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Thinking about Electricity Storage


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#21 DrBubb

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Posted 08 April 2006 - 10:06 PM

NICE ARCHIVE of Articles on Batteries

on the Alt-Energy Blog : http://www.altenergy...ives/batteries/

EXAMPLE / excerpt:
Battery Technology
Lithium-Ion Polymer - Tops in Battery Technology. Fuel cell industry respondents rank Lithium-ion polymer (32%) and Lithium-ion (12%) as the battery technologies that will experience the highest growth rate over the next 3-5 years.

Summary of Key Findings

Fuel Cell Sector Well Positioned for Future Growth

Which Sector will Experience Biggest New Technology Breakthroughs in Next 12-24 Months?
Fuel Cells (27%, up 5-pts), Hybrid/Electric (27%, unchanged)

Which will Experience Most Rapid Economic Growth - Next 5 Years
Fuel Cells (25%), Solar (22%), Hybrid/Electric (20%)

Reasons for Rapid Growth in Fuel Cells
Technology Advances (37%), Cost of Energy/Short Supply (23%)

Where Will Fuel Cells Have Greatest Economic Impact in Next 3-5 Years?
Stationary Power for Buildings (52%), Aerospace/Military (24%), Automobiles (16%)

Fastest Growing Fuel Cell Areas
Proton Exchange/ PEM (44%), Solid Oxide (20%), Direct Methanol (16%)

Biggest Barriers to Rapid Adoption
Cost of Fuel Cells Too High vs. Other Energy Sources, Complexity of Technology/ Too Many Technical Hurdles Still Ahead

Leading Companies

Fastest Growing Fuel Cell Companies - Next 2 Years
Fuel Cell Energy (33%), Energy Conversion Devices (17%), Ballard Power (14%)

Biggest Market Impact - Next 3 Years

Fuel Cells
Fuel Cell Energy (28%), Energy Conversion Devices (24%), Ballard Power (24%)

Hydrogen
Energy Conversion Devices (24%), Ballard Power (11%)

Battery Technologies
Energy Conversion Devices (45%)

@: http://www.altenergy...ives/batteries/
The market is "bipolar", swinging back and forth from a focus on Inflation to Deflation. Bet on swings; and stay flexible. What are bipolar markets? See: http://tinyurl.com/GEI-Manix

#22 DrBubb

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Posted 04 May 2006 - 06:01 AM

£715,000 Grant for Lithium Battery Research
3 May 2006

The work seeks to develop new devices with the energy and power capacities of Li-ion and supercaps combined.
University of Bath (UK) researchers have received grants worth £715,000 (US$1.3 million) to develop new ceramic and nano-materials for advanced lithium-ion batteries targeted at applications in hybrid electric vehicles and in storage for renewable power generation.

The work is part of a growing green technology focus at the University, which is making it a major center of research into sustainable energy and cutting pollution. The University, with its other development partners, recently unveiled the CLEVER (Compact Low Emission Vehicle for Urban Transport) CNG concept vehicle.

...MORE: http://www.greencarc...nt_fo.html#more
The market is "bipolar", swinging back and forth from a focus on Inflation to Deflation. Bet on swings; and stay flexible. What are bipolar markets? See: http://tinyurl.com/GEI-Manix

#23 malco

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Posted 04 May 2006 - 12:09 PM

Compressed air and hydrogen electrolysis are inefficient processes for storing energy. Compression/expansion is only efficient at very large scales such as in a jet engine (ie, 5MW+), and storing the compressed air is too expensive unless you have some "given" that subsidises the real cost.

For instance, gas compression has been done where there are natural caverns to use as "free" storage. This is done in Germany, with air compressors pressurising caverns if electricity is surplus. When they need power they let the air flow into combustors and expand it in a turbine. It works for peaking loads, but you need special geology for it to be viable. There is a basic thermodynamic loss as most of the heat of compression is lost to cooling. As an example, to compress 1m cube of air to 100 atmospheres requires about 1,000 kJ and will raise the gas temperature to about 750degC. If the gas then cools to ambient, the pressure will fall to just 27 atm's, and you will only get back about 200kJ (and an exhaust gas temp of -170degC!). These figures are a bit rough. I haven't done gas calculations for years. They illustrate the problem of low efficiency though.

