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Maybe we are not doomed after all

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  • laurentianlaurentian Posts: 1,876
    The battery thing is interesting.

    Why try to build a few "Mega Batteries"? Why not have smaller ones at the point of use, in houses?

    I am also of the opinion that household wind turbines, rather than windfarms could work
    Wilier Izoard XP
  • First.AspectFirst.Aspect Posts: 7,268
    pblakeney said:

    pblakeney said:

    You missed out on my cheeky part. 😉
    I was trying to make the point that renewables will not cover 100% of the UK for a considerable period of time and that any hydro power generated would be used up quite quickly. Progress is good but we've a way to go.

    You know there is a grid network? If you are making the point that the current grid network doesn't have sufficient capacity for the electrification of everything, then you are correct. A major grid upgrade is required, and it will be costly. The Committee on Climate Change has done a lot of analysis of this.

    Greater hydrogen use will reduce grid issues provided that the electrolysers are not running off the grid.
    Jeez!
    I'm talking about the required supply of renewable to meet capacity requirements.
    Those requirements are only going to increase with the move towards electrification.
    We need hydro, solar, wind and wave/tidal power generation combined to come close. That is a long way off.
    Energy usage is coming down as well, remember.

    Hydrogen from renewables by electrolysis is already a thing. I did a patent search a few weeks ago on this.

    It's also very attractive from an energy density standpoint. It is dangerous in the sense that it can self ignite if it leaks but it isn't like cars and planes don't catch fire when they crash already.

    So I agree that it is coming. There will be a tipping point and then it will arrive quicker than you imagine.

    There is a LOT of investment in fuel cells right now. And there is more synergy with battery components that you might imagine.
  • TheBigBeanTheBigBean Posts: 13,770

    BB - re batteries. I'm under the impression that effective batteries require fairly rare and exotic and harmful (either in their state or how they are mined/extracted) minerals.

    Is that the case, and if so, how sustainable is that if we start moving significant parts of national grids onto batteries?

    There is supposed to be a shortage of lithium, so some people are trying to create sodium batteries. I don't know much about this. Perhaps it is like oil where new deposits keep being found. Mobile phones are made of lots of nasty things.

    I don't think significant parts of the grid are moving into batteries as they are still fairly costly and the returns are doubtful. Where batteries are useful is for rapid response and grid stabilisation. Essentially, you can turn on a battery quicker than anything else which is quite useful and allows time to turn on something else. Also, there is some issue to do with grid frequency when a greater amount of power comes from renewables as they are out of sync, but that's something I have never tried to understand. Anyway, at the moment, batteries are more of a service.





  • pblakeneypblakeney Posts: 16,433


    Energy usage is coming down as well, remember.

    So the following is just my imagination?

    Electric cars.
    Gas/oil power generation being reduced.
    Gas/oil heating being cut from new builds.
    No more open fires.

    The above are just some examples that are going to make things a lot greener, but are going to place a higher demand on the electric power supply.

    The above may be fact, or fiction, I may be serious, I may be jesting.
    I am not sure. You have no chance.
    Veronese68 wrote:
    PB is the most sensible person on here.
  • focuszing723focuszing723 Posts: 2,506

    The battery thing is interesting.

    Why try to build a few "Mega Batteries"? Why not have smaller ones at the point of use, in houses?

    I am also of the opinion that household wind turbines, rather than windfarms could work



    There are Tesla powerwalls and other makes. Whereby excess energy created by the solar panels on the roof are stored there. This is great in the summer but obviously pretty poor in the winter but it's still another system which helps

    Also if you have an electric car with a decent size battery, some are 100kw in power the car could be used are the storage. The average power consumption of a household day is around 10kw, which actually sounds a lot to me. Again, great in the summer.
  • pblakeneypblakeney Posts: 16,433


    Previously you were talking about London not having power which was confusing.

    I was being extreme to make a point. I then pointed that out.
    Don't be so touchy about London. 😉

    For further clarification, the wink means don't take it seriously either.

    The above may be fact, or fiction, I may be serious, I may be jesting.
    I am not sure. You have no chance.
    Veronese68 wrote:
    PB is the most sensible person on here.
  • focuszing723focuszing723 Posts: 2,506
    I'm still waiting for Cern to create cheap abundant electric power.
  • TheBigBeanTheBigBean Posts: 13,770
    Jezyboy said:

    pblakeney said:

    You missed out on my cheeky part. 😉
    I was trying to make the point that renewables will not cover 100% of the UK for a considerable period of time and that any hydro power generated would be used up quite quickly. Progress is good but we've a way to go.

