Energy From Thorium Discussion Forum

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PostPosted: Apr 08, 2017 4:27 pm 
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KitemanSA wrote:
Would also remove the final impediment to 100% nuclear power.

I see you understand something that so many wind and solar advocates miss. Energy storage systems do not care where the energy comes from, they work for nuclear and coal just as well as they do for wind and solar.

If we get utility scale energy storage then this means a lot of the problems of coal, nuclear, and natural gas go away. This would make wind and solar look even worse, so bad that I'm not sure even government subsidy can keep it propped up.

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PostPosted: Apr 29, 2017 1:32 pm 
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Kurt Sellner wrote:
KitemanSA wrote:
Would also remove the final impediment to 100% nuclear power.

I see you understand something that so many wind and solar advocates miss. Energy storage systems do not care where the energy comes from, they work for nuclear and coal just as well as they do for wind and solar.

In truth, they work better for nuclear in that the amount needed for nuclear is less than 1/40th that needed for solar and even less than that needed for wind.

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PostPosted: Apr 29, 2017 2:44 pm 
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If we get utility scale energy storage then this means a lot of the problems of coal, nuclear, and natural gas go away. This would make wind and solar look even worse...

Please explain how our lack of utility scale storage (1) holds back the expansion of natural gas power plants and (2) helps renewables.


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PostPosted: Apr 29, 2017 6:48 pm 
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BSFusion wrote:
Quote:
If we get utility scale energy storage then this means a lot of the problems of coal, nuclear, and natural gas go away. This would make wind and solar look even worse...

Please explain how our lack of utility scale storage (1) holds back the expansion of natural gas power plants and (2) helps renewables.


It holds back natural gas because ~61% efficient CCGTs crush literally everything at this point (with commercial capital rates anyway).
The only reason we can't have an all CCGT fleet is they don't do well at low capacity factors.


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PostPosted: Apr 30, 2017 9:35 pm 
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BSFusion wrote:
Quote:
If we get utility scale energy storage then this means a lot of the problems of coal, nuclear, and natural gas go away. This would make wind and solar look even worse...

Please explain how our lack of utility scale storage (1) holds back the expansion of natural gas power plants and (2) helps renewables.

A lack of utility scale storage does not hold back expansion of natural gas, it holds back some of the efficiency of natural gas. Combined cycle natural gas plants have double the efficiency of gas turbines used to cover peak power demands, if we can replace these turbines with a combination of combined cycle natural gas and electric storage devices then we can see our reduction of CO2 output from energy be reduced further. Much of the recent reductions in US CO2 production comes from natural gas use (replacing coal) and an economic downturn (reducing consumption of many high energy luxuries). Further reductions can be seen with affordable electric storage systems and low carbon (relative to coal) natural gas combined cycle generation.

A lack of utility scale electricity storage does not help renewables. As it is now we need to see a one for one addition of a watt of natural gas turbine capacity for every watt of additional wind and solar capacity. I recall that this is such an important aspect of wind (having ready backup for when the wind not blowing) that siting for wind farms is based largely on availability of natural gas for the backup power. In other words, no one is going to run expensive power lines for wind power unless they know the lines will have a high capacity factor on that line, meaning that there must be another source of electricity on that same line to make up for the 70% of the time the wind is not blowing. If we have affordable electricity storage then the storage systems can be sited with the turbines and the power lines from the wind farms need only be big enough to match average output. This makes getting the power to where it is needed cheaper.

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PostPosted: May 06, 2017 1:00 am 
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jagdish wrote:
Although battery can store energy from any source, the production process may make a different storage beneficial.
Electronic production like photovoltaic may be best stored in a battery.
Hydro production is best stored in a reservoir.
Nuclear may be best stored as heat in a molten salt.
Intermittent wind energy is best converted to compressed air at a low cost for storage. It could be used via pneumatic route or converted to electric at scale of useage.


