The Anonymous Widower

Massless Energy Storage: The Next Step In Battery Technology

The title of this post, is the same as that of this article on AZOCleanTech.

This is the introductory paragraph.

In this environmentally conscious world, fossil fuels are being shunned in favor of renewables for electricity generation and transportation. Due to their periodic nature, excess energy generated by renewables is frequently stored in batteries. However, these often add extra weight to the cars and consumer electronics they power.

To solve the problem, researchers in Sweden have developed a structural battery.

Sounds like a good idea to me!

April 9, 2021 Posted by | Design, Energy, Energy Storage | , | Leave a comment

Tesla And PG&E Are Working On A Massive ‘Up To 1.1 GWh’ Powerpack Battery System

The title of this post, is the same as that of this article on electrek.

This is the first two paragraphs.

For the past few months, Tesla and CEO Elon Musk have been teasing a giant battery project that would dwarf even the company’s 129 MWh Powerpack project in Australia.

Today, we learn that Tesla is working with PG&E on a massive battery system with a capacity of “up to 1.1 GWh” in California.

It certainly, is a big lithium-ion battery.

  • It will be able to provide 182.5 MW for four hours.
  • It looks like it could be the largest  lithium-ion battery in the world.

It is worth comparing with the Castaic Power Plant, which is also in California.

  • This is a pumped storage plant.
  • It can produce 1566 MW and has a capacity of 12470 MWh.

This Google Map shows the plant.

Note.

  1. The power plant is also part of the California State Water Project, which transfer water from North to South.
  2. The low-lake is Elderberry Forebay to the East.
  3. The high-lake is Pyramid Lake to the North.

It is a complicated system that includes the Angeles Tunnel, which takes water between Pyramid Lake and the Castaic power plant.

It cost a lot more than the 1.1 GWh battery, but it can generate a lot more power.

 

April 5, 2021 Posted by | Energy, Energy Storage | , , , | Leave a comment

Highview Power Introduces Revolutionary Cryogenic Energy Storage Technology To The African Market

The title of this post, is the same as that of this article on the African Review.

This is the first paragraph.

Javier Cavada, CEO and President of Highview Power spoke to African Review about the company’s cryogenic (air liquefaction) battery storage solutions and why they are a perfect fit for the continent

It appears to me, that the story, which started in a garage in Bishops Stortford, is going to have a happy ending for the world.

The article is a must read and I particularly liked this paragraph.

Cavada also noted how cryogenic technology complemented this transition. He added, “The main energy companies call our technology ‘pumped hydro in a box’ and that is how we have been making it. You can deploy over 1GWh without geographical constraints. There is no combustion, no emissions and no rare materials needed. All it comprises is some piping work, compressors and a generator, so it is pretty simple. Our mission is to enable a world that is grid powered by solar and wind, not fossil fuels, and this technology will help us achieve this.”

This is the brightest shade of green!

March 18, 2021 Posted by | Energy Storage | , | Leave a comment

Ex-Steelworks To Make Wind Farm Parts In Plan For 6,000 Green Jobs

The title of this post, is the same as that of this article on The Times.

This is the introductory paragraph.

The government will invest almost £100 million creating new wind turbine ports in northeast England, with a big renewables company announcing plans to make crucial parts in Teesside.

The two ports will be on Teesside and North Lincolnshire.

The next generation of wind turbines in the North Sea will be very different.

Larger Turbines

They will be larger and the blades will be bigger, so building them close to, where they will be installed is a sensible idea.

We are also very good at aerodynamics in the UK. This is the reason Airbus designs and builds wings in the UK.

Floating Turbines

The next generation of wind farms will be floating, as for some reason, they have a higher capacity factor.

I am personally pleased about this, as it appears they are based on a patented but failed design of floating oil production platform from the 1970s, where I performed the calculations on how to install them.

Some of these floating wind turbines can also be floated into port for major services and upgrades, which probably means we need local manufacturing of as many parts as possible.