    You know there is a grid network? If you are making the point that the current grid network doesn't have sufficient capacity for the electrification of everything, then you are correct. A major grid upgrade is required, and it will be costly. The Committee on Climate Change has done a lot of analysis of this.

    Greater hydrogen use will reduce grid issues provided that the electrolysers are not running off the grid.
    BB - would have thought that electrolysers running off the grid would be OK so long as it wasn't at peak times? Could they not act as batteries. Really windy at night? Run the electrolysers, still during the day? Run that hydrogen through some gas turbines (some minor mods required).

    One subject that keeps getting pushed in my circles, but has had no (or little) traction in this thread is fusion, which does seem to be getting closer, rather than being perpetually 20 years away.
    Of course, in theory what you say is true, but if you are investing capital in an electrolyser to supply customers who want hydrogen, you won't want to only run at night when it is windy. It's the same as any industry.

  • Pross said:

    I've said it before but I think tidal power in this country is being massively under-utilised for some reason especially in the parts of the country such as the Bristol Channel where we have massive tidal ranges. It is far more predictable than any other source of renewable I can think of. There's lots of industrial land on river estuaries so maybe the dots could be joined to have hydrogen production facilities using tidal power?

    +1 we have some of the biggest tidal ranges in the world and offshore experience which should make us perfectly placed to be a world leader.

    The force of the tide that goes through the Solent is unbelievable and as you say is like clockwork
  • focuszing723focuszing723 Posts: 2,506
    The Severn barrage was touted long ago. Guaranteed tidal power, that would be a much better project than HS2. Plus all the other project because HS2 is such a bloody money pit.
  • TheBigBeanTheBigBean Posts: 13,770
    One of the many things I hate about batteries is quoting size by power. Does it hold enough to produce 100 MW for 5 mins, 1 hour, 1 day etc.
  • pblakeneypblakeney Posts: 16,433

    Pross said:

    I've said it before but I think tidal power in this country is being massively under-utilised for some reason especially in the parts of the country such as the Bristol Channel where we have massive tidal ranges. It is far more predictable than any other source of renewable I can think of. There's lots of industrial land on river estuaries so maybe the dots could be joined to have hydrogen production facilities using tidal power?

    +1 we have some of the biggest tidal ranges in the world and offshore experience which should make us perfectly placed to be a world leader.

    The force of the tide that goes through the Solent is unbelievable and as you say is like clockwork
    Last time I looked it was not yet efficient enough to be cost effective.
    There is a lot* of research going into it though so one day...

    *Although I also recall funding into research being reduced. 🤔
    The above may be fact, or fiction, I may be serious, I may be jesting.
    I am not sure. You have no chance.
    Veronese68 wrote:
    PB is the most sensible person on here.
  • focuszing723focuszing723 Posts: 2,506
    edited October 2020

    One of the many things I hate about batteries is quoting size by power. Does it hold enough to produce 100 MW for 5 mins, 1 hour, 1 day etc.
    That's why watts are used as it a definable amount per hour. An 18650 battery is say nominal 3.7v at 2500ma, so 3.7x2.5a gives around 9.25watts for one hour.

    Don't forget as well it just needs to store that power for a day then get recharged. I still think it's not the solution though as when the batteries degrade you are left with all the chemicals. I heard Tesla are trying to use chemical which don't use Cobalt which would be good.
  • TheBigBeanTheBigBean Posts: 13,770
    edited October 2020

    Pross said:

    I've said it before but I think tidal power in this country is being massively under-utilised for some reason especially in the parts of the country such as the Bristol Channel where we have massive tidal ranges. It is far more predictable than any other source of renewable I can think of. There's lots of industrial land on river estuaries so maybe the dots could be joined to have hydrogen production facilities using tidal power?

    +1 we have some of the biggest tidal ranges in the world and offshore experience which should make us perfectly placed to be a world leader.

    The force of the tide that goes through the Solent is unbelievable
    and as you say is like clockwork
    That's part of the problem. It tends to destroy things. Essentially no one has invented good enough technology. There are other issues around transmission cables and getting the power onshore, but it has been done for offshore wind.
  • JezyboyJezyboy Posts: 929
    Lots of power in a highly corrosive environment.
  • TheBigBeanTheBigBean Posts: 13,770

    The battery thing is interesting.