By the way, a cubic metre of petrol contains 56,000,000 kJ. To produce that much energy from cycling, I would have to ride almost 500,000 miles (120kJ per mile primary energy burn at 15mph, assumes 25% thermal energy conversion).

Unfortunately cheap,compact storage of electricity is not something we are near, despite huge expenditure in trying to find it. The car industry has tried for decades to produce a viable electric car. They are getting better. In fact, electric cars are viable already for most trips people take by car, it's just that a car is so expensive that it has to be able to do that occasional 250 mile run if you are going to buy it.

When I lived in Switzerland in the early 1990s, there were already quite a lot of little electric cars there, very small things like pup tents on wheels. Not really the thing for our roads crowded with lorries and the 4x4 brigade. I think electric cars will becaome a lot more acceptable when a major chunk of the population can no longer afford a fossil-fueled car. People will just accept the drop in range, and there will be progressive improvements in batteries.
Will economics be single-handed?

#24 BoredTrainBuilder

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Posted 04 May 2006 - 12:47 PM

None of these technologies seem remotely capable of dealng with the cyclicality of supply that would arise if a big (4GW?) Severn Tidal Barrier power station was plugged into the national grid, although of course this could itself be used to store energy at some variable times of the day.

#25 Thire

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Posted 04 May 2006 - 05:47 PM

I always liked flywheels

Batteries and inverter systems suffer from losses: I2R (I Squared R or copper losses), Iron Losses depending upon the magnetic medium and harmonics losses due to the quality of the waveform.
They also are expensive to produce(I know enconomy of scale etc) and contain lots of nasty chemicals.

Flywheels are an old mechanical method of storing energy and coupled with a Motor/Genny power unit they could become very accessible ways of energy storage.
Some electronic energy conversion/inverter will be necessary as the Flywheel maybe spins 2000-30,000 rpm to get 50hz 230V AC and it make everything easier to do. (unless you want a commutated DC system for the house).

Another big strength is the discharge rate, they can spend all day charging up on solar cells or wind, water whatever you want to use a the prime source and then release a lot of the stored energy over a short time period.

I think its important when talking about energy storage to look very closely at energy usage.
If your using solar power, well while the suns shining your out at work.
The household demand is very low, the device stores at a trickle rate.
But when you come home you switch on the TV, kettle for a cup of tea, electric shower etc and the demand is very high but for a short period of time.

I remember a lecturer telling me that power station engineers used to use a copy of the radio times to plan for peak energy demand (to avoid transient instability).
If the world cup was on they would crank everthing up 5 mins before the commercial break as people would
put the kettle on, flush the toilet(this is a big often forgotten energy usage-pumping water), the UK power demand could increase by 30% for 5 minutes.

Batteries are really a portable solution, just look at electronics CMOS was developed for battery powered devices due to it's Non-Quiescent power usage.
The big driving force in electronics has been for portable devices but little has been invested in heavy power.
An interesting point is that if you look at the HV heavy current devices that came out of the collapse of russia, they had SF6 circuit breakers about the quarter of the size of rest of the world because our world concentrated on the sony walkman and was consumer driven whereas russia continued with a heavy current bias (build it big).
Incidently if you think Dyson is a genius, It was basically a russian design - just look at the timing !

Flywheels have the potential of being very accesible to a mass market and a low tech solution.

Maybe you could buy a "Flywheel Kit" and B&Q, dig a hole in your garage, drop in the specialist parts like the bearings and control box then just fill the Flywheel container with concrete, follow the balancing instruction (this might be the weak link) and hey presto cheap easy storage at 90% plus efficiency.