Hydrogen Rather Than Electrical Connection

They will also create hydrogen, rather than electricity, by using a combination of wind turbine and hydrogen electrolyser.

As distances between shore and wind farm get longer, it is cheaper to use a gas pipe, rather than a DC electricity link.

Hydrogen can also be stored in worked out gas fields and also brought ashore in redundant pipelines.

The hydrogen electrolysers will probably be built in the world’s largest electrolyser factory in Rotherham, owned by ITM Power; a UK company.

Conclusion

As we are going to build almost 70 GW of offshore wind in the next few years, we’re going to need a turbines and I believe increasingly, they will be built in the UK.

So these two wind ports at Teesside and in Lincolnshire are a good idea.

March 11, 2021 Posted by | Energy, Energy Storage, Hydrogen | , | Leave a comment

H2 Green Steel Plans 800 MW Hydrogen Plant In Sweden

The title of this post, is the same as that of this article on montel.

The title says it all.

In Can The UK Have A Capacity To Create Five GW Of Green Hydrogen?, I said the following.

Ryse Hydrogen are building the Herne Bay electrolyser.

  • It will consume 23 MW of solar and wind power.
  • It will produce ten tonnes of hydrogen per day.

This would mean that H2 Green Steel’s electrolyser could be producing around one hundred and forty thousand tonnes of hydrogen per year or 380 tonnes per day.

What About Scunthorpe?

I very much believe that Scunthorpe in Lincolnshire, would be the ideal place for hydrogen steelmaking in the UK as I outlined in Green Hydrogen To Power First Zero Carbon Steel Plant.

So could 800 MW of electricity be available to produce the hydrogen in the area.

Currently, the world’s largest offshore wind farm is Hornsea One with a capacity of 1218 MW, which feeds into the National Grid at Killingholme.

This Google Map shows the distance between Scunthorpe and Killingholme.

Note.

  1. Scunthorpe is in the South-West corner of the map.
  2. Killingholme is in the North-East corner of the map.

The distance is about twenty miles.

When fully developed, the Hornsea Wind Farm is planned to have a capacity of 6 GW or 6000 MW, so there should be enough renewable energy.

Could The Hydrogen Be Created Offshore?

In ITM Power and Ørsted: Wind Turbine Electrolyser Integration, I wrote about combining wind turbines and electrolysers to create an offshore wind turbine, that generates hydrogen, rather than electricity.

This approach may be ideal for the later phases of the Hornsea Wind Farm.

  • Redundant gas pipes can be used to bring the hydrogen ashore.
  • Worked-out offshore gas fields can be used to store hydrogen.
  • Worked-out gas fields in the area, are already being used to store natural gas from Norway.
  • The hydrogen can be fed directly into the HumberZero hydrogen network.

But the main reason, is that some serious commentators feel it is more affordable approach in terms of capital and maintenance costs.

It is also easy to convert hydrogen back to zero-carbon electricity, if you have a handy gas-fired power station. There could be as many of three of these at Keadby.

Conclusion

It’s all coming together on Humberside.

Anything the Swedes can do, we can do better!

March 1, 2021 Posted by | Energy, Energy Storage, Hydrogen | , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Malta Inc Energy Storage Explained

Malta Inc first came to my notice in 2018 and I wrote Gates Among Billionaires Backing Alphabet Energy Spinoff.

But I couldn’t find much information at the time, but they now have a web site that gives a good explanation.

This page on the web site is entitled Our Solution.

This infographic from the web page, lays out the key features.

This sentence outlines the method of operation.

The Malta energy storage system takes electricity, converts and stores that electricity as heat, and then converts it back to electricity to be redistributed on the electric grid. In charge mode, the system operates as a heat pump, storing electricity as heat in molten salt. In discharge mode, the system operates as a heat engine, using the stored heat to produce electricity.

The operation is explained in five stages.

