The Anonymous Widower

Storage At Scale Competition

The title of this post is the same as that of this press release from the Department of Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy.

This is the details of the competition.

Innovative large-scale energy storage will play an important role in decarbonising industry, power, heat and transport.

This competition is looking for innovative, replicable solutions which could provide a market competitive alternative to conventional commercial large scale energy storage technologies, for example pumped-hydro or batteries (such as lithium ion, lead acid or sodium-sulphur).

A range of electrical energy storage technologies are within scope, with a target minimum output power of 30 MW or minimum capacity of 50 MWh. Power-to-X technologies (e.g. power-to-gas) with a target minimum input power of 5 MW are also in scope.

Up to £20 million will be available from 2019 to 2021. The competition will support up to 3 demonstration projects with build completion by March 2021 and operational testing to be completed December 2021.

Projects should be at a technology readiness level of 6 or above, which could result in lower capital or operating costs to the traditional storage technologies, or improved capacity, sustainability and response rates at a comparable cost.

A few thoughts.

The Minimum Output Power

A minimum output of 30 MW is specified.

To put this in context, the pumped-storage Dinorwig Power Station, has a maximum power output of 1,800 MW.

The Minimum Capacity

A minimum capacity of 50 MWh is specified.

Dinorwig has a capacity of 9.1 GWh

Power-to-X Technologies

As Power-to-gas is mentioned, I would feel that this refers to a process like electrolysis, where electricity is perhaps converted into hydrogen, which can be stored and then converted back to electricity using fuel cells or combustion and a steam turbine.

Conclusion

The competition looks to me to be a good idea.

Let’s hope it produces something worthwhile.

 

February 4, 2019 Posted by | World | , | Leave a comment

Wind Farms Sale Is Breath Of Fresh Air After Merger Setback

The title of this post, is the same as that as an article in the Business pages of The Times.

This is the first paragraph.

Selling stakes in two wind farms for £635million will provide funds to reduce debt and to launch up to £200million of share buybacks, SSE said yesterday.

Amongst the purchasers of the stake in the wind farms is an unnamed British pension fund.

So yet again, we’re seeing pension funds investing our future in wind farms.

It is a trend that will continue, as pension funds look for safe places to put the massive funds they have under management.

  • We need the electricity the farms produce.
  • The engineering of wind farms will get better, and farms will be more reliable and produce electricity economically for years longer.
  • The farrms will probably get the best of maintenance, as pension funds will protect their investment.

In addition to wind, I suspect pension funds and insurance companies will invest in other large renewable energy schemes like solar and wave power and energy storage.

Schemes, such as those I mentioned in Exciting Renewable Energy Project for Spennymoor, will surely be ones that will appeal to the funds.

Conclusion

Pension funds and insurance companies with their massive funds are becoming a major force in vutting carbon emissions.

I suspect that this is not just a UK trend, but one with a world-wide dimension, that includes a lot of the EU, the Far East, North American and Australia.

February 3, 2019 Posted by | World | , , , , | Leave a comment

Seabed Rocks Could Act As Green Energy Stores

The title of this post is the same as that of this press release from the University of Strathclyde.

This is the first four paragraphs.

Rocks in the seabed off the UK coast could provide long-term storage locations for renewable energy production, new research suggests.

An advanced technique could be used to trap compressed air in porous rock formations found in the North Sea using electricity from renewable technologies.

The pressurised air could later be released to drive a turbine to generate large amounts of electricity.

Using the technique on a large scale could store enough compressed air to meet the UK’s electricity needs during winter, when demand is highest, the study found.

I read about this in today’s copy of The Times, which also says the following.

  • There are suitable areas in the North and Irish Seas that can be used.
  • The rocks could store fifty percent more energy than we used January and February.

As similar technology is being used in salt caverns in Germany and the United States, I feel that the idea has possibilities.

 

January 22, 2019 Posted by | World | , , , | 2 Comments

The Combined Car Park And Storage Battery

I don’t drive these days, but I did for well over forty years.

If I was still driving now and still lived in Suffolk, I’d be looking seriously at an electric car as an everyday runabout, as rarely in the last twenty years, have I had the need to do a long journey, that I couldn’t do by train.

So my electric car would probably sit in a car park space at Cambridge North station, attached to a charger, a lot of the time. But with better batteries and vehicle-to-grid systems, there will come a time, when you will park your battery vehicle and tell it you’ll be returning in a few hours or days and you’ll need say four hours of charge on return. Obviously, if your circumstances change, you will have an app on your phone to make adjustments.

Suppose your average car had a 30 kWh battery, this would mean that the 450 space car park at Cambridge North station, if say 300 spaces were for electric cars would have a electricity storage capacity of around 0.9MWh.

So if the wind wasn’t blowing or the sun wasn’t shining, then there’s probably about half a MWh of electricity that can be borrowed and still allow drivers to get home.

It may all sound terribly complicated, but electricity put into batteries at night or other quiet times, gets used when it’s needed.

Batteries and other forms of energy storage will be everywhere; in houses, offices, public buildings, wind and solar farms, and in every electric vehicle.

There are 31.,6million cars alone in the UK and how many are quietly sitting in car parks and garages or at the side of the street, for most of the day.