I can image the future where your every day Dave has a couple of wind turbines, a few solar cells and lightly buzzing Gyro Inc Flywheel storage unit humming away in his garage inspection pit as he flips steaks and sausages on his Green Electric barbecue.

Some Googled Links

Simple Explanation
Commercial Products
Wiki

#26 malco

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Posted 04 May 2006 - 06:10 PM

I'd have though a problem with home-made flywheels is that they would go BANG from time to time. How big a flywheel do you need to provide, say 200W for 5 hours (basically 1kWh), about as much as a house would use for lighting in the evening if high-efficiency bulbs were used?

I like to picture these things. What is the practical limit on speed range to achieve reasonable quality electric power?
Will economics be single-handed?

#27 Thire

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Posted 04 May 2006 - 09:41 PM

I'd have though a problem with home-made flywheels is that they would go BANG from time to time. How big a flywheel do you need to provide, say 200W for 5 hours (basically 1kWh), about as much as a house would use for lighting in the evening if high-efficiency bulbs were used?

I like to picture these things. What is the practical limit on speed range to achieve reasonable quality electric power?


Flywheels can contain a massive amount of energy and can go Bang !, But that's why they go in the garage in a pit (under the petrol tank) Erm maybe under the fish pond is a better idea
There are heavy flywheels and newer light flywheels; these use composite carbon materials borrowed from jet engine technology and spin much faster, but if they break up the energy dissipated laterally is very low thus causing little damage to surroundings.
Just think next time you fly and are sat next to the window looking at the flimsy aluminium cowl of a 737 engine spinning at 10,000 plus rpm built of composite carbon and ceramic parts that for a 20g item has an effective mass of 3 tons.

Ignorance is bliss.

What I am saying is that "these problems will be solved" I don't want to go off into a wright brothers rants about this one.

Something to keep in you mind is that the energy stored is proportional to the mass but to the square of the velocity, so the light fast fllywheels may be the future.

E=MC^2 (Familiar ?), C= The speed of light, If you get into any physical science it's amazing how often you meet this and makes you realise what a genius Einstein was and how simple and beautiful this is.

The numbers i'll have to get back to you on, but i can say that it is very scalable from kW to MW but my favoured application is the small 40kVA domestic load back garden type.
RPM is a difficult one and largely irelevant, I think what you digging at is the potential hazard, sorry but I don't think about life in that way.

I often think talking to people on the street with a non physics/electrical background that they have very little comprehension of the vast energy that is released from fossil fuels when compare with alternative alternatives.

I think petrol is 27Mj/kg, It's a phenominal energy source and with and S.G. around unity, perfect for light transports using internal combustion engines and aeroplanes.
Thats what we are up against, And don't kid yourself that a cheap alternative is around the corner.

#28 dom

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Posted 05 May 2006 - 07:36 PM

The community in Spain where my father-in-law lives has no grid connection. The dwellings have home made electricity generating systems. Most of these have been done on a budget, utilising batteries from institutional back up systems or fork lift trucks (traction batteries). Energy is harnessed using PV and wind turbines.
Now, my FIL system has 800AH battery capacity. Without batteries the whole system would be virtually useless. For over half the day the generating output is less than demand and often zero. However, the batteries will keep his modest consumers powered up through the night. He has an excellent monitoring system on the wall with an audible alarm to warn if maximum discharge limit is imminent.

There are only four low energy bulbs in the house. No TV, no computer, no electric fridge. He has a tiny washing machine which is filled with water by hand, no spin, just an agitator. Even this consumes too much energy to be used at times where output is less than peak. This is the crux IMO.

The attitude of the community is to not use the energy in the first place, thus avoiding all the problems of generation and storage. Their lives are comfortable and healthy.

Most people in the UK have never seen such lifestyles in practice. Our emphasis, when discussing alternative energy, is based around meeting current and projected demand, a futile exercise IMO.

