Skip to comments.The $2.5 Trillion Reason We Canít Rely on Batteries to Clean up the Grid
Posted on 03/11/2020 7:39:45 AM PDT by rktman
Fluctuating solar and wind power require lots of energy storage, and lithium-ion batteries seem like the obvious choicebut they are far too expensive to play a major role.
A pair of 500-foot smokestacks rise from a natural-gas power plant on the harbor of Moss Landing, California, casting an industrial pall over the pretty seaside town.
If state regulators sign off, however, it could be the site of the worlds largest lithium-ion battery project by late 2020, helping to balance fluctuating wind and solar energy on the California grid.
The 300-megawatt facility is one of four giant lithium-ion storage projects that Pacific Gas and Electric, Californias largest utility, asked the California Public Utilities Commission to approve in late June 2018. Collectively, they would add enough storage capacity to the grid to supply about 2,700 homes for a month (or to store about .0009 percent of the electricity the state uses each year).
(Excerpt) Read more at getpocket.com ...
People who think solar and wind power can perform like the traditional power generation stations are idiots. Besides, windmills and solar panels are a waste of real estate as well as an eyesore. Many scenic areas have bee destroyed by windmills.
Why is it these projects remind me of a villains grand plan for a power plant in Batman Returns (1992)?
Jerry told Gavin that his electric train has to run at night.
And you have to dispose of the L-ion batteries after you use them. That will be a major problem, and add to the cost.
Uh, Mariana Trench. Hello!
Lithium batteries can be recycled.
From your mouth to g-d’s ears.
Since solar and wind need back up power any way (batteries in the case of this article) then why not install a nuclear plant. (New designs are safer, leaving only the waste issue to solve.)
The last problem with solar and wind is the large area of land that is required. Nuclear can fit within the footprint of today’s natural gas plants that they will replace.
Imagine the battery fire!!
I even use a drill with a power cord. The battery powered ones are never ready when you need them the most.
Add me to your list of “puzzled” observers of California’s Moss Landing Power Plant(s): 6-7 plants are apparently continuing, but 4-5 are being mothballed according to a 2017 article. Then that article continues as if California faced a “continuing electric power overload (too much electricity available for the demand!) and NOT a deficiet of power. 2017 economic drivel from Obama’s recession-long drawdown of the national and California economies? No feedback yet (in 2017 remember!) of Newsome’s inept green policies that ruined PG&E’s power line maintenance and clearing budgets between 2016 and 2019’s fires?
Regardless, PG&E was required/resolved in 2017 to keep paying 1,000,000.00 per year in worthless emmission’s fees to Monterey government to keep the 4-5 smokestack (and natural-draft smokestacks are rare for a gas-powered plant!) “active”. Further, there are very, very few natural gas-powered straight-through boiler-and-steam power plants in ANY state!
The much greater efficiency of a heat recovery steam generator using the exhaust heat from a gas turbine plant (63-66% efficient) compared to the 41-43% efficiency of a gas-burning straight-through steam plant means they never were effective once NG gas turbine HRSG technology took off in the early 2000’s.
Something is going on here that is not being made public - from both PG&E and Monterey governments and California Air Resources Board.
Hmmmm. Guess lithium ion batteries don’t off gas anything noxious when the burn right?
As you see fit.
I’m increasing battery use, moving into solar power. In no way do I expect to completely replace the grid (though do aspire to it), but do want to distance myself from reliance on outlets always working. Weather permitting (it’s that time again) I move my office outside to run off solar+batteries, am replacing all my powered tools with battery-driven, planning relocation to a house conducive to solar power, have leased an EV, and am in line for a Tesla Cybertruck.
One of the many reasons is to encourage battery technology to move forward, eventually working around limits of lithium and on to more mundane materials with better performance. This won’t happen if there isn’t a market. The aforementioned truck is promising a new battery technology in that direction.
I’m very familiar with the limits of batteries (moreso than most). Given the tradeoffs, I prefer them. Only thing stopping me from working/living wherever I want is cellular coverage (hello, Starlink) - and batteries make that possible.
I’m going to build a wood burning steam engine. I’ll put vacuum tubes in my radio. My cell phone will be smashed in a vise. I’m going into the 21st century wailing and knashing my teeth. ;-D (How am I doing?)
A hybrid between a super-cap and a lithium battery, without the downside of either. Interesting, if not a fantasy:
Think of our energy supply needs like a cake. All solar and wind power can ever hope to be is the frosting.
“The main advantages of the vanadium redox battery are that it can offer almost unlimited energy capacity simply by using larger electrolyte storage tanks; it can be left completely discharged for long periods with no ill effects; if the electrolytes are accidentally mixed, the battery suffers no permanent damage; a single state of charge between the two electrolytes avoids the capacity degradation due to a single cell in non-flow batteries; the electrolyte is aqueous and inherently safe and non-flammable; and the generation 3 formulation using a mixed acid solution developed by the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory operates over a wider temperature range allowing for passive cooling. VRFBs can be used at depth of discharge (DOD) around 90% and more, i.e. deeper DODs than solid-state batteries (e.g. lithium-based and sodium-based batteries, which are usually specified with DOD=80%). In addition, VRFBs exhibit very long cycle lives: most producers specify cycle durability in excess of 15,000-20,000 charge/discharge cycles. These values are far beyond the cycle lives of solid-state batteries, which is usually in the order of 4,000-5,000 charge/discharge cycles. Consequently, the levelized cost of energy (LCOE, i.e. the system cost divided by the usable energy, the cycle life, and round-trip efficiency) of present VRFB systems is typically in the order of a few tens of $ cents or cents, namely much lower than the LCOEs of equivalent solid-state batteries and close to the targets of $0.05 and 0.05, stated by the US Department of Energy and the European Commission Strategic Energy Technology (SET) Plan, respectively.
The main disadvantages with vanadium redox technology are a relatively poor energy-to-volume ratio in comparison with standard storage batteries, and the relatively poor round trip efficiency. Furthermore, the aqueous electrolyte makes the battery heavy and therefore only useful for stationary applications. Another disadvantage is the relatively high toxicity of oxides of vanadium (see vanadium § Safety). “
More at link.
“VRB Energy, a maker of flow batteries headquartered in Canada and owned by a metal resources and mining company, said the first phase of a 40MWh flow battery project in China has now been commissioned.
VRB Energy (VRB), 82% owned by High Power Exploration, a base metals-focused exploration company led by noted mining financier Robert Friedland, provided Energy-Storage.news with a progress update from Hubei Province at the end of last week.
The company said that it has now successfully commissioned a 3MW / 12MWh vanadium redox flow battery energy storage project which represents Phase 1 of the Hubei Zaoyang Utility-scale Solar and Storage Integration Demonstration Project, set to be 10MW / 40MWh when completed. It represents the latest step since the previous update on the project, when the first 250kW / 1MWh “
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