Posts Tagged ‘energy storage’


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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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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