Storage will in time change the landscape for electricity

4 minutes ago, John Foote said:

Flywheel storage has been around for some time. The usage I know if was for almost instant on-demand electrical storage for applications that can't risk electrical power interruption, like a hospital operating room. The flywheel just sits there, spinning at 100,000 rpm, and this wasn't a tiny thing, actually relatively large operating in a sub-atmospheric environment to reduce drag. If power is interrupted, it kicks in extremely quickly, but the power provided is short term, just waiting for the diesel to kick in.  The darn thing I saw was quite efficient, but expensive. 

Good to hear it!  I designed one for a transit bus in Montreal, stored enough energy to travel three miles fully loaded  (jammed with standees).  It would recharge  (spin up) when loading and unloading, via a slider mounted on the roof against a short length of contactor material.  I never did anything with the project.  It is difficult to budge bureaucrats off their existing ways of doing things. They remain comfortable with existing technology, so the advent of anything new is upsetting.  Just the nature of most folks, I note. 

I personally like flywheels as they use no chemicals and can be built easily enough using mature technologies. Where you don't have combustion you tend not to have fire risk.  Always a helpful feature. 

If you build flywheel storage units on a production line the costs would come down dramatically.  One of those classic chicken-and-egg things.  Cheers,

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On 12/27/2018 at 9:43 AM, Jan van Eck said:

I personally like flywheels as they use no chemicals and can be built easily enough using mature technologies. Where you don't have combustion you tend not to have fire risk.  Always a helpful feature. 

If you build flywheel storage units on a production line the costs would come down dramatically. 

When you start operating in a sub-atmospheric condition, the drag in a flywheel becomes pretty close to negligible, and you can utilize magnetically coupled drives to reduce the energy to maintain vacuum, and physical drag a shaft to a generator/alternator creates. The mechanical tolerances and balance required for a heavy and fast flywheel are pretty silly. My thought at the time was lose a bit of efficiency, but dramatically drop the price and greatly increase the potential market. No one seemed to care. Just an exotic solution for a specialized requirement.

I suspect your design would thrive on a total cost basis, but typically acquisition costs punish these sorts of initiatives. Different pots of money for operating than for capital acquisitions. This is a private sector issue to, not just governments. 

Flow batteries don't have the "I'm a fire bomb in disguise" that lithium batteries do. Personally I am a fan of green energy, but forget the cost, I wouldn't put a Tesla battery back in my house. And flow batteries of an economic size are too big for individual houses. 

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(edited)

4 hours ago, John Foote said:

 

Flow batteries don't have the "I'm a fire bomb in disguise" that lithium batteries do. Personally I am a fan of green energy, but forget the cost, I wouldn't put a Tesla battery back in my house. And flow batteries of an economic size are too big for individual houses. 

And now you know why I plan to build and sell small packaged diesel generator sets for the rural folks.  Lots of small used diesels out there with low time, available cheap enough, and for the number of hours you run them, hey the cost of the fuel is negligible.  Cheers.

Edited by Jan van Eck
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On 12/15/2018 at 5:29 PM, ronwagn said:

We should aim for energy redundancy.

I fear electromagnetic pulse attacks or natural anomalies. 

YES   YES   YES   YES 

We need to stop putting all our eggs in the same basket.

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On 12/19/2018 at 2:10 PM, John Foote said:

For me there are no silver bullets, but a mix of technologies that will work. Put all your bets in one basket, even a good one like natural gas, and somewhere over the decades you will get fried.

Where i live,  we are a hodge podge of energy sources.    No coal,  some oil,  some gas,  and a lot of large solar farms.

Interestingly,  we have a new battery manufacturing plant for export,   and a new solar panel manufacturing plant for export,  and a manufacturing plant that builds large natural gas turbine power plants for export.

As for citizenry,  there are still only a small number with residential solar,  and the local utility just reduced what they pay those that exist.

Edited by Illurion
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4 hours ago, Illurion said:

Where i live,  we are a hodge podge of energy sources.    No coal,  some oil,  some gas,  and a lot of large solar farms.

Interestingly,  we have a new battery manufacturing plant for export,   and a new solar panel manufacturing plant for export,  and a manufacturing plant that builds large natural gas turbine power plants for export.