  1. Collects – Energy is gathered from wind, solar, or fossil generators on the grid as electrical energy and sent to Malta’s energy storage system.
  2. Converts – The electricity drives a heat pump, which converts electrical energy into thermal energy by creating a temperature difference.
  3. Stores – The heat is then stored in molten salt, while the cold is stored in a chilled liquid.
  4. Reconverts – The temperature difference is converted back to electrical energy with a heat engine.
  5. Distributes – Electricity is sent back to the grid when it is needed.

Note.

  1. The operation of the system is based on well-understood thermodynamic principles.
  2. Entergy is stored as both heat and cold.
  3. It provides several hours of energy storage.
  4. Systems are built using standard components, that are readily available.

In some ways the Malta Inc PHES is based on similar principles to Highview Power’s CRYOBattery and Siemens Gamesa’s ETES.

Conclusion

This is a company to watch, as they seem to have got the technology right.

February 25, 2021 Posted by | Energy, Energy Storage | , , | 2 Comments

Highview Power Begins 2021 With 4 GWh Of CRYOBattery Storage In Global Pipeline

The title of this post, is the same as that of this article on Solar Builder.

Read the article to find out how Highview Power are progressing with partners, offices and projects all over the world.

Not bad for an idea, that was invented in a garage in Bishops Stortford.

The article points to this video produced by the BBC.

If there’s one new venture, I wish I’d have a share of, it is this one.

  • One of the projects, I worked on at ICI was optimising the size of a new plant to make plastic granules. I learned a great deal about how process plants can be scaled and their mathematics and economics.
  • I believe that Highview Power’s CRYOBaterries fit with everything I know and are just world-class process engineering arranged in a unique way, which means they can be built in any country, where modern process plant technology is available and can be run and serviced by skilled engineers and technologists.
  • Their partnership with the likes of Sumitomo Heavy Industries means, Highview Power, probably has access to the best technology, for some of the components needed.

After reading the article in Solar Builder, I now feel that Highview Power are on their way!

One of the first places, I shall visit after lockdown ends is Carrington near Manchester, to take pictures of the site of Highview Power’s 50 MW/250 MWh system, that is being built at Carrington.

February 19, 2021 Posted by | Energy Storage | , , , | Leave a comment

SSE Goes Global To Reap The Wind

The title of this article on This Is Money is Renewable Energy Giant SSE Launches Plan To Become Britain’s First Global Windfarm Business As it Invests Up To £15bn Over Next Decade.

The title is a good summary of their plans to build wind farms in Continental Europe, Denmark, Japan and the US, in addition to the UK and Ireland.

I can also see the company developing more integrated energy clusters using the following technologies.

  • Wind farms that generate hydrogen rather than electricity using integrated electrolysers and wind turbines, developed by companies like ITM Power and Ørsted.
  • Reusing of worked out gasfields and redundant gas pipelines.
  • Zero-carbon CCGT power stations running on Hydrogen.
  • Lots of Energy storage.

I talked about this type of integration in Batteries Could Save £195m Annually By Providing Reserve Finds National Grid ESO Trial.

In the related post, I talked about the Keadby cluster of gas-fired power stations, which are in large part owned by SSE.

Conclusion

I think that SSE could be going the way of Equinor and Ørsted and becoming a global energy company.

It is also interesting the BP and Shell are investing in renewable energy to match the two Scandinavian companies.

Big Oil seems to be transforming itself into Big Wind.

All these companies seem to lack grid-scale energy storage, although hydrogen can be generated and stored in worked-out gas fields.

So I would expect that some of the up-and-coming energy storage companies like Gravitricity, Highview Power and RheEnergise could soon have connections with some of these Big Wind companies.

 

 

February 14, 2021 Posted by | Energy, Energy Storage, Hydrogen | , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Batteries Could Save £195m Annually By Providing Reserve Finds National Grid ESO Trial

The title of this post, is the same as that of this article on Current News.

The title gives the findings of the Arenko-led trial.

What Is The National Grid Reserve Service?

It’s all about providing capacity for the National Grid Reserve Service, which is described in this Wikipedia entry. This is the introductory paragraph.