#29 malco

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Posted 05 May 2006 - 09:13 PM

The attitude of the community is to not use the energy in the first place, thus avoiding all the problems of generation and storage. Their lives are comfortable and healthy.

Most people in the UK have never seen such lifestyles in practice. Our emphasis, when discussing alternative energy, is based around meeting current and projected demand, a futile exercise IMO.


Absolutely. It's about expectation and the respect of energy. I've come to the same conclusion. It's basically the "Powerdown" scenario. But to shake people down to a lower standard of living (as they will see it) will unfortunately take a crisis, I would think. Maybe I am wrong in that, we'll have to see. It's just that availability of energy is intimately bound into the politics of running societies of millions of people who are genarally frustrated to a greater or lesser extent. The easy availability of energy is part of the fundamental social contract between rulers and ruled. If energy were to become short, that would lead to a crisis of confidence and probably revolution.

The practical aspects of Peak Oil and Global Warming would not be that hard to achieve. It's the mass psychology aspect that worries me.
Will economics be single-handed?

#30 HollandPark

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Posted 08 May 2006 - 05:50 AM

(A little known technology)

Vanadium Redox Batteries

The current forerunner to replace conventional batteries is the Vanadium Redox Battery developed by Professor Maria Skyllas-Kazacos and her team at the University of New South Wales, Australia [UNSW-VRB]. A redox battery consists of two chemical solutions which produce an electric potential when combined. When originally developed, they had the problem that the used combination of chemicals was toxic, caustic, and useless. The solution was to use a proton exchange membrane, like a fuel cell, to utilize the electrical potential without allowing the fluids to mix. Unfortunately, even with these membranes, some cross-contamination occurs.

Posted Image

The UNSW researches came up with a clever solution: using the same chemical for both halves of the cell, but in different electric states. Now cross-contamination just causes energy loss, not damage to the solution. Vanadium dissolved in sulfuric acid was the answer, although it took some effort to create a solution with a high enough concentration of vanadium to get a decent energy density. The advantages over conventional batteries include:

Storage capacity limited only by tank size and amount of vanadium solution. So you can increase capacity just by getting more tanks and fluid.
Number of charge/recharge cycles is theoretically infinite. In practice at least 16,000 (much higher than batteries).
Energy storage and extraction are separate, so the capacity of either can be increased without affecting the other.

Shelf life is indefinite, and energy does not leak during storage (unlike batteries, flywheels, capacitors...)
High efficiency (80%-90%) because redox couples are electrochemically reversible.
Fast charging, can be fully discharged with no adverse effects.
Can be recharged by transferring fluid, as with gasoline engines, except the fluid is rechargeable. So, for example, if the seastead and its boats both used this technology, the boats could be refueled by pumping in new fluid, instead of slowly charging conventional batteries.

VRB has been used in actual, large-scale applications since about 1997 - its not just theoretical. This includes a 450 kW / 1MWhr VRB system at the Kansai Electric Power Plant in Japan and a 25 Kw system used to store power from the wind power generator of Hokkaido Electric Power Co. It seems quite likely that the home power market will adopt VRB's when they become commercially available. The fuel cell will cost about $200-$500 per kilowatt and the electrolyte about $40-$60 per kilowatt-hour. The fuel cell membrane will last around 8-10 years, and the electrolyte can be re-used indefinitely

@: http://www.seastead....Redox_Batteries

#31 IGBT

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Posted 10 May 2006 - 02:11 PM

A good potential alternative to hydrogen fuel cells: coal fuel cells (direct carbon fuel cells) could produce cheap, clean electricity and would be a good future solution to the task of distributed electricity generation, given the abundance of coal available.

http://www.redherrin...ll Has Promise

http://www-cms.llnl....carbon_con.html

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#32 HollandPark

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Posted 11 May 2006 - 04:52 AM

COAL FUEL CELLS
=======
Excerpt:
"By adding oxygen to carbon in an electrochemical process, the direct carbon fuel cells (DCFCs) convert coal into electricity without burning it or turning it into a gas. The method can also use tar, biomass, and organic waste.

