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*****5 STAR Article by Irina Slav - "The Ugly Truth About Renewable Power"

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(edited)

 

2 hours ago, footeab@yahoo.com said:

What is worse is said Batteries capacity should never be used over ~15%->30% of total.  SO, if you supposedly "have" 1GWh, in reality you only have 150MWh->300MWh and then throw in inverter inefficiencies and this drops it to ~130MWh-->~270MWh.

Do you have any evidence to back up your claim that the output is measured on the DC side instead of the AC output? Because I am quite certain you don't. The output numbers are given by the utilities and all they care about is what they see on the AC output.

This is what a small LFP vendor says:

LFP batteries can also last a very long time. Our Battle Born LFP batteries are rated at 3000 cycles, at a full 100% charge/discharge cycle. If you did that every day it makes for over 8 years of cycling! They last even longer when used in less-than-100% cycles, in fact for simplicity you can use a linear relationship: 50% discharge cycles means twice the cycles, 33% discharge cycles and you can reasonably expect three times the cycles.

A grid battery won't need to do a full discharge every day but it certainly can and will if there is a shortage as the price of electricity that day will far exceed the small hit to longevity. The purpose of a grid battery is to make money, if it isn't discharging it isn't making money. The goal is to profit maximize, not maximize the life of the battery, . Don't forget that batteries are rapidly decreasing in cost so replacement in 10 or 15 years is going to cost far less than today's acquisition cost. The profit maximizing behavior is to discharge as much as possible every day according to the price of electricity. Maybe even 100% every day if electricity prices have enough difference between daily low and  high.

Furthermore it is a contractual issue in many cases where the battery must provide a certain level of output. If that requires replacing some cells for degradation it is no different than needing to repair a natural gas plant that has been running at full load.

 

Edited by Jay McKinsey

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1 hour ago, footeab@yahoo.com said:

What is worse is said Batteries capacity should never be used over ~15%->30% of total.  SO, if you supposedly "have" 1GWh, in reality you only have 150MWh->300MWh and then throw in inverter inefficiencies and this drops it to ~130MWh-->~270MWh.

I don't believe deep charge/discharge restrictions apply to flow batteries (not that they have become very "popular" yet). 

Deep discharge/charge in lithium ion chemistries does impact life.  If only performed a handful of times/year, I don't bevel that is a serious economic consideration .   Doing that once/twice a day WILL impact "the money".

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(edited)

Approval granted for $550m Crimson Solar Project in California

The project features a 490MWP solar photovoltaic facility with a 350MWAC/1400MWhAC energy storage system. (Yes the project owner is reporting the output as AC)  Their schedule is to have the whole project completed in one year!

I suspect the plan is to full cycle this battery almost every day. Why sell your peak production when prices are at their lowest when you can capture all of it and sell it in the evening when prices are highest.

https://www.nsenergybusiness.com/?p=291977

Edited by Jay McKinsey
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17 hours ago, Jay McKinsey said:

You are correct, It isn't a test phase, it is an operating phase. It isn't possible to learn everything you need to know just by testing either. Many of the problems are found and solved by the industrial ecosystem. Can't create that ecosystem without going into full production.

The problems incurred at scale can not easily be discovered through just a little testing.

I don't think I agree. We know on average what each individual unit produces in terms of power, and we know its cost. We can calculate, in ideal situations, what these things should earn each year. These simple estimates are enough to make conclusions about feasibility. 

Why do I think that is? You might ask. Most of the time we need to have an operating phase (like we're discussing) to determine feasibility. There's just one problem. Operating phases are for things that look good on paper, but need proving in real environments.

My opinion is that these renewables systems don't look on paper, before we even factor reality in. 

 If a system fails to look good on paper (which is the most ideal representation of any project or idea, since a paper model is exempt from many factors of reality) what's the point in testing it with variables that will clearly make it less feasible than before. I'm talking about serious flaws in the blueprint, before we even build these. Operating phase should come after a 10% return on capital assumed on paper. Right now the paper estimates are around 5 or 6%. 

How's the 15% solar capacity factor working my state? Horrendously. I don't need to install 10,000 MW of  modern solar panels in Minnesota to know whether or not it will work. The simple returns on capital, assuming 100% sale of power and regular weather patterns, aren't good enough. If we can't make this work when situations are the most ideal, then it definitely won't work when situations are non ideal

Now, I will grant that there are certainly areas where the line is getting blurred. My family also has residency in South Dakota. What's the CF for wind power here? Around 40%. That's pretty damned good. I'd only really prefer lower cost per turbine at this point, because wind almost works in this state. 

 

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On 5/3/2021 at 7:25 PM, turbguy said:

I don't believe deep charge/discharge restrictions apply to flow batteries (not that they have become very "popular" yet). 