To balance the supply and demand of electricity on short timescales, the UK National Grid has contracts in place with generators and large energy users to provide temporary extra power, or reduction in demand. These reserve services are needed if a power station fails for example, or if forecast demand differs from actual demand. National Grid has several classes of reserve services, which in descending order of response time are: Balancing Mechanism (BM) Start-Up, Short-Term Operating Reserve, Demand Management and Fast Reserve.

The Wikipedia entry is very comprehensive.

A Collateral Benefit

This is a paragraph from the article.

Additionally, unlike CCGT plants, batteries do not need to be producing power in order to provide Reserve as they can charge when there is abundant renewable energy on the grid, and then wait to react when needed. As CCGT’s need to be producing power to provide this service, it can led to renewables switched off in favour of the more carbon intensive fossil fuel generation, to ensure Reserve is available if needed.

The article concludes that Reserve from Storage could help National Grid ESO’s reach their target of net-zero operation by 2025.

Could We Replace CCGT Plants With Batteries?

CCGT or combined cycle gas-turbine power plants are efficient ways to turn natural gas into electricity.

  • Typical sizes are around 800 MW.
  • They are reasonably quick and easy to build.
  • As their fuel comes by a pipeline, they don’t need to be connected to the rail network, unlike biomass and coal power plants.

Because they burn methane, they still emit a certain amount of carbon dioxide, although levels much less than an equivalent coal-fired power station.

In Energy In North-East Lincolnshire, I described the three Keadby power stations.

  • Keadby – In operation – 734 MW
  • Keadby 2 – Under construction – 840 MW
  • Keadby 3 – In planning – 910 MW

In total, these three power stations will have a capacity of 2484 MW.

By comparison, Hinckley Point C will have a capacity of 3200 MW.

Add Keadby 4 and the four CCGTs would provide more electricity, than Hinckley Point C.

I think it would be very difficult to replace a cluster of CCGT gas-fired power stations or a big nuclear power plant with the sort of batteries being deployed today. 2.5 to 3 GW is just so much electricity!

I do believe though, that instead of building a 3200 MW nuclear power plant, you could build a cluster of four 800 MW CCGTs.

But What About The Carbon Dioxide?

Using the Keadby cluster of CCGTs as an example.

  • Keadby 2 and Keadby 3 are being built to be upgraded with carbon-capture technology.
  • The HumberZero gas network will take the carbon dioxide away for  storage in worked-out gas fields in the North Sea.
  • Some carbon dioxide will be fed to salad vegetables and soft fruits in greenhouses, to promote growth.
  • Keadby 2 and Keadby 3 are being built to be able to run on hydrogen.
  • The HumberZero network will also be able to deliver hydrogen to fuel the power stations.

I’m certain we’ll see some of the next generation of wind turbines delivering their energy from hundreds of miles offshore, in the form of hydrogen by means of a pipe.

The technology is being developed by ITM Power and Ørsted, with the backing of the UK government.

  • Redundant gas pipelines can be used, to bring the hydrogen to the shore
  • The engineering of piping hydrogen to the shore is well-understood.
  • Redundant gas pipelines can be used if they already exist.
  • Gas networks can be designed, so that depleted gas fields can be used to store the gas offshore, in times when it is not needed.

But above all gas pipelines cost less than DC  electricity links, normally used to connect turbines to the shore.

I can see very complicated, but extremely efficient networks of wind turbines, redundant gas fields and efficient CCGT power stations connected together by gas pipelines, which distribute natural gas, hydrogen and carbon dioxide as appropriate.

Could Offshore Hydrogen Storage And CCGTs Provide The Reserve Power

Consider.

  • Using a CCGT power station  to provide Reserve Power is well understood.
  • Suppose there is a large worked out gasfield, near to the power station, which has been repurposed to be used for hydrogen storage.
  • The hydrogen storage is filled using hydrogen created by offshore wind turbines, that have built in electrolysers, like those being developed by ITM Power and Ørsted.
  • One of more CCGTs could run as needed using hydrogen from the storage as fuel.
  • A CCGT power station running on hydrogen is a zero-carbon power station.

