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PostPosted: Jan 13, 2014 12:34 am 
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A flow battery could be a better bet.

Harvard May Solve An Intermittent Energy Production Problem

A quinone could be a cheaper alternative to metals.


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PostPosted: Jan 13, 2014 1:43 am 
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jagdish wrote:
A flow battery could be a better bet.
http://newenergyandfuel.com/http:/newen ... n-problem/
A quinone could be a cheaper alternative to metals.



Nuclear energy is static technologically were as competing technologies are progressing with increasing vigor. In a competitive environment, stagnation cannot prevail.

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PostPosted: Jan 13, 2014 10:41 am 
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Cheap battery tech increases the strength of nuclear's position just as it does renewables.

It may be static but it is so far ahead its not even funny.


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PostPosted: Jan 13, 2014 5:18 pm 
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E Ireland wrote:
Cheap battery tech increases the strength of nuclear's position just as it does renewables.

It may be static but it is so far ahead its not even funny.


Well said. A million times the energy density of coal, a thousand times less CO2 than coal, and greater reliability than coal plants.

Cheap energy storage allows a 100% nuclear powered economy with less than 1/100th the amount of storage needed for the 100% renewable economy.

To twist some proverbs: It's pretty static at the top.


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PostPosted: Apr 15, 2015 3:11 pm 
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An MIT chemist, Don Sadoway, has conceived, and started a company developing a scalable battery for utility applications.

Donald Sadoway: The missing link to renewable energy

Company: Ambri

It appears to be stable, with a long life, inexpensive, and scalable to very large sizes. The company, Ambri, has completed several rounds of financing, and has scaled the battery several orders of magnitude from laboratory test cells to 20kw demonstrations. The great thing about this is that is adds efficient storage that isn't hydroelectric (i.e. limited by geography).

So, why is it a waste? Just in the nature of using batteries with, say, solar cells, the solar cells have to be scaled-up to match the total energy use. So, multiply the solar cells by the reciprocal of solar availability. (Say you're in the Mojave desert, this is about 3x. In Germany, in the winter, it's about 14x) Then add the battery cost necessary to store the total energy. So even with this wonderful advance, the cost of renewables is from 4x to 15x the cost of a primary power plant like a reactor, or a fossil-fuel plant. (That is, modern solar installations are $2.16/W, and Korean nuclear reactors are $2.30/W. In an estimation from 4x to 14x, they're the same cost.)

It's nice that the tech exists, but I don't think it can really help society's energy needs in a big way. Therefore, AMBRI's battery is going to be a nice niche technology. And maybe they know this. Their initial customers seem to be island power systems that currently use diesels.


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PostPosted: Apr 15, 2015 10:47 pm 
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I have yet to see any actual $/kWh figures for the Ambri concept.
All we know si they have low raw material cost - which doesn't really mean anything.


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PostPosted: Apr 16, 2015 1:01 am 
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The website is devoid of detail - I couldn't even find the basic chemistry being used. Apparently it isn't Mg/Sb, but no word on the replacement. I guess we'll have to wait until their patents are granted to see if there is anything to this.


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PostPosted: Apr 18, 2015 11:29 pm 
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E Ireland wrote:
I have yet to see any actual $/kWh figures for the Ambri concept.
All we know si they have low raw material cost - which doesn't really mean anything.


The cost of materials is not stagnant either, it changes with demand. What happens to the price of the materials when/if this technology is mass produced? I remember seeing an article spelling out how much material that a national grid scale battery would require. The article used lead acid batteries as an example and pointed out that the amount of lead required would exceed known reserves. That would make lead a precious metal.

Also, any technology capable of leveling out the peaks and valleys of renewable energy sources can also level out the peaks and valleys of a changing load. What makes more sense? Should we make expensive wind and solar more expensive with battery reserves? Or, should we make already affordable nuclear power capable of sourcing peak loads with batteries, making expensive peak power natural gas unnecessary?

While I see this technology as a potential game changer in energy storage I do not foresee this working on the scales they envision.

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PostPosted: Apr 19, 2015 8:28 pm 
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E Ireland wrote:
Nickel-Iron batteries are not required to be molten. I was just using it as an example of a battery chemistry which is made of incredibly abundant materials.


Ah, my mistake. I still have to question if it would be economical to build batteries at utility scale. I remember when I worked in a call center and a nearby bolt of lightning put the building in the dark until the backup generators started up. How big would a battery have to be to run that building until power was restored? What if power was not restored for days? With diesel or natural gas generators that means just trucking in more fuel. With a battery the alternatives is much more expensive.

Just saw this article about Hawaii Electric Company having troubles dealing with the abundance of rooftop solar.

Solar Power Battle Puts Hawaii at Forefront of Worldwide Changes

Made me wonder if they might find utility battery storage as an option.

Getting back to my call center example, imagine the roof of the building was covered with solar panels. Would the sun give enough power to keep that building powered if utility power was lost for an extended period? At that scale I'd imagine a deal would be struck with the utility to avoid many of the problems that Hawaii Electric sees now.

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PostPosted: Jun 12, 2015 2:40 pm 
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The company has apparently switched to a new chemistry with higher voltage, thus a smaller installation.
It looks like straightforward engineering optimization:
The top, low density electrode is now lithium.
The bottom, high-density electrode is a less-expensive lead/antimony alloy.
They claim similar reliability, higher voltages (i.e. better specific energy), lower temperatures (i.e. lower heating costs), and less expensive (lead is cheaper than pure antimony).

I think this battery stuff is a lovely engineering option, but not as good as a reactor.


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PostPosted: Mar 27, 2017 6:41 pm 
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A Low-Tech Approach To Energy Storage: Molten Metals

I met with Don Sadoway a few years ago and he talked with me more about all this technology. It was fascinating.


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PostPosted: Mar 29, 2017 11:25 am 
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Still no patents on the final chemistry? If it involves anything the least bit rare it won't scale well. If it works with only abundant and cheap elements it could be an alternative to sodium-sulfur for grid-scale storage.


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PostPosted: Mar 29, 2017 2:28 pm 
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Liquid metal battery inventor questions lithium-ion as grid-scale storage solution

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Liquid metal battery inventor Professor Donald Sadoway, of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, believes the technology has the potential to provide the “missing piece” in an electricity market that relies on “redundancy and overcapacity” to balance supply and demand – a feature that will become even more pronounced as the penetration of variable renewable-energy supply expands.


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PostPosted: Apr 03, 2017 2:42 pm 
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Would also remove the final impediment to 100% nuclear power.

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PostPosted: Apr 08, 2017 4:23 am 
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Agree that all research should go on for electric storage but flow battery has scope to be the best static storage installation.
For best energy storage, compressed air could be even better. It could even be used via pneumatic tools at lower cost. Only lighting and electronics have to use electricity.


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