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UK Grid Scale Energy Storage Options
progpen
Posted: Thursday, August 25, 2016 5:08:31 PM

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http://www.renewableenergyworld.com/articles/2016/08/uk-grid-scale-energy-storage-approaches-commercial-reality.html

"Grid-scale energy storage will move closer to commercial reality on Friday when the U.K.’s grid operator offers contracts to companies to help balance the network, a key measure needed to help balance increasing supply from renewables."

"Storage plays a key role in the greening of utilities’ networks by allowing grid managers to handle higher volumes of intermittent power from the wind and sun."

This doesn't sound like much until you realize that the strongest argument that the fossil fuel industry has used against allowing renewable energy on the grid is because it isn't a steady flow of power to the grid. "The sun doesn't shine at night and the wind doesn't always blow" have been effective obstructions in getting renewable energy producers equal access to the grid.

"For the moment, the vessel of choice for investors and National Grid is a battery. Most of those units are based on lithium — a bigger version of the power packs found in the back of mobile phones and electric cars."

This just means that they are starting with a well known technology, but does open the door for newer energy storage technologies as they become commercially viable. Some of those include:

solid state batteries
flow batteries
compressed air (wind or solar is used to fill air tanks)
thermal (solar is used to superheat salt, which holds heat well and releases it slowly)
hydro (wind is used to pump water up a hill to a lagoon, that then releases the water back down to run a hydro plant)



Be kind but be fierce. You are needed now more than ever before. Take up the mantel of change. For this is your time.
progpen
Posted: Friday, August 26, 2016 9:00:53 AM

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http://www.renewableenergyworld.com/articles/2016/08/used-electric-car-batteries-get-second-life-as-home-storage.html

Speaking of storage:
"Aging batteries from electric cars will soon find a second life as power-storage systems for homes and offices, according to Bloomberg New Energy Finance."

This means that as electric and hybrid vehicles age out, their batteries will be repurposed as storage for residential and small commercial renewable energy systems (wind, solar). This will make it easier for residential and commercial systems to go completely off grid and be totally self reliant.

"Used batteries cost about $500 a kilowatt-hour to convert to stationary storage systems, about half the cost of batteries fresh off the factory floor. That will provide an opportunity for solar installers to cheaply add storage to rooftop systems until new battery costs come down."

Be kind but be fierce. You are needed now more than ever before. Take up the mantel of change. For this is your time.
Hope123
Posted: Friday, August 26, 2016 11:24:25 AM

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Some good innovations and thinking that is being encouraged. Glad to see it.

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Sarrriesfan
Posted: Friday, August 26, 2016 7:21:31 PM

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The Hydro plant that Progpen mentions is quiet impressive, it was built in the 1970s and 80s to store excess energy generated in Nuclear Power plants during quiet periods such as the middle of the night.
They created a massive series of tunnels and caverns inside a mountain linking two lakes one at the top to one at the bottom. Water is pumped to the top in quiet times and then when needed water is released to drive turbines generating power.

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dinorwig_Power_Station

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Drag0nspeaker
Posted: Sunday, August 28, 2016 12:43:55 PM

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Sarrriesfan wrote:
. . . They created a massive series of tunnels and caverns inside a mountain linking two lakes one at the top to one at the bottom. Water is pumped to the top in quiet times and then when needed water is released to drive turbines generating power.
https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dinorwig_Power_Station

Very simple - a bit bigger than the required batteries, maybe, but more efficient and less likely to break down.

I saw this map a week or two ago.

It shows the actual land area needed (if the land were covered with solar panels) to supply the power expected to be needed in 2030.

It assumes 20% efficient panels (which is fairly low efficiency) and an average of six hours of sunlight a day. If you look at where the pale green squares are located, that is a very cloudy year! (edited to correct my maths!)



Of course, grid-scale energy storage is vital for this to become feasible. You can't shut down all industry when it's night-time in the Sahara, or in northern India or WestUS.

A 'whole world grid' would be rather wasteful of energy (cable losses), not to mention that the USA and China would have to supply each other at different times of day).

The thermal and hydro storage systems sound simplest (requiring more work, but fewer uncommon materials).


Wyrd bið ful aræd - bull!
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