Effectively, there would be a giant battery, that stored offshore wind energy as hydrogen.

I can see why the UK government is helping to fund this development by ITM Power and Ørsted.

Could We See Cradle-To-Grave Design Of Gas Fields?

I suspect that when a gas field is found and the infrastructured is designed it is all about what is best in the short term.

Suppose a gas field is found reasonably close to the shore or in an area like the Humber, Mersey or Tees Estuaries, where a lot of carbon dioxide is produced by industries like steel, glass and chemicals!

Should these assessments be done before any decisions are made about how to bring the gas ashore?

  • After being worked out could the gas field be used to store carbon dioxide?
  • After being worked out could the gas field be used to store natural gas or hydrogen?
  • Is the area round the gas field suitable for building a wind farm?

Only then could a long-term plan be devised for the gas-field and the infrastructure can be designed accordingly.

I suspect that the right design could save a lot of money, as infrastructure was converted for the next phase of its life.

Conclusion

It does appear that a lot of money can be saved.

But my rambling through the calculations shows the following.

Wind Turbines Generating Hydrogen Give Advantages

These are some of the advantages.

  • Hydrogen can be transported at less cost.
  • Hydrogen is easily stored if you have have a handy worked-out gas field.
  • The technology is well-known.

Hydrogen can then be converted back to electricity in a CCGT power station

The CCGT Power Station Operates In A Net-Zero Carbon Manner

There are two ways, the CCGT station can be run.

  • On natural gas, with the carbon-dioxide captured for use or storage.
  • On hydrogen.

No carbon-dioxide is released to the atmosphere in either mode.

The Hydrogen Storage And The CCGT Power Station Or Stations Is Just A Giant Battery

This may be true, but it’s all proven technology, that can be used as the Power Reserve.

Power Networks Will Get More Complicated

This will be inevitable, but giant batteries from various technologies will make it more reliable.

 

 

 

February 12, 2021 Posted by | Energy, Energy Storage, Hydrogen | , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Afruca: Highview Power Raises $70million For Renewable Energy Storage

The title of this post, is the same as that of this article on Afrik21.

This is the introductory paragraph.

Highview Power, a company specialising in electricity storage, has just raised 70 million dollars to distribute its solutions in Africa. The funds were raised from Janus Capital, the subsidiary of Janus Continental Group (JCG); Sumitomo Heavy Industries (SHI) and the Spanish group TSK.

It then says that Highview Power is launching the conquest of Africa. In Spanish Govt Approves Energy Storage Strategy, Sees 20 GW In 2030, I said this.

Highview Power’s liquid air systems would be another possibility, but I doubt, they’d perform as well in the heat of Spain, as a system based on hot rocks.

It would appear that Highview Power believe their system can work in the heat of Africa.

  • Air is reasonably plentiful in Africa.
  • Perhaps, the sun is an ideal low-grade heat source needed to warm up the liquid air, when the power is recovered.
  • Highview’s CRYOBattery doesn’t seem to use many exotic difficult-to-source materials.

So it looks like I was wrong to doubt their performance in hot countries.

These last two paragraph say more about Highview’s plans.

According to the company, its system is capable of storing from 20 MW/80 MWh to more than 200 MW/1.2 GWh of electricity generated from renewable sources. This is a real asset for clean energy plants whose operation depends on variations in climatic conditions. JCG believes that its investment will enable the deployment of this solution on the African continent, particularly in the Great Lakes region where large solar and wind energy projects are currently being developed.

“JCG believes in a diversified energy solution for Africa, and technology such as Highview Power’s will facilitate increased use of renewable energy, reducing regional dependence on fossil fuels and bringing accessible energy to underserved communities,” says the conglomerate of companies investing in the energy, hospitality and real estate sectors.

Hopefully by the next time, I get to Manchester, there will be something to see of the 50 MW/250 MWh plant at Carrington.

February 12, 2021 Posted by | Energy Storage | , | Leave a comment