Deep discharge/charge in lithium ion chemistries does impact life.  If only performed a handful of times/year, I don't bevel that is a serious economic consideration .   Doing that once/twice a day WILL impact "the money".

Flow batteries(from those I have read about) can indeed be deep cycled, but are also inefficient.  ~75% and why AMBRI's batteries aren't exactly flying off the shelf.  Throw in an AC-->DC-->AC connection and 50% is realistic.  If solar do not have the AC-->DC connection, but for windpower you do.  I do not believe anyone has made an efficient DC multimegawatt motor yet and it is still more efficient to go to AC motor and convert. 

Neither battery type is good for long term energy storage... IE when solar/wind are down for a week to a month during a winter high. 

There is no scenario that allows batteries to be good for anything outside ~2 days or maybe 3 days of energy storage.  Not even super rich yacht boys can do this in the tropics where they have no need to worry about HVAC. 

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(edited)

11 hours ago, footeab@yahoo.com said:

Flow batteries(from those I have read about) can indeed be deep cycled, but are also inefficient.  ~75% and why AMBRI's batteries aren't exactly flying off the shelf.  Throw in an AC-->DC-->AC connection and 50% is realistic.  If solar do not have the AC-->DC connection, but for windpower you do.  I do not believe anyone has made an efficient DC multimegawatt motor yet and it is still more efficient to go to AC motor and convert. 

Neither battery type is good for long term energy storage... IE when solar/wind are down for a week to a month during a winter high. 

There is no scenario that allows batteries to be good for anything outside ~2 days or maybe 3 days of energy storage.  Not even super rich yacht boys can do this in the tropics where they have no need to worry about HVAC. 

I agree that battery storage (heck, ANY storage) has limits,  Eventually, they must be recharged.

A coal-fired plant's bunkers evenually have to be refilled.

"Long term" events that impact the grid are rare.  Storage is meant for short term, even daily, events.

Deeper penetration of demand management will assist as well.

There are a few very large DC motors (over 100 MW input).  Typically, they are brushless (commutation is done electronically) and are variable speed.  I don't know their efficiencies.  Using such motors typically requires calling the local utility company for permission before you attempt to start it.

BTW, DC Transmission has a LOT of advantages over AC transmission.

Edited by turbguy

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(edited)

9 hours ago, turbguy said:

BTW, DC Transmission has a LOT of advantages over AC transmission.

 

Uh no, only at long ranges and underground.

Edited by footeab@yahoo.com

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(edited)

On 5/4/2021 at 10:36 AM, KeyboardWarrior said:

I don't think I agree. We know on average what each individual unit produces in terms of power, and we know its cost. We can calculate, in ideal situations, what these things should earn each year. These simple estimates are enough to make conclusions about feasibility. 

Why do I think that is? You might ask. Most of the time we need to have an operating phase (like we're discussing) to determine feasibility. There's just one problem. Operating phases are for things that look good on paper, but need proving in real environments.

My opinion is that these renewables systems don't look on paper, before we even factor reality in. 

 If a system fails to look good on paper (which is the most ideal representation of any project or idea, since a paper model is exempt from many factors of reality) what's the point in testing it with variables that will clearly make it less feasible than before. I'm talking about serious flaws in the blueprint, before we even build these. Operating phase should come after a 10% return on capital assumed on paper. Right now the paper estimates are around 5 or 6%. 

How's the 15% solar capacity factor working my state? Horrendously. I don't need to install 10,000 MW of  modern solar panels in Minnesota to know whether or not it will work. The simple returns on capital, assuming 100% sale of power and regular weather patterns, aren't good enough. If we can't make this work when situations are the most ideal, then it definitely won't work when situations are non ideal

Now, I will grant that there are certainly areas where the line is getting blurred. My family also has residency in South Dakota. What's the CF for wind power here? Around 40%. That's pretty damned good. I'd only really prefer lower cost per turbine at this point, because wind almost works in this state. 

 

I think the fundamental problem is that without storage it is not possible to get a higher return. We could spend many billions in direct gov;t grants developing a design, developing new materials, processes, etc (don't kid yourself on how expensive it is to do all that without cash flow driving an ecosystem) that could on paper generate 10% return.  But just building a few of them would be extremely expensive in capital costs. and be pointless. The only way to get those capital costs down is to scale (which is what has been happening in the current model) but as soon as you scale you drive down the potential return because now you have a lot of turbines all producing electricity at the same time in a region. The more they produce the lower the price they can sell their electricity at because they are all producing at the same time.

I think we will find that the current designs will increase ROI dramatically as batteries come online.

