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PostPosted: Nov 24, 2011 1:00 pm 
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Reducing the transmission load using nuclear power is relatively trivial, as only a couple of hours storage is needed for peak.
Something like these Potassium-ion batteries should do the trick:
http://www.greencarcongress.com/2011/11 ... 11124.html

This is all a different and much less daunting proposition to trying to cover intermittent wind.
Typically the transmission lines from a wind farm need over-rating by 3-4 times if the power in a blow is not to be wasted.


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PostPosted: Nov 26, 2011 3:13 pm 
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When thinking about MSR's and thermal storage and the degree of usefulness for managing the power system (and wholesale spot prices if present), is another one of those natural 80-20 rules. The first 20% of the storage will provide 80% of the benefits, even the ability to swing +/- 5% in real time for 6 - 8 hours at a time would be an extremely useful feature for any NPP. The ability to swing +25%/-50% for up to 16h peaking and 8h at part load per day should be quite possible technically, but a smaller or shorter swing capacity might be a more economic configuration.

As many have already commented, while thermal storage is quite valuable it's really something for the second generation of plants to be doing. The big job is to get as much low cost MSR/LFTR capacity out there as quickly as possible as vanilla base load capacity initially.


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PostPosted: Nov 26, 2011 8:35 pm 
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What about a LFTR that makes heat only for desalination. simple demonstration.


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PostPosted: Nov 27, 2011 6:45 am 
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Ida-Russkie wrote:
What about a LFTR that makes heat only for desalination. simple demonstration.


I thought thermal desalination is a lot less efficient than high pressure pumping through membranes, which needs electricity.

A high temperature nuclear plant that could switch between hydrogen production and electricity production could be useful.

I'm not a real fan of the "hydrogen economy". I believe a certain level of hydrogen can be added to domestic gas supplies. Or pump the hydrogen into old coal mines or tar sands and get gas out.


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PostPosted: Nov 28, 2011 8:03 am 
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Ida-Russkie wrote:
What about a LFTR that makes heat only for desalination. simple demonstration.

If desalination is a specific goal, the best way to do that would be to either use electricity to drive RO plants or generate electricity and low grade thermal energy from the cooling system to desalinate water. While direct desalination only is possible it would be a bit like running your car on 100 year old fine cognac when gasoline will do.


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PostPosted: Jan 09, 2012 10:59 am 
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This just came up in the Guardian:
http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/b ... f-comments

Quote:
I have received this reaction from Dr Robert Gross, via the UK Energy Research Centre:

I am Director of the Centre for Energy Policy and Technology at Imperial College and Senior Lecturer in Energy and Environmental Policy at Imperial. I run the Technology and Policy Assessment theme of UK Energy Research Centre (UKERC). I have a long standing interest in the costs of energy technologies and in the issue of 'intermittency'.

The technical implications of integrating wind into modern electricity systems are well understood and have been reviewed across many countries, mixes of power plant, climatic conditions and levels of wind penetration. In this subject, as in most others, there is a large body of broadly consistent analyses, undertaken by technically competent bodies such as university research groups, specialist consultancies and network operators. There is also a smattering of 'outliers', often produced by individuals or groups with particular agendas, such as anti-wind lobby groups. Extreme estimates usually result from flawed or overly simplistic methodologies, unrealistic assumptions, or misallocation of costs.

UKERC undertook a thoroughgoing review of the evidence base available in 2006 on the costs and impacts of intermittency, and is in the process of compiling a new review of the relative costs of different generation options, for publication later this year. Electrical engineering based modelling and simulation, and increasingly empirical data from countries where the penetration of wind farms has reached a significant level (such as Ireland, Denmark, Spain, Germany and some US states), demonstrates conclusively that wind does reduce emissions. Economic studies also indicate that the costs of intermittency, though potentially significant (particularly when wind reaches very large penetrations), are currently very small in the UK context. UKERC's assessment concludes that intermittency typically represents less than 10% of the costs of power generation when wind is below 20% of electricity - less than £9/MWh rather than the £60/MWh cited by Civitas. The potential efficiency losses that result from increased 'cycling' of fossil fuel stations responding to wind intermittency are real, but represent a very small fraction of the savings in emissions and fuel that results from the electrical output of wind. UKERC's review indicates that losses typically amount to just 1% of the percentage savings. The options for dealing with intermittency are also diverse; including increasing interconnection, demand side response, and storage, as well as fossil fuel back up.

There is also a substantial consensus that the lifecycle carbon emissions associated with the construction and maintaining of wind power are very small compared to those of fossil fuel sources.

I find it disappointing that Civitas has chosen to disregard the large body of analysis that indicates that the costs and impacts of intermittency are modest and that wind is an effective fuel saver. There is of course a legitimate debate about the cost and feasibility of the 2020 target for renewables, about which renewables deserve how much support, how best to deliver such support and the role of nuclear, carbon capture and other supply options. This debate is not well served by reporting which ignores the findings of a large body of credible, peer reviewed and professional analyses and selects extreme estimates which have not been peer reviewed, do not emerge from credible engineering/economic simulations or models and are widely out of step with the scientific consensus.


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PostPosted: Jan 09, 2012 11:49 am 
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Alex, yes, generating some electricity from wind and burning lots of natural gas for most of your grid, results in low apparent wind costs. If you don't want to burn natural gas as an assumption, then wind is prohibitively expensive due to storage costs.

The technical issues are indeed well understood - we won't run countries on wind, energy storage at that scale is too expensive, impractical, and in many cases geophysically impossible.

Because the technical issues are so well understood, many of us realize we won't run countries on renewables. In stead we'll run mostly natural gas grids with some wind and solar to feel good about a bad thing.

I find it disappointing that Dr. Robert Gross omits these simple truths, and in stead chooses a flawed pro wind propaganda that won't get us the required emissions (and fossil fuel use) reductions.


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PostPosted: Jan 09, 2012 1:25 pm 
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To be fair to Dr Robert Gross he was responding to a specific point made by Civitas (a political think tank), in a non peer reviewed article; and reflected at the start of this specific thread. I'm sure he would not disagree (which is not quite the same as agree) with your points above.


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PostPosted: Jan 09, 2012 2:19 pm 
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Alex, just because there are some bad anti-wind critiques out there doesn't mean we should argue that wind is a wonderful energy source. Dr. Gross' response makes this suggestion in his choice of rebuttals. Examples of this are the propaganda of EROEI and levelized cost. This is not limiting, these are not the most important problems of wind. We should be looking for the core truth, which is that you can't run your country on wind and solar without also using huge amounts of fossil fuels.


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PostPosted: Dec 04, 2017 9:37 pm 
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What Was Once Hailed as First U.S. Offshore Wind Farm Is No More


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