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? Grid Storage ?

Discussion in 'Energy, Environment, and Policy' started by nwdiver, Dec 18, 2015.

?

Which technologies will dominate grid storage? Pick 3

  1. Lead Acid

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
  2. Nickel Iron

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
  3. Lithium Ion (automotive)

    5 vote(s)
    31.3%
  4. Lithium Ion (special grid chemistry for longer life)

    11 vote(s)
    68.8%
  5. Gravity (Pumped Storage)

    8 vote(s)
    50.0%
  6. Gravity (non-hydro example; rail)

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
  7. Compressed Air

    5 vote(s)
    31.3%
  8. Centrifugal

    2 vote(s)
    12.5%
  9. Hydrogen

    4 vote(s)
    25.0%
  10. Electricity => Hydrocarbons

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
  11. Flow Batteries (Vanadium based)

    1 vote(s)
    6.3%
  12. Flow Batteries (less toxic organics)

    4 vote(s)
    25.0%
  13. Metal-Air Batteries (mechanical recharge)

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
  14. Metal-Air Batteries (electrical recharge)

    1 vote(s)
    6.3%
  15. Sufficient storage is impossible; We need nuclear!

    1 vote(s)
    6.3%
Multiple votes are allowed.
  1. nwdiver

    nwdiver Active Member

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    I've been researching a lot of options in regards to grid storage. What I find striking is that no clear winner has really emerged for grid storage. Even good 'ol lead-acid batteries seem to have a fighting chance due to their low cost and preferring to be maintained at 100% SOC. There are a lot of other options for grid batteries vs vehicle batteries since energy/power density are far less important.

    Further complicating predicting a winner is economies of scale... the cost advantage PbSO4 batteries have over Li-Ion may vanish if 100x more Li-Ion batteries are produced due to the fact that PbSO4 batteries aren't compatible for EVs due to their weight.

    Thoughts?
     
  2. FlasherZ

    FlasherZ Sig Model S + Sig Model X + Model 3 Resv

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    I think you need to put a timeframe on the poll. Right now, several of the choices aren't really possible at scale. Several choices are some of the only real choices today, but are so damn wasteful that they really don't provide a reasonable return of energy when re-consumed. Eventually, we'll figure out the organics and flow batteries become a possibility, but that could be 1.5 decades from now before they're viable enough.
     
  3. nwdiver

    nwdiver Active Member

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    Hmmm... I would say ~15-60 years... then the singularity happens :wink:
     
  4. stopcrazypp

    stopcrazypp Well-Known Member

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    I voted for pumped storage and the two lithium ion choices. Pumped storage is an obvious choice as it is already viable and is one of the least expensive methods for large scale storage.

    The automotive lithium ion I think will be dominated by used automotive batteries, not talking about using a car to do the same thing.

    I also picked the special chemistry as I think in terms of new batteries, it'll be an optimized chemistry for grid storage (just like Tesla is using a different chemistry for the Powerwalls).
     
  5. nwdiver

    nwdiver Active Member

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  6. nwdiver

    nwdiver Active Member

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    I heard about a new potential storage mechanism recently... it likely has a low round-trip efficiency but the ability to cheaply store large amounts of energy for long periods of time with near zero self-discharge may make up for that.

    Using powdered metal to store energy...

    couldmetalpa.png
     
  7. nwdiver

    nwdiver Active Member

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    #7 nwdiver, Feb 24, 2016
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 13, 2016
    Interesting documentary about the storage revolution in Australia.

     
  8. Skotty

    Skotty 2014 Model S P85

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    PowerPack and PowerWall for the win! Give it time. You'll see. ;-)
     
  9. nwdiver

    nwdiver Active Member

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    not fusion? :wink:
     
  10. Skotty

    Skotty 2014 Model S P85

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    Hmmm? True, I love fusion, and think it could be a primary power source of the future. But I also understand it has an uphill battle against cost increasing regulations, limited R&D budgets, and armies of nuclear naysayers. Solar power has a real chance too, but only if intermittency is solved, and that will only happen if someone starts producing nicely packaged competitively priced grid storage products for home and utility scale solar. And guess who just started down that route? :)
     
  11. TheTalkingMule

    TheTalkingMule Active Member

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    I know very little about batteries, but this option has intrigued me for quite a while. This company is somewhere southeast of Pittsburgh and it's on my list for visitation this summer.

    I think whatever technologies take over the home battery market will be heavier and simpler than something like the lithium batteries in a Tesla auto pack. Laptop, phone and EV tech are absolutely reliant on weight and density whereas most homeowners would be fine with having another refrigerator sized thing in their basement if it meant cheap micro-grid or off-grid options.
     
  12. nwdiver

    nwdiver Active Member

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    I agree... it looks very intriguing; They just need to work on the cost. $500/kWh is a bit steep. They also need a high voltage version to be 'future proof'. 48v isn't the best choice for supporting >1kW of loads.
     
  13. TheTalkingMule

    TheTalkingMule Active Member

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    Yeah, watching the youtube videos showing production it's pretty clear they can cut cost in half or more at scale with no tech changes. It's all basic materials and requires no clean room for production. I'll let you know ho the visit goes!
     
  14. jaguar36

    jaguar36 Member

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    First off I don't think grid level storage with no backup is economically possible. The amount of storage needed it would be enormous. Assuming the grid is fully solar powered You'd need something like 7 days worth of storage to not have significant length blackouts once every few years.

    2nd off, I think Thermal liquid salts storage is the way to go. Some Thermal power plants are already using this method to allow for power production at night. Its extremely efficient, and doesn't require large amounts of exotic resources.
     
  15. nwdiver

    nwdiver Active Member

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    #15 nwdiver, Feb 25, 2016
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 13, 2016
    Awe... I did forget PCMs (phase change materials) so many many options :scared:

    But... I think the dominate use of PCMs will be in areas where you need heat... not electricity; Like hot water heaters. Add some paraffin wax to a hot water heater formulated to melt at ~120F and BAM! You got yourself a ~3kWh 'thermal battery' with an effectively infinite cycle life for <$50/kWh. To my knowledge liquid salts are limited to thermal solar plants.... which are now expensive compared to Solar PV and it's unlikely we'll see any more being built for many of the same reasons nuclear is in trouble... converting heat into electricity is expensive and inefficient. Thermal storage for electricity is a generally poor option for two big reasons. It has a high self discharge rate (things cool) and it's limited to <50% efficiency by thermodynamics.

    Thermal storage may have merits if used as a heat pump... in this function there's less waste heat so the thermal efficiency is much higher. Isentropic PHES is one example of this but I'm I don't think the concept has left the drawing board yet.



    I agree that it's unlikely to be economically viable to have enough storage at your home for a week... At least in the conventional sense... but keep in mind that fossil fuels (hydrocarbons) are a type of storage and there are ways to manufacture those as well. And I'm referring to the grid... not an individual house. IMO we'll likely end up with two types of storage. Short duration (days) high efficiency (~90% round trip) used daily.... what we think of as batteries and pumped hydro. Then long duration (weeks) low efficiency (~50%) with a very low self-discharge. Things we typically don't think of as a 'battery'... hydrogen, un-oxidized metal and synthetic hydrocarbons.

    Electricity is likely to be so abundant at some times of the day/year that even if you have to expend 4 units of energy to get 1 unit of stored energy it will still be economically viable. One process I find interesting is burning metal when solar/wind is scarce then using electricity to restore it when renewables are abundant.

    With so many options available the idea that it's not possible store enough energy to carry the grid for a couple weeks does't appear very credible.
     

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