The only reason we are discussing electric storage is because wind and solar energy must be harvested as it is produced. Nuclear, hydro, coal, geothermal, and so on is already "stored" by not converting it to electricity in the first place. If we don't burn coal then it's not lost to us like if we don't allow a windmill to spin in the wind.

This problem of intermittency of wind and solar power is not near as trivial as many would imply it to be. This is on top of the current costs of these energy sources. Producing a viable electricity storage system is required for wind and solar to meet more than a small fraction of our energy needs. If we also do not see a massive drop in the cost of wind and solar energy then not even a free battery can make it work, and nothing is free.

If we simply ignore wind and solar energy, which I believe we should, and move to next generation nuclear then we won't need these utility scale batteries. These batteries might still be useful for things like keeping data centers running in emergencies or something but that is much smaller scale than what we'd need for wind and solar to make a dent in our energy needs.

Lacking next generation nuclear and adding some sort of utility scale storage then wind and solar look kind of pointless as an energy source. They look rather pointless now. Again, wind and solar require storage but that is insufficient, they also need to come down in costs. I've seen Prof. Sadoway on a TED Talk video and he certainly makes a good case but this all evaporates once the costs of wind and solar are taken into account. Nuclear, coal, hydro, etc. do not require batteries by their very nature. If we can get these batteries produced then they can possibly make these already cheap energy sources cheaper still. That makes for an even higher bar for wind and solar to clear.

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PostPosted: Jun 20, 2017 8:37 am 
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https://www.technologyreview.com/s/6080 ... -startups/


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PostPosted: Jun 22, 2017 4:32 pm 
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https://www.asme.org/engineering-topics ... ize-energy


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PostPosted: Jun 24, 2017 2:45 am 
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Liquid metal battery is one of the options for a liquid battery. Flow battery is another.
For portable equipment, the mass per unit storage is critical. For utility or even a building, the cost per unit will determine the choice. Flow type using Quinone type chemicals seem most promising. Let a thousand flowers bloom.


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PostPosted: Jun 27, 2017 12:40 am 
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I have to wonder if these battery makers aren't their own worst enemy. They offer to sell a product today that they openly admit will quite likely be much cheaper next year. For people looking for utility scale storage they'll just wait another year, they are in no hurry to buy batteries for anything.

Lately I bought a lot of batteries because I had UPS and cordless power tool batteries die on me. I didn't replace those batteries for the sake of batteries, I bought them because blackout protection and cordless tools are important to me. I don't much care if the battery for my truck will be $40 next year and $80 today because in the grand scheme of things that small cost is just maintenance on my vehicle and I need something that I know will get me places when I need it. For these people making utility scale battery packs they have to make a business case to an industry that is naturally opposed to risks. Batteries to a utility don't provide a readily apparent need at a negligible cost, these are large investments with questionable returns.

I think Tesla is doing it right. They aren't trying to sell batteries. They are setting themselves up to sell batteries but they will be their biggest customer for the batteries they produce. Their main products are automobiles and off grid electric systems. Batteries are a big part of both product lines but a lot of the costs will be in other parts to these products. The costs of the batteries will be moderated with the costs of the other parts needed to complete the products they sell.

I don't see government subsidies as any kind of a solution to this problem either. All government intervention would do is add more uncertainty to an already volatile market.

I am not claiming I know how to be successful in the battery making business. I only claim that I am now seeing why so many battery makers have failed. These are important lessons to learn though, Edison made money in lightbulbs only after finding 1000 ways to to fail at it. Much of that success was in selling a "system". People were generally happy with gas lights until Edison came along with lightbulbs and the generators to power them. Perhaps these battery makers need to create their own market somehow, like Edison did and Tesla is doing.

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PostPosted: Jun 27, 2017 9:35 am 
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It is a good idea to find a use for your production, in addition to the existing ones , for the producer.
Another good approach would be the best storage for the use of energy. Portable equipment will need small and light storage. There will be a suitable energy for every use.


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