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  1. #1
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    Default Grid energy storage

    This or something like it plus conventional energy storage plus used EV batteries seem a better solution than hydrogen for load leveling renewables for the grid.

    http://www.technologyreview.com/feat...-grid-battery/
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  2. #2
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    Interesting. Molten salt batteries have been around the EV industry for a long time, though I haven't seen liquid anode/cathodes proposed before. To my mind, the important part is not one specific solution, but rather that solutions can exist - if we put smart people on the task and money on the table to drive the research.
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  3. #3
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    Just watch one of the TED talks about this. Video #2 here.
    http://api.viglink.com/api/click?for...13612812754556

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  6. #4
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    The overall issue is "just how long do you want instantaneous to last?". The grid energy must be used just about immediately as it is being produced. Levelling the grid is like moderate shock absorbers for the grid so that spikes and demand peaks don't stress generation. Storage is nice but for how long can it last? 10 minutes? 1 day? It can't last too long as we'd need to store trillions of kWh of energy and that's somewhat impossible. Or, is it? If there were 10-50 million EVs plugged into the grid with V2G technology, there is the ability to have quite a bit of power stored-up in case of a power-plant failure, vehicles could somehow help stabilize the situation in some countries which have spotty power (caribbean islands, India come to mind). The USA really doesn't need much grid stabilization except in Hawaii where Solar PV is actually impacting the grid on certain islands where a cloud-bank coming in creates a demand surge on the grid when the solar arrays drop production quickly due to the clouds. If you had an EV sitting under the solar PV at home, it could dump to the grid when the solar PV was cutting out during daytime hours - if allowed. It's possibly really tough to do at a large scale but eventually, this kind of "electrical breathing of the grid" may start to happen on a small scale. That's why wind farms seem to want large storage capacitors and battery banks located near them to help smooth out power delivery. All of this needs to be engineered well in the next few decades as natural gas and coal wind down. (yes, we must think about what our grand-children will endure and not just the next election cycle like our "leaders" do).
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  7. #5
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    Well, if you watch Sadoway's TED talk, his focus was on making a battery that literally is as cheap as dirt. The materials for the battery are very common in the Earth's crust, so the idea is that these batteries will have the best storage capacity to price ratio of any battery on the market (including LA). To me, the implications for these batteries are very widespread, and I'm almost certain that, within the next decade, home backup battery systems will want these. And in terms of smoothing out the grid, even more so than EVs, imagine millions of households having a 10 kWh to 50 kWh stationary battery system? From the sounds of things, the way prices are going between peak and off peak rates, even if one of these battery systems cost $10,000 to install, you'd make up that cost in about the same amount of time as a comparable solar array.

  8. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ladogaboy View Post
    To me, the implications for these batteries are very widespread, and I'm almost certain that, within the next decade, home backup battery systems will want these. And in terms of smoothing out the grid, even more so than EVs, imagine millions of households having a 10 kWh to 50 kWh stationary battery system? From the sounds of things, the way prices are going between peak and off peak rates, even if one of these battery systems cost $10,000 to install, you'd make up that cost in about the same amount of time as a comparable solar array.
    Well, let's see. Last year I used ~8400 kWh (2/3 from solar) for my house and car. My electricity costs $.13 per kWh plus connection fee and demand charge. There's a TOU rate available, which makes super off peak $.065, and on peak $.21. With a battery bank and inverter system that was adequate to the task, all the power would be super off peak, for a potential savings (assuming I didn't have solar, or that I'm ignoring the extended solar payback and counting the payback here,) of $546 per year.

    As a ~$10k installation, that'd be about an 18 year payback period - and that assumes both that the batteries last forever and that the power company doesn't see everyone doing this and level the time of use offerings (but it doesn't include any incentives from federal or state, which are what make solar pay back faster than this.)

    I like the idea for a bunch of other reasons, but I'm not sure I'm sold on the payback. Of course, you can build a battery like this for $10-20k right now from Lithium depending on the size you need (including a ~$3k 6kW inverter/charger.) If new developments cut that cost by an order of magnitude, it'd be a no-brainer - a better alternative to a generator for most purposes even without the savings, especially if you have solar.
    Walter
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