As for citizenry,  there are still only a small number with residential solar,  and the local utility just reduced what they pay those that exist.

It seems that solar panels and storage should be purchased together in some sort of modules for those who choose not to go into debt. Then one could just enlarge the system when they could pay cash. Subsidies should be avoided IMHO. 

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29 minutes ago, ronwagn said:

It seems that solar panels and storage should be purchased together in some sort of modules for those who choose not to go into debt. Then one could just enlarge the system when they could pay cash. Subsidies should be avoided IMHO. 

Solar solutions are unique to your circumstances - not everyone owns their own home, not everyone lives where solar makes sense to install, and not everywhere has "subsidies" to reduce their burden.

Off-grid solar/storage presently makes sense where new housing developments are required to pay a fortune for grid access. Other examples in Australia are where rural properties can be kilometres from a mains line and access will be in the tens of thousands of $.  Microgrids and storage are now a growing market in our country, and it will be interesting to see whether in future these concepts can be retro-incorporated into suburbs which already have massive solar panel penetration.

We have solar pv - cloudy day yesterday so got only 20Kw - and could add more panels very cheaply, but grid feed-in restricts us to a maximum 5kw/h.  Battery storage is not a sensible financial option at present as the batteries would (with present technology and cost) not give a payback before a replacement battery was required.  I expect that to change within a few years given that battery production scaling is still in its infancy and costs appear to have a long way to come down.

 

 

 

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21 hours ago, ronwagn said:

It seems that solar panels and storage should be purchased together in some sort of modules for those who choose not to go into debt. Then one could just enlarge the system when they could pay cash. Subsidies should be avoided IMHO. 

If you live in Hawaii, residential systems with both panels and battery storage are an economical solution. Granted, the retail rates of electricity are absurd. But then in Hawaii everything but wind and gas are imported, and lots of things are very expensive. 

With a capital investment, that has a payback, debt often makes sense. If the system knocks, $100 off your electric bill on average, surely the a ten year note with a $100 monthly payment is a no-brainer, do it. I had a grid tie-in, net metering solar system, 10 year warranty on the inverter (25 for the panels) on the roof of a house, and the IRR was pretty much an assured 7%. So I took it, thinking stocks were overdue a good ride due for a correction. That was '08, months before the financial crash. I sold the properly five years later, so hard to know how it impacted the final cost of the house. This only makes sense for a home owner, not for a renter, or even a landlord unless he/she pays the electric.

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5 hours ago, John Foote said:

If you live in Hawaii, residential systems with both panels and battery storage are an economical solution. Granted, the retail rates of electricity are absurd. But then in Hawaii everything but wind and gas are imported, and lots of things are very expensive. 

With a capital investment, that has a payback, debt often makes sense. If the system knocks, $100 off your electric bill on average, surely the a ten year note with a $100 monthly payment is a no-brainer, do it. I had a grid tie-in, net metering solar system, 10 year warranty on the inverter (25 for the panels) on the roof of a house, and the IRR was pretty much an assured 7%. So I took it, thinking stocks were overdue a good ride due for a correction. That was '08, months before the financial crash. I sold the properly five years later, so hard to know how it impacted the final cost of the house. This only makes sense for a home owner, not for a renter, or even a landlord unless he/she pays the electric.

Sounds good but if you purchase both storage and the panels you start out with a guaranteed minimum of electricity backup and you can decide how much more to invest and when. That way you can always change your mind if your circumstances change.

Glad you were happy with your investment. 

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6 minutes ago, ronwagn said:

Sounds good but if you purchase both storage and the panels you start out with a guaranteed minimum of electricity backup and you can decide how much more to invest and when.

I agree. The challenge is scoping the inverter. If you don't use micro inverters tied to individual panels, you'd probably buy to the max you'd want, and inverters are a significant part of the price. For backup, in a net-based grid situation, I'd use gasoline. Little Hondas don't cost much.

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8 minutes ago, John Foote said:

I agree. The challenge is scoping the inverter. If you don't use micro inverters tied to individual panels, you'd probably buy to the max you'd want, and inverters are a significant part of the price. For backup, in a net-based grid situation, I'd use gasoline. Little Hondas don't cost much.

This is all good information, or I'll take your word for it as I have no practical experience.  Thanks.

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