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Energy Storage and Shifting

Discussion in 'Energy, Environment, and Policy' started by nwdiver, Apr 4, 2015.

  1. nwdiver

    nwdiver Active Member

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    With the complaints of people highjacking wk057s thread I thought I'd take the initiative and start one specifically about the general objective that batteries are meant to accomplish; storing energy when it's available and making stored energy available when the sun ain't shining.

    IMO there's a bit of tunnel vision in regards to this... similar to the way PV gets more attention than cheaper, although admittedly less sexy, energy saving regimes.

    The lowest hanging fruit on the energy 'storage' tree is hot water heaters. One of my friends lives in Texas and doesn't benefit from net-metering so he saves $0.05/kWh if he self-consumes instead of exporting. So he bought a $20 timer for his hot water heater. Now he mostly uses energy from his PV array to heat his water... he effectively bought a 4kWh battery for $20... that's kinda hard to beat. To take this idea a step further; if you swap out your old resistance water heater for a heat pump instead of tossing out the old one put it in series with the new one as extra insulated volume. Install a small pump connected to a timer that sends heated water to the old water heater during the day when you should be exporting. Again that's ~4kWh+ storage for <$100 without the small risk of running out of hot water during the night.
     
  2. TheTalkingMule

    TheTalkingMule Active Member

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    This does need it's own thread, so thanks. Love the hot water ideas, tons of low hanging fruit like that!

    We live in a world where guys like Elon Musk see 60% storage efficiency as a nonstarter. But what about the day when I have 10kW of solar on my roof? My prediction is that we'll very rapidly move toward an overabundance of renewably generated electricity and things like fuel cells or pumped water will become the standard. Obviously we can work on raising the efficiency from there.

    I think we're just so pre-programmed to believe every drop of juice is sacred that we can't even adjust our brains to a world where solar can be installed for $1.80/W and electricity can be abundant, cheap and sustainable. Hell, something like half our grid electricity is lost in transmission, why should I worry about losing 40% to a fuel cell?
     
  3. Robert.Boston

    Robert.Boston Model S VIN P01536

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    Um, no. Off by an order of magnitude, according to EIA, a very reliable source:
     
  4. Robert.Boston

    Robert.Boston Model S VIN P01536

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    Good article. This paragraph popped out in particular, in light of @wk057's amazing project:
    An important point for Tesla's stationary storage people to consider.
     
  5. nwdiver

    nwdiver Active Member

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    Yep; There will of course come a time when the grid is saturated with solar and there won't be an export market so it's going to be use it, store it or lose it. At which point storage WILL make sense. I like to think that time is <10 years away. But, until then it's more economic to sell power than store it.
     

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