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Thinking about Electricity Storage

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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?

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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.

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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.

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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.

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(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.

 

8257f64330.jpg

 

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.org/commented/paper/in...Redox_Batteries

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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.redherring.com/Article.aspx?a=1...ll+Has+Promise+

 

http://www-cms.llnl.gov/s-t/carbon_con.html

 

IGBT

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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. "

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LandingPageUltralife.jpg

 

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/

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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.

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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

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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.

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What is the efficiency of the ACTA process, I wonder?

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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.powermanagementdesignline.com/s...cleID=185303552

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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.oceansolar.com/components.html#BBBC

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Battery technology is improving at a rapid rate.

 

I know a few people working on the “SpeckNet” project (miniature, mm size sensors all linked together by their own radio network). One of their collaborators (big project) at St Andrews are responsible for the development of new batteries for these devices (ultra small, so the need to have a large capacity). They are making good progress and have improved lifetimes by 40% (apparently something in New Scientist about this too.)

 

Also, later this year, perhaps early next year, a new mobile battery will be released which has a rapid recharge capability, (seconds not hours) and a larger lifetime than current devices :) .

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the small batteries are great, and that seems to be where most of the progress has occurred

 

a big advance will come when they can extend these gains to larger batteries, suitable for cars, and home storage. there is fear about using lithium now because of their tendency to explode when they overheat

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Greensaver Technology Corp.

 

...a Zhejiang based storage battery company has secured a $20 million investment from SAIF Partners, an Asian private equity firm, according to the National Business Daily.

 

Established in 1999, Greeensaver claims to be the world's only Silicone storage battery maker. Compared with conventional lead acid batteries, Silicone batteries are less corrosive, and more environmentally friendly.

 

The company says its products have been adopted in industrial sectors such as the automotive and railway sectors, and it is trying to tap the demand in the wind and solar energy sectors.

 

Greensaver will use the funding to expand its production capacity and boost its sales to $70 million by the year's end, compared to 2006 sales, which totalled several millions.

 

(China Business Weekly, Feb.12-18, page 4: VC/SME page)

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Vycon flywheels

 

This thread has some good posts about flywheels.

I read over the weekend about this flywheel company that may come to AIM soon.

 

 

From the energy conservation perspective, I can imagine vehicles, wind turbines and other moving machinery would really benefit from this, an I suppose it hasn't happened because energy has been so cheap.

It would seem especially useful to tie up with a wind turbine. Are these in use, or do the turbines have re.atively small flywheels with direct energy production rather than storage?

 

What also occurs to me is how plain stupid we seem to throw away fossil fuels so readily.

Bring on higher prices ASAP.

 

Malco is usually good on these questions.

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The next big thing in batteries

Exploding batteries light fire for alternatives, but don't expect to see them in laptops anytime soon.

By Grace Wong, CNNMoney.com staff writer

November 3 2006: 2:41 PM EST

 

 

NEW YORK (CNNMoney.com) -- In the labs of major computer makers, academic institutions and start-ups, researchers are searching for the next big thing in laptop batteries.

 

From PC makers Hewlett-Packard (Charts) and Toshiba to Silicon Valley start-up Zinc Matrix Power, researchers are developing alternatives to the lithium ion batteries prevalent in today's laptops.

 

 

Major computer makers are recalling up to 9.6 million laptop batteries.

 

 

While many of these technologies have long been in the making, they're getting pushed into the spotlight due to the ongoing flap over lithium-ion batteries.

 

"The chances of alternative batteries gaining a foothold is much higher than a year ago before the issue with lithium ion batteries became mainstream," said Carmi Levy, an analyst with Info-Tech Research Group.

 

Nearly all of the major computer makers, including Dell (Charts) and Apple (Charts), are recalling up to 9.6 million lithium-ion notebook batteries manufactured by Sony (Charts) due to concerns they may overheat and cause a fire (see correction below).

 

Most recently, Fujitsu said last week that one of its laptops overheated and burned a user's hand.

 

One firm hoping to benefit from the safety issues raised by the recalls is Zinc Matrix Power. The company makes silver-zinc batteries that don't contain lithium or other flammable liquids, so they can't explode, CEO Ross Dueber said.