    Why try to build a few "Mega Batteries"? Why not have smaller ones at the point of use, in houses?

    I am also of the opinion that household wind turbines, rather than windfarms could work

    If batteries become cheap enough a home battery might be viable as it would avoid grid costs.

    A home wind turbine will be inefficient.
  • focuszing723focuszing723 Posts: 2,506
    edited October 2020


    When some kind of power is created which can run brushless motors which are fantastic (reliable, low maintenance) I can see us all flying around in these. No massive road infrastructure to maintain.
  • TheBigBeanTheBigBean Posts: 13,770

    One of the many things I hate about batteries is quoting size by power. Does it hold enough to produce 100 MW for 5 mins, 1 hour, 1 day etc.
    That's way watts are used as it a definable amount per hour. An 18650 battery is say nominal 3.7v at 2500ma, so 3.7x2.5a gives around 9.25watts for one hour.

    Dot forget as well it just needs to store that power for a day then get recharged. I still think it's not the solution though as when the batteries degrade you are left with all the chemicals. I heard Tesla are trying to use chemical which don't use Cobalt which would be good.
    I think you missed my point, it is a 100 MW battery, but the more interesting thing is it holds 129 MWh, so it will run at capacity for a bit over an hour. I think the amount it can store is a far more useful metric.

  • focuszing723focuszing723 Posts: 2,506

    The battery thing is interesting.

    Why try to build a few "Mega Batteries"? Why not have smaller ones at the point of use, in houses?

    I am also of the opinion that household wind turbines, rather than windfarms could work

    If batteries become cheap enough a home battery might be viable as it would avoid grid costs.

    A home wind turbine will be inefficient.
    I really like seeing projects where people use water wheels to generate power when they live close to rivers or larger streams. That's pretty much guaranteed constant power generation.
  • focuszing723focuszing723 Posts: 2,506

    One of the many things I hate about batteries is quoting size by power. Does it hold enough to produce 100 MW for 5 mins, 1 hour, 1 day etc.
    That's way watts are used as it a definable amount per hour. An 18650 battery is say nominal 3.7v at 2500ma, so 3.7x2.5a gives around 9.25watts for one hour.

    Dot forget as well it just needs to store that power for a day then get recharged. I still think it's not the solution though as when the batteries degrade you are left with all the chemicals. I heard Tesla are trying to use chemical which don't use Cobalt which would be good.
    I think you missed my point, it is a 100 MW battery, but the more interesting thing is it holds 129 MWh, so it will run at capacity for a bit over an hour. I think the amount it can store is a far more useful metric.

    Yeah that's a fair point.
  • laurentianlaurentian Posts: 1,876
    edited October 2020

    The battery thing is interesting.

    Why try to build a few "Mega Batteries"? Why not have smaller ones at the point of use, in houses?

    I am also of the opinion that household wind turbines, rather than windfarms could work



    There are Tesla powerwalls and other makes. Whereby excess energy created by the solar panels on the roof are stored there. This is great in the summer but obviously pretty poor in the winter but it's still another system which helps

    Also if you have an electric car with a decent size battery, some are 100kw in power the car could be used are the storage. The average power consumption of a household day is around 10kw, which actually sounds a lot to me. Again, great in the summer.
    We have a similar set up to this (not Tesla and my bike is on the opposite wall) and winter sun does charge the battery up. Our situation was that we wanted to begin to make ourselves less reliant on "the Grid" and invested in solar/battery. I guess the point I meant was that this didn't require governement investment - if the offer is attractive enough people will invest themselves which helps with the overall issue. (Our problem is electric heating that rinses the battery in pretty short order in the winter - this highlights the need for high degrees of insulation . . . and so it continues although there is no excuse for anything ither than maximum efficiency insulation on new build houses).

    We are also paid a "retainer" to store (ie not use)14% of the battery power so that this can be called on to support the national grid at times of high requirement or low generation (obviously this does not just rely our battery!)



    Wilier Izoard XP
  • laurentianlaurentian Posts: 1,876

    The battery thing is interesting.

    Why try to build a few "Mega Batteries"? Why not have smaller ones at the point of use, in houses?

    I am also of the opinion that household wind turbines, rather than windfarms could work

    If batteries become cheap enough a home battery might be viable as it would avoid grid costs.