The result is that twice as much energy can be produced from the same amount of fuel, at 20 to 30 percent lower cost and about half the carbon dioxide emissions, said Larry Dubois, SRI’s vice president. The emissions can also be more easily captured for use or disposal, he said.

That would be a boon for countries such as the United States and China, which have large coal reserves. Cleaner coal technologies have been a hot topic in the energy industry, as they could potentially reduce those countries’ dependence on international oil without sacrificing health and the environment.

The U.S. national energy bill, which Congress passed in July, invests $2.9 billion in clean coal technologies. General Electric and Bechtel are working together to build coal gasification plants, for example, and utilities such as American Electric Power Company, Southern Company, and Cinergy are installing such plants. A number of companies see profit potential from clean coal technologies.

But clean coal technologies have been expensive, keeping them from widespread use. Environmentalists are divided in their opinion on whether clean coal qualifies as a clean technology. And fuel cells have run into serious challenges on the way to market, including regulatory, size, and price obstacles. "

#33 OneHundred

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Posted 27 May 2006 - 09:29 AM

Posted Image

Joking aside, this could be an answer:

"Ultralife, the global battery solutions specialists, is a leading developer, manufacturer, and marketer of a wide range of standard lithium ion and lithium polymer rechargeable batteries.

No other battery manufacturer produces and markets both primary (9-Volt, HiRate® Cylindrical and Thin Cell®) lithium batteries as well as lithium ion and lithium polymer rechargeable batteries. Ultralife possesses one of the world's most varied lithium cell and battery packaging configurations, customized solutions and manufacturing capabilities. "

FROM http://www.mouser.com/ultralife/

#34 dom

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Posted 03 June 2006 - 09:18 AM

Will small scale PV generation ever make a significant contribution to primary energy production in the UK?

Cost per kWh is high.

Stand alone systems need high capacity storage systems.

7 million UK households would need to be fitted with solar hot water and PV systems, plus reduce overall electricity demand dramatically to save the equivalent of 4% total primary energy production.

To generate any significant interest in these systems would need the introduction of incentives like Germany's REFIT scheme, where electricity is purchased from small scale PV for a premium by the utility. This does away with the need for expensive storage systems.

Remember, at latitude 51, 4.6KWh m^2/day is received during July and in January only 0.6kWh m^2/day!

Considering this fact, it's unlikely most households will see stand alone PV as an attractive investment for some time yet.

#35 DrBubb

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Posted 10 June 2006 - 09:26 AM

Dom,
In reviewing this thread, I re-read your post about the Spanish community.

I will cut&paste it on the GreenTopia thread, if you do not mind.

Local Generation, local power storage, and prudent usage are Keys to a successful Green community
The market is "bipolar", swinging back and forth from a focus on Inflation to Deflation. Bet on swings; and stay flexible. What are bipolar markets? See: http://tinyurl.com/GEI-Manix

#36 jonpo

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Posted 10 June 2006 - 07:12 PM

Its possible that ACTA.L could have a decent solution, use the electricity for electrolysis of water and then when you need the electricity convert the hydrogen to electricity using your fuel cell.

products of electrolysis are oxygen + hydrogen.

#37 DrBubb

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Posted 10 June 2006 - 10:13 PM

What is the efficiency of the ACTA process, I wonder?
The market is "bipolar", swinging back and forth from a focus on Inflation to Deflation. Bet on swings; and stay flexible. What are bipolar markets? See: http://tinyurl.com/GEI-Manix

#38 HollandPark

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Posted 19 June 2006 - 08:03 AM

Electric Cars may become practical when batteries stop "costing the earth"

#39 webmaster

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Posted 20 August 2006 - 04:06 PM

Living viruses create flexible battery film
In an MIT lab, polyelectrolyte coated with anode nanowires eyes next-generation energy
By R. Colin Johnson

Portland, Ore. -- Battery technology has historically lagged far behind semiconductor technology. While chips double their capacity every 18 months or so, batteries are lucky to double capacities in a decade.