Edited by Jay McKinsey

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I agree with you to a point. The huge hump summer daily peak in say Texas can be turned into duck curve like California. Batteries can take care of daily demand peaks with 6-8 hours of battery. But once you get into 6 day storms nat gas is still the cheapest tech. And that’s paying them enough to sit around and do nothing. 
As other tech becomes cheaper it can peck away at resilience backup but there is no easy answer yet.

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(edited)

4 hours ago, footeab@yahoo.com said:

Uh no, only at long ranges and underground.

Two conductors over three.

No skin effect (smaller conductors to carry the same current).

No line reactance to support.  Ever charge a dead AC transmission line?

No phase synchronism to deal with (although VF Transformers can handle that between AC grids).

AC has it's place, since Edison (et al) could not generate high voltages sufficient for distant ( about a mile) transmission without "buss bar" for conductors.

Look around your house.  How much "stuff" actually operates on DC?  

DC can now be transformed with power electronics, rather than coils, cores, and oil.

But, Tesla and Westinghouse got to High Voltage first, so we built around that advantage, and have that as our legacy.

The "War of the Currents" has restarted.

Edited by turbguy

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3 hours ago, turbguy said:

Two conductors over three.  YES

No skin effect (smaller conductors to carry the same current). Partially true, but not really, other than in a perfect lab where current never changes

No line reactance to support.  Ever charge a dead AC transmission line?  Nope and its not a big deal.

No phase synchronism to deal with (although VF Transformers can handle that between AC grids).  True, but you instead have current balance problems and I have no clue how to do that on a grid scale, not enough knowledge. 

AC has it's place, since Edison (et al) could not generate high voltages sufficient for distant ( about a mile) transmission without "buss bar" for conductors.

Look around your house.  How much "stuff" actually operates on DC?  Nothing much other than piddly stuff, but most of the common appliances/kitchen/household stuff could be changed to DC no problem

DC can now be transformed with power electronics, rather than coils, cores, and oil. True, and they are EXPENSIVE if you want power.  Small stuff?  Dirt cheap, but power?  Uh, ouch my pocket book is wincing already.  Might be solved by mass conversion of everything, but... yea not going to happen as all the motors will be MUCH more expensive and MUCH larger.  Unless of course Permanent magnets become dirt cheap. 

But, Tesla and Westinghouse got to High Voltage first, so we built around that advantage, and have that as our legacy.

The "War of the Currents" has restarted.

 

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On 5/3/2021 at 5:53 PM, Jay McKinsey said:

Well you have to start at the beginning. How do they get better without building, testing, operating, improving? It is not at all feasible to properly understand and develop all of what is needed in a lab.

Hey, we are beginning to explore Mars...would you like to bet on Mars colonies in another twenty years?  I'll bet against that....

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(edited)

3 hours ago, Ecocharger said:

Hey, we are beginning to explore Mars...would you like to bet on Mars colonies in another twenty years?  I'll bet against that....

What does that have to do with anything?

 

Edited by Jay McKinsey

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23 hours ago, turbguy said:

Two conductors over three.

No skin effect (smaller conductors to carry the same current).

No line reactance to support.  Ever charge a dead AC transmission line?

No phase synchronism to deal with (although VF Transformers can handle that between AC grids).

AC has it's place, since Edison (et al) could not generate high voltages sufficient for distant ( about a mile) transmission without "buss bar" for conductors.

Look around your house.  How much "stuff" actually operates on DC?  

DC can now be transformed with power electronics, rather than coils, cores, and oil.

But, Tesla and Westinghouse got to High Voltage first, so we built around that advantage, and have that as our legacy.

The "War of the Currents" has restarted.

I think it's interesting to see China's grid overlaid in top of the US since they are roughly geographically similar sizes.

The black lines are HVDC.

1475565225_ScreenShot2021-05-06at11_46_54PM.thumb.png.e253b8824c855718d8d1b0baaf136872.png

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The Ugly Truth About Renewable Power

By Irina Slav - Apr 26, 2021, 12:00 PM CDT

e32c0481fd5347b2402e1155623ab61c.jpg

https://oilprice.com/Alternative-Energy/Renewable-Energy/The-Ugly-Truth-About-Renewable-Power.html

When Texas literally froze this February, some blamed the blackouts that left millions of Texans in the dark on the wind turbines. Others blamed them on the gas-fired power plants.

The truth isn't so politically simple. In truth, both wind turbines and gas plants froze because of the abnormal weather.

And when Warren Buffet's Berkshire Hathaway said it had plans for additional generation capacity in Texas, it wasn't talking about wind turbines. It was talking about more gas-fired power plants—ten more gigawatts of them.

