conceivably pump liquid silicon through a renewable storage system. The pump has the highest heat tolerance on record—a feat that is noted in “The Guiness Book of World Records.”

Since that development, the team has been designing an energy storage system that could incorporate such a high-temperature pump.

Continued here.

Research article: Secular decrease of wind power potential in India associated with warming in the Indian Ocean

Industrial Runcorn [image credit: Ineos]


We’re told Project Centurion ‘will be the largest water to hydrogen electrolyzer system in the world’. But as a percentage of the volume, how much hydrogen could safely be injected into the existing gas supply, and would it be worth the bother? This looks like the press release.

ITM Power announced funding from Innovate UK for a feasibility study to deploy a 100MW Power-to-Gas (P2G) energy storage project, “Project Centurion” at Runcorn, Cheshire, UK, reports Green Car Congress.

This project explores the electrolytic production, pipeline transmission, salt cavern storage and gas grid injection of green hydrogen at an industrial scale.

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Apart from a major question of practicality, where’s the money supposed to come from for these ideologically driven policies?

Some citizens are already resisting…
California Climate Policies Facing Revolt from Civil-Rights Groups

STOP THESE THINGS

Renewable energy zealots talk about the ‘transition’ to an all wind and sun powered future being ‘inevitable’. Except that the only thing inevitable about running on sunshine and breezes, is grid chaos and rocketing power prices. Ask a South Australian.

It is also what that crazy German Corporal with the funny moustache called a “big lie”: so helpful to the tyrant because the broad masses of a nation are always more easily corrupted and more readily fall victim to a colossal untruth, than the small lie.

The idea that a country can run itself entirely on wind and solar power is, of course, patent nonsense.

But, there are plenty profiting from that ideologically driven fiction, who have worked out that if you ramp up the claims to the height of ridiculousness, there are plenty of idiots ready to believe you.

California has done just that.

California cannot run on…

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Typical electric car set-up


As the worldwide ideological push to establish electric vehicles continues, all is not well in the world of lithium extraction and usage.

As the world scrambles to replace fossil fuels with clean energy, the environmental impact of finding all the lithium required could become a major issue in its own right, says Wired UK.

Here’s a thoroughly modern riddle: what links the battery in your smartphone with a dead yak floating down a Tibetan river?

The answer is lithium – the reactive alkali metal that powers our phones, tablets, laptops and electric cars.

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New York’s other Battery: Battery Park in Manhattan (image credit: Gryffindor @ Wikipedia)


New York expects to change its future weather by installing lots of expensive mega-batteries, according to the Governor. But is fear of a harmless trace gas essential to life more like superstition than science?

The state has set a target to install 1.5GW of batteries by 2025, reports Energy Live News.

New York Governor Andrew M. Cuomo has announced an ‘Energy Storage Roadmap’ to guide the state toward its energy storage target of 1.5GW by 2025.

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Image credit: Highview Power


Is this just another way of making renewable energy even more expensive, or what? The claim is that this “is a great step forward in the creation of a truly decentralized energy system in the UK allowing end-users to balance the national electricity network at times of peak demand”. Cranking up the boilers at the power station is going out of fashion along with the power stations themselves, but the price is high due to subsidies, and security of electricity supply is uncertain.

The world’s first grid-scale liquid air energy storage plant officially launched today, reports PEI.

The 5MW/15MWh plant near Manchester in England will become the first operational demonstration of liquid air energy storage (LAES) technology at grid-scale.

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