    A home wind turbine will be inefficient.
    Why would it be any more inefficient than solar?
    Wilier Izoard XP
  • focuszing723focuszing723 Posts: 2,506
    edited October 2020

    The battery thing is interesting.

    Why try to build a few "Mega Batteries"? Why not have smaller ones at the point of use, in houses?

    I am also of the opinion that household wind turbines, rather than windfarms could work



    There are Tesla powerwalls and other makes. Whereby excess energy created by the solar panels on the roof are stored there. This is great in the summer but obviously pretty poor in the winter but it's still another system which helps

    Also if you have an electric car with a decent size battery, some are 100kw in power the car could be used are the storage. The average power consumption of a household day is around 10kw, which actually sounds a lot to me. Again, great in the summer.
    We have a similar set up to this (not Tesla) and winter sun does charge the battery up. Our situation was that we wanted to begin to make ourselves less reliant on "the Grid" and invested in solar/battery. I guess the point I meant was that this didn't require governement investment - if the offer is attractive enough people will invest themselves which helps with the overall issue. (Our problem is electric heating that rinses the battery in pretty short order in the winter - this highlights the need for high degrees of insulation . . . and so it continues although there is no excuse for anything ither than maximum efficiency insulation on new build houses).

    We are also paid a "retainer" to store (ie not use)14% of the battery power so that this can be called on to support the national grid at times of high requirement or low generation (obviously this does not just rely our battery!)



    That's great and it does make sense. I just like it on technical self sufficient front. It's really interesting seeing some YouTube videos of people who live on sailing boats who generate the power they require from solar panels, wind and sail drives. Some use lipo and others lifepo4 batteries as they are a safer chemistry.

    They collect rain water off the deck to use for certain things to avoid depleting their water tanks.

    Really important when they are out of harbour and are sailing to explore a different area.
  • First.AspectFirst.Aspect Posts: 7,268
    pblakeney said:


    Energy usage is coming down as well, remember.

    So the following is just my imagination?

    Electric cars.
    Gas/oil power generation being reduced.
    Gas/oil heating being cut from new builds.
    No more open fires.

    The above are just some examples that are going to make things a lot greener, but are going to place a higher demand on the electric power supply.

    I don't know what you are trying to say.

    My point was merely that the gap between what we need to generate sustainably and what we currently generate sustainably will be bridged from both the generation capacity and demand side.

    So I'm agreeing with you.
  • JezyboyJezyboy Posts: 929

    The battery thing is interesting.

    Why try to build a few "Mega Batteries"? Why not have smaller ones at the point of use, in houses?

    I am also of the opinion that household wind turbines, rather than windfarms could work

    If batteries become cheap enough a home battery might be viable as it would avoid grid costs.

    A home wind turbine will be inefficient.
    Why would it be any more inefficient than solar?
    I imagine with smaller turbines a higher percentage of the air ends up just falling off the end of the airfoil, rather than travelling around the airfoil and generating a turning force.
  • TheBigBeanTheBigBean Posts: 13,770

    The battery thing is interesting.

    Why try to build a few "Mega Batteries"? Why not have smaller ones at the point of use, in houses?

    I am also of the opinion that household wind turbines, rather than windfarms could work

    If batteries become cheap enough a home battery might be viable as it would avoid grid costs.

    A home wind turbine will be inefficient.
    Why would it be any more inefficient than solar?
    More wind higher up whereas solar is about area covered.
  • laurentianlaurentian Posts: 1,876



    More wind higher up whereas solar is about area covered.

    Thanks
    Wilier Izoard XP
  • rjsterryrjsterry Posts: 20,543

    The battery thing is interesting.

    Why try to build a few "Mega Batteries"? Why not have smaller ones at the point of use, in houses?

    I am also of the opinion that household wind turbines, rather than windfarms could work

    Unfortunately, people don't build houses where its windy enough to make turbines worthwhile.
    1985 Mercian King of Mercia - work in progress (Hah! Who am I kidding?)
    Pinnacle Monzonite

    Liberal metropolitan, remoaner, traitor, "sympathiser", etc.
  • bompingtonbompington Posts: 7,674
    rjsterry said:

    The battery thing is interesting.

    Why try to build a few "Mega Batteries"? Why not have smaller ones at the point of use, in houses?

    I am also of the opinion that household wind turbines, rather than windfarms could work

    Unfortunately, people don't build houses where its windy enough to make turbines worthwhile.
    You've obviously never visited me
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