Will Batteries be the savior for BigWind? No and they are NOT green

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So, why not just use batteries to store BigWind energy? Battery storage is simply not dense enough. Read below and you will see the limitations. It does not make sense. We need energy DENSE sources that are efficient, dispatchable and inexpensive (nuclear/gas/coal/hydro) for our homes and businesses. Batteries, though rechargeable, are not green. Visit a lithium mine in northern Chile(pic above). Texas would not permit such a facility, and consider trying to open one in California or Massachusetts. And keep in mind, that lithium, like lead and cadmium, also popular for batteries, is a poisonous heavy metal. This is another aspect of the fake news about new renewables. And consumers need a lot of mines and batteries. A new battery for a full-size car stores 1 kWh. Running New York City for two cloudy, windless days would require about 530 million such batteries, about 62 per person….Read through the article(s) below and you will see that just 1 Tesla car battery uses 63 kg of lithium= more than the amount in 10,000 cell phones….

The Battery Series - Part 1The Battery Series - Part 2The Battery Series - Part 3The Battery Series - Part 4The Battery Series - Part 5
The Battery Series: Our Energy Problem: Putting the Battery in Context

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Why battery storage won’t save BigWind

If BigWind is already UNaffordable, (see previous article),what will battery storage do to the economics? It spells d-i-s-a-s-t-e-r for the industry. We would join the ranks of Germany, where an article, “To Heat or Eat”, highlighted the disproportionate amount of cash that citizens pay for energy.  California legislators out of their minds, to believe that businesses will not continue to leave such an expensive environment….

A pair of 500-foot smokestacks rise from a natural-gas power plant on the harbor of Moss Landing, California, casting an industrial pall over the pretty seaside town.

If state regulators sign off, however, it could be the site of the world’s largest lithium-ion battery project by late 2020, helping to balance fluctuating wind and solar energy on the California grid.

The 300-megawatt facility is one of four giant lithium-ion storage projects that Pacific Gas and Electric, California’s largest utility, askedthe California Public Utilities Commission to approve in late June. Collectively, they would add enough storage capacity to the grid to supply about 2,700 homes for a month (or to store about .0009 percent of the electricity the state uses each year).

The California projects are among a growing number of efforts around the world, including Tesla’s 100-megawatt battery array in South Australia, to build ever larger lithium-ion storage systems as prices decline and renewable generation increases. They’re fueling growing optimism that these giant batteries will allow wind and solar power to displace a growing share of fossil-fuel plants.

But there’s a problem with this rosy scenario. These batteries are far too expensive and don’t last nearly long enough, limiting the role they can play on the grid, experts say. If we plan to rely on them for massive amounts of storage as more renewables come online—rather than turning to a broader mix of low-carbon sources like nuclear and natural gas with carbon capture technology—we could be headed down a dangerously unaffordable path.

Small doses

Today’s battery storage technology works best in a limited role, as a substitute for “peaking” power plants, according to a 2016 analysis by researchers at MIT and Argonne National Lab. These are smaller facilities, frequently fueled by natural gas today, that can afford to operate infrequently, firing up quickly when prices and demand are high.

Lithium-ion batteries could compete economically with these natural-gas peakers within the next five years, says Marco Ferrara, a cofounder of Form Energy, an MIT spinout developing grid storage batteries.

“The gas peaker business is pretty close to ending, and lithium-ion is a great replacement,” he says.

This peaker role is precisely the one that most of the new and forthcoming lithium-ion battery projects are designed to fill. Indeed, the California storage projects could eventually replace three natural-gas facilities in the region, two of which are peaker plants.

But much beyond this role, batteries run into real problems. The authors of the 2016 study found steeply diminishing returns when a lot of battery storage is added to the grid. They concluded that coupling battery storage with renewable plants is a “weak substitute” for large, flexible coal or natural-gas combined-cycle plants, the type that can be tapped at any time, run continuously, and vary output levels to meet shifting demand throughout the day.

Not only is lithium-ion technology too expensive for this role, but limited battery life means it’s not well suited to filling gaps during the days, weeks, and even months when wind and solar generation flags.

This problem is particularly acute in California, where both wind and solar fall off precipitously during the fall and winter months. Here’s what the seasonal pattern looks like:

If renewables provided 80 percent of California electricity – half wind, half solar – generation would fall precipitously beginning in the late summer.

CLEAN AIR TASK FORCE ANALYSIS OF CAISO DATA

This leads to a critical problem: when renewables reach high levels on the grid, you need far, far more wind and solar plants to crank out enough excess power during peak times to keep the grid operating through those long seasonal dips, says Jesse Jenkins, a coauthor of the study and an energy systems researcher. That, in turn, requires banks upon banks of batteries that can store it all away until it’s needed.

And that ends up being astronomically expensive….

“The system becomes completely dominated by the cost of storage,” says Steve Brick, a senior advisor for the Clean Air Task Force. “You build this enormous storage machine that you fill up by midyear and then just dissipate it. It’s a massive capital investment that gets utilized very little.”

These forces would dramatically increase electricity costs for consumers.

“You have to pause and ask yourself: ‘Is there any way the public would stand for that?’” Brick says….

Why batteries won’t work

Will Wind Turbine BATTERIES destroy their GREEN image?

Note: The energy per unit of mass in a battery is much lower than than our common fuels like gasoline. When is the last time you threw away a battery? Can you imagine the landfill waste that will be generated if we begin to build turbines with massive batteries inside? Some batteries contain toxic metals – nice, cadmium, lead acid, nickel metal hydride. Their production and mining for their ingredients is anything BUT green. And how would the batteries perform during temperature extremes like the summer doldrums and winter blizzards? Would they be safe in extreme temperature conditions? Oh, nevermind, I forgot that wind energy turbines are VIRTUALLY USELESS when we actually need electricity the most! Their capacity values are almost nill during those times! 

Researchers from North Carolina State University and Johns Hopkins University have found that an increase in the use of wind power generation can make the power grid more fragile and susceptible to disruptions. But the researchers didnt just identify the problem — they have also devised a technique for coordinating wind power generation and energy storage in order to minimize the potential for such power disruptions….

…we have designed a technique that coordinates the activity of controllers inside the wind turbines and battery management systems to even out the flow of power from wind farms into the grid,” says Dr. Aranya Chakrabortty, an assistant professor of electrical engineering at NC State and senior author of a paper describing the work.

…If the power output for the wind farm increases, the surplus can be siphoned off to charge batteries at the storage facility, instead of being dumped directly onto the power grid. Similarly, if the power output at a wind farm declines, the batteries can compensate for the loss and provide power to the grid.

“By matching the behavior of the two controllers, we can produce the desired damping effect on the power flow and restore stable grid behavior,” Chakrabortty says.

via Minimizing power grid disruptions from wind power.

BigWind will want you to believe that 75,000Liters of Battery Acid is “Green”

Would this tarnish BigWind’s “green” image…How is the use/storage of 75000 LITERS of sulfuric acid/vanadium pentoxide “green”? I believe that Vanadium is used as a catalyst to convert sulfur dioxide into sulfuric acid, hence the term battery “acid”. Where does Vanadium come from? Predominantly China…

The Scottish island of Gigha is to be the focus of a £2.5m experiment aimed at solving a major technological problem: how to store energy generated by wind, tide and wave power plants. The project, which will involve building giant batteries containing 75,000 litres of sulphuric acid mixed with vanadium pentoxide, is intended to allow power generated by the islands wind turbines to be stored for later use.

via Gigha watts: Scottish island tests batteries for wind farms | Environment | The Observer.