 

"Consumer electronics are bursting into flames. Is that really acceptable in terms of safety and brand awareness for device manufacturers?" he said.

 

Scariest tech of 2006

It isn't just safety concerns driving interest in alternatives. The consumer electronics industry has long been searching for a battery that can run longer on a single charge.

 

Toshiba - which also has recalled Sony-made lithium-ion batteries -has developed a prototype for a fuel cell laptop battery that generates power from a chemical reaction rather than being plugged into an electric outlet.

 

The prototype can run 8.5 hours and the company aims to have a working commercial product ready in 2008 or 2009, Toshiba product manager Duke Dang said.

 

While real demand for technology like fuel cells hasn't really kicked in yet, the recent fires show that people are pushing lithium ion to the limits, said Al Pan, a scientist with HP Labs, the research arm of the Silicon Valley computer maker, which also is working on fuel cell technology.

 

Industry experts said consumers aren't likely to find new types of batteries in laptops in the market for at least a few more years.

 

For one, lithium ion batteries are relatively inexpensive, and any new technology faces the task of producing at a price consumers have come to expect, analysts said.

 

Next year's coolest gadgets

Donald Sadoway, a professor of materials science at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, said it's often the case that new technology isn't greeted with open arms.

 

He's been researching lithium polymer batteries, which hold lithium in a solid state rather than liquid form, which makes them more stable and capable of withstanding more heat.

 

But consumers are more likely to see changes to existing lithium-ion technology before battery makers and computer makers make the leap to a completely new type of technology, Sadoway said.

 

Also, consumers are taking a "if it isn't broke, don't fix it" attitude and aren't really demanding alternatives, said Rob Enderle of technology consulting firm the Enderle Group.

 

While the number of batteries recalled has been staggering, the actual instances of fire has been rare. Dell recalled some 4.2 million batteries, but received only six instances of overheating.

 

Sony insists it's rare for a lithium ion battery to catch fire and has said it's introduced manufacturing safeguards to improve the safety of its batteries.

 

So far, the largest computer makers don't look to be shifting away from lithium ion. Dell said it's always evaluating new technologies but doesn't plan to move away from lithium ion batteries in its laptops.

 

And John Wozniak of HP Notebook Engineering said there aren't any real commercially viable alternatives out there yet. "Lithium ion is here to stay."

 

Correction: An earlier version of this story incorrected stated that HP is participating in the battery recall. CNNMoney.com regrets the error.

 

@: http://money.cnn.com/2006/11/03/technology...sion=2006110314

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"Storage of electrical power is critical for the stability and robustness of the electrical grid, and it is essential if we are ever to use solar and wind as our dominant primary power sources. The best place to provide this storage is locally, near the point of use.

 

Why just store electricity? Electricity is primarily a means of transmitting energy from a remote source to the point of use. There are inefficiencies in every conversion.

 

What about PHOTONIC storage?

 

Lighting is one of the most significant uses of electricity, if a viable way can be found to store the photonic energy of the sun during the day, to be released at night, then this could make an enourmous contribution to solving the coming energy crunch.

 

Obviously it's simple in principal, but how could it be done in practice? phospherecent matereals are not efficient!

 

Any ideas? Does anyone know of any organisations looking into this?

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PERFECT BATTERY? Not yet

 

Electric vehicles expected to dominate market by 2030

 

As 45% of greenhouse gas emissions come from transportation, there will be no solution to climate change without a replacement for the internal combustion.

 

In an interview on the same day, Nissan/Renault CEO Carlos Ghosn said his EV without battery would cost the same as a conventional car. The battery would be leased at a monthly fee, which along with recharging costs would be on par with fuel costs for conventional vehicles. When questioned about the battery’s short range, reported at 100 miles, Ghosn said that will improve with time. "If you wait for the perfect battery, you wait till 2030." Nissan/Renault has an agreement with Better Place, an Israeli based company, to develop a worldwide presence to lease EV batteries and build networks of stations for battery exchange and re-charge to extend the driving range.

 

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Great story, Wanderer.

Thanks for posting it.

I started a thread about P-tiles in the GEI-Networking section

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