While the Texas Freeze hogged headlines in the United States, across the Atlantic, the only European country producing any electricity from solar farms was teeny tiny Slovenia. And that's not because Europe doesn't have any solar capacity—on the contrary, it has a substantial amount. But Europe had a brutal winter with lots of snow and clouds. Despite the often-referenced fact that solar panels operate better in cooler weather, sub-zero temperatures are far more drastic than cool. This is not even to mention the cloud cover that, based on the Electricity Map data above, did not help.

If we go back a few more months, there were the California rolling blackouts of August that state officials and others insisted had nothing to do with the state's substantial reliance on solar and wind power. The state's own utilities commission disagrees.

This is what the California Public Utilities Commission and the state's grid operator, CAISO, said in a joint letter to Governor Newsom following the blackouts:

"On August 15, the CAISO experienced similar [to August 14] supply conditions, as well as significant swings in wind resource output when evening demand was increasing. Wind resources first quickly increased output during the 4:00 pm hour (approximately 1,000 MW), then decreased rapidly the next hour. These factors, combined with another unexpected loss of generating resources, led to a sudden need to shed load to maintain system reliability."

Further in the letter, CPUC and CAISO also had this to say:

"Another factor that appears to have contributed to resource shortages is California's heavy reliance on import resources to meet increasing energy needs in the late afternoon and evening hours during summer. Some of these import resources bid into the CAISO energy markets but are not secured by long-term contracts. This poses a risk if import resources become unavailable when there are West-wide shortages due to an extreme heat event, such as the one we are currently experiencing."

These lengthy quotes basically say one thing—and it is a well-known thing: wind and solar power generation are intermittent, and this intermittency is a problem. This problem continues to be neglected in the mainstream renewable energy narrative with only occasional talk about storage capacity. The reason? Battery storage is quite expensive and will increase the cost of solar and wind generation. Hence the blackout risk as renewable power capacity continues to rise.

"People wonder how we made it through the heat wave of 2006," said CAISO's chief executive Stephen Berberich last August. "The answer is that there was a lot more generating capacity in 2006 than in 2020.... We had San Onofre [nuclear plant] of 2,200 MW, and a number of other plants, totalling thousands of MW not there today."

In a recent article for Forbes, environmentalist Michael Shellenberger cited both the Texas Freeze and the California August 2020 outages as examples of why there should be less solar and wind capacity added to the grid, not more: because the more renewable capacity there is, the higher the risk of blackouts.

Solar and wind are weather-dependent sources of electricity and, as the events in Texas and California show, they are unreliable, Shellenberger, who is the founder and president of Environmental Progress, a research nonprofit, wrote. He also pointed to Germany, where an audit of the country's energy transition plans showed that some of the projections were overly optimistic, while others were outright implausible.

People in Germany, like people in California and New York, by the way, are paying more for electricity than people in places that are less dependent on renewable energy. While some may be perfectly fine with paying more for cleaner electricity, not everyone can afford it over the long term. And affordable energy is crucial for civilization, Shellenberger notes.

Affordability is one essential requirement for energy if it is to contribute to the improvement of living standards, even if we take economic growth out of the equation since it appears to be very passé these days amid the fight against climate change. Yet affordable energy is one of the driving forces of equality among different communities across the world. And so is reliable energy.

Affordability and reliability, then, are the two things good energy sources need to be. Solar and wind—unlike hydropower, which is also a renewable source—can only be one of these two things, and that's if there is no storage included. They can be affordable, as we are often reminded. Yet, sadly, they cannot be reliable.

This means that the more billions are poured into boosting renewable capacity, the greater the risk of further blackouts. Perhaps at some point, if wind and solar become the main sources of electricity, authorities will need to institute planned outages.

The author of this article grew up in the 1980s in Bulgaria—a time when the country's socialist government exported so much electricity for hard currency payments that blackouts were a part of life. It wasn't a particularly convenient life, but millions of people lived that way in both Bulgaria and Romania. It’s worth mentioning, though, that back in the 1980s, people were not constantly online. Our energy consumption has soared since then.

To be fair, the limited availability of electricity would have an incredibly positive effect on greenhouse gas emissions. That is, if the limitation comes from the limited amount of energy generated rather than from excessive exports. In the end, from an environmental perspective, an overwhelming reliance on wind and solar, and the planned blackouts that are quite likely to result from this reliance, would go a long way towards the Paris Agreement targets. Of course, it would cost people certain inconvenience and loss of economic—and scientific, and medical—activity. But if priority number one is fighting climate change, then the end must surely justify the means.

By Irina Slav for Oilprice.com

 

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21 hours ago, Jay McKinsey said:

What does that have to do with anything?

 

It should be obvious.

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Here is how it happened....

"Officials at ERCOT said that the grid operator was unaware that the program to save power actually ended up cutting off some of the much-needed natural gas supply at the time by shutting down critical natural gas infrastructure."

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