But now, say materials scientists at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, bioengineering has broken the bottleneck. Almost half the materials in today's batteries do not contribute to electricity storage, whereas MIT's bioengineered batteries aim to put more than 90 percent of their materials to work storing energy. To do that, the scientists--professors Angela Belcher, Paula Hammond and Yet-Ming Chiang--employ genetically engineered living viruses to assemble thin-film nanowires as the anodes and cathodes of a flexible "battery wrap." At 100 nanometers thick, the next-generation battery wrap can conform to any shape, they said.

"We are using biology to template electrode materials and have them self-assemble into structures for batteries," said Belcher. "These batteries are like Saran wrap--they are thin, flexible and can be bent into any shape, making them good for lightweight conformable applications."

Genetic engineering
The battery wrap invented at MIT is based on a genetically engineered derivative of the M13 bacteriophage--a virus parasite that infects a bacterium and reproduces inside it. By altering the genetic dispositions of this well-understood laboratory virus, which cannot infect humans, the materials scientists have been able to persuade the virus to extract cobalt-oxide and gold ions from solution and assemble them into a monolayer of nanowires functioning as a battery anode atop a polyelectrolyte substrate.

"M13 is a virus that has very specific host bacteria," said Belcher. "But our lab has had quite a few years' experience genetically altering this organism to grow many different types of materials.
. . .
What's next?
So far, the scientists have demonstrated the ability to stack sheets of batteries atop each other in a comb structure that can be wired in parallel to increase current-carrying capabilities. In addition, they are wiring groups of combs in series to raise the voltage output and to recharge. Currently, their highest voltage battery is a 3-V version.

"Our next step will be to experiment with growing different electrode materials plus self-assemble an entire battery, including both the cobalt anode and the lithium cathode," said Belcher.

...MORE: http://www.powermana...cleID=185303552

#40 DrBubb

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Posted 09 September 2006 - 03:04 AM

REAL WORLD / Real System
===

Battery Bank/Battery Cabinets

Stores the energy collected by the PV modules or local utility.

The battery bank is located in the large green cabinets on the floor of the West end of the mechanical room. It is comprised of 24 100 amp-hour deep-cycle batteries. This adds up to about 28,000 watt-hours of power stored when the batteries are full (100 amp hours times 12 volts, times 24 batteries). The battery bank is kept full, and is used to run selected household circuits when the local utility fails (often due to Winter storms). In practice one should never discharge a battery bank completely, so there’s around 14,000 watt-hours of power available at about a 50% discharge. The battery bank could be discharged to this level over a hundred times in its life.

By adjusting inverter setpoints the inverters will turn off at a certain low battery voltage. This protects the battery bank from possible damage due to excessive discharge. If very few deep discharges are anticipated in the life of the battery bank these setpoints can be adjusted to provide additional power, and the inverters will tolerate a lower battery level. If an inverter turns off due to a low battery state all the circuits on the backup panel will cease to operate. The backup panel will be powered again when utility power is restored or the PV modules sufficiently recharge the battery.

Inverter

Converts PV module power to household power, can “sell back” power to the utility grid, charges batteries from utility power.

The inverters are power-conversion devices. They are the two black rectangular boxes near the bottom of the middle of the power panel at the back of the mechanical room. The inverters convert the PV module power to battery- and household/utility-power. They also manage the connection of utility power to a portion of the household power system, and can “sell” power from the PV modules back to the local utility.

@: http://www.oceansola...nents.html#BBBC
The market is "bipolar", swinging back and forth from a focus on Inflation to Deflation. Bet on swings; and stay flexible. What are bipolar markets? See: http://tinyurl.com/GEI-Manix




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