The Car Park As A Power Station

There will be multi-story car-parks reserved for electric cars.

  • Each parking space will have a charging point.
  • The roof will of course have solar panels.
  • I would expect that in a few years time the connection between car and charger will be automatic.
  • The parking charge would be based on a mixture of time parked and energy passed to or from the battery.
  • Car parks would probably also be paid by National Grid dependent on how much energy they can make available automatically.

The control system for all this lot, would do my head in! But it would mean that all generated energy was either used or stored!

In some ways a car pack for electric cars would become a small power station.

Examples Of Car Parks

These car-parks would have some interesting applications.

Airports

Airports like Heathrow have a pollution problem and it’s not just the planes, but masses of diesel and petrol vehicles.

  • To encourage more passengers to drive electric vehicles to an airport, why not make the closest car parks electric car only?
  • Long-term car parks for electric vehicles could be a massive storage battery, which would be used to help power the airport.
  • Car parks for electric cars would be less polluted.
  • Car parks for electric cars could be under the ground with runways and taxiways on top.

Everyone would be a winner.

  • Passengers’ electric cars would be earning an energy storage charge from the National Grid.
  • The Airport would have a reliable back-up power source.
  • There would be much less pollution at the Airport.
  • National Grid would gain additional much-needed energy storage.

There will be a lot of thought going in to making airport parking more efficient and affordable for electric cars.

Business Parks And Offices

Much of the logic for airports would apply.

But I do feel, that companies with medium and large-sized fleets of vehicles will go electric, as they can then integrate energy management across their premises and fleet.

Town And City Centres

Towns and cities with a pollution problem like London, will surely use the best car parks as bribes to get more electric vehicles into the centre.

Residential Developments

The mind boggles at what could be done in residential developments.

  • Cars could go to and from parking automatically.
  • Every house would come with energy storage plus that in the car.
  • The development would appear car-free.
  • Cars could be in shared ownership with the development.
  • There could be automatic trolleys running through the development delivering parcels.

The market will determine what is needed.

Conclusion

Creating car parks solely for electric cars will create energy storage units at points of employment, living, shopping and transport.

January 6, 2019 Posted by | Transport, Uncategorized | , , , , | Leave a comment

Malta Energy Storage System Is Looking Forward To First Pilot

The title of this post is the same as that of this article on Tech Eplore.

This is the first paragraph.

Malta has received a round of funding and is graduated from “project” to group that can sail. The Cambridge, MA-based company is focused on the storage of electro-thermal energy and the funding put the group in celebration mode this month. In return, the company is turning up the volume on its potential role in the future of energy storage—namely, working out salt-based electro-thermal energy storage.

The article goes on to describe how the system works and I suggest you read it.

This is the last paragraph.

Malta CEO Ramya Swaminathan said the challenge ahead is about design and manufacturing, in Xconomy. Swaminathan said customers were expected to come from a variety of points in the energy system. Such as? She said they expect “developers with wind or solar projects who want firm power, to grid scale applications that can be in the hundreds of megawatts range, to critical backup for data centers, to isolated grid systems like island economies.”

I believe the technology has a lot going for it.

  • It has heavyweight financial backing.
  • The technology is very conventional and well-understood, which will ease manufacture and maintenance.
  • No complex or expensive raw materials are needed.
  • I would suspect that few, if any dangerous chemicals are needed.
  • It would have developing country applications.
  • They would seem to have a large capacity.

I shall be following Malta Inc. with interest.

December 24, 2018 Posted by | World | , , | Leave a comment

Gates Among Billionaires Backing Alphabet Energy Spinoff

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

This is the first paragraph.

Alphabet Inc.’s secretive X moonshot lab is spinning off an energy-storage project with backing from billionaires including Jeff Bezos and Bill Gates.

Read the article. This could be the affordable grid-scale energy storage everyone needs.

December 20, 2018 Posted by | World | , , | Leave a comment

EDF Energy Targets Solar Homes With Discounted Battery Offer

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

The title shows the way things are going. Although, I doubt, I would use EDF, as they are one of the companies who have ripped us off for a long time.

I have said that I will fit a battery in this house to go with the solar panels on my roof. I will also fit an electric car charging point in the garage, so that when I sell the house in a few years, the house will have more buyer appeal.

At around seven thousand pounds, the 8.2 kWh battery mentioned in the article, would be within my price range, but I suspect that price will decrease.

November 30, 2018 Posted by | World | , , , | Leave a comment

South Australia Launches AU$50 Million Fund For Grid-Scale Energy Storage

The title of this post is the same as that of this article on Energy Storage News.

This is the first paragraph.

In order to address intermittency in its grid, the South Australian Government has introduced a AU$50 million (US$36 million) Grid Scale Storage Fund (GSSF) to help accelerate the deployment of new large energy storage projects, including pumped hydro, hydrogen, gas storage, solar thermal, bioenergy and battery storage.

It is a must-read article, which shows the way progressive governments are thinking.

 

November 25, 2018 Posted by | World | , , | Leave a comment

19MW Storage Capacity To Participate In Three UK Flexible Markets

The title of this post is the same as that of this article on Smart Energy.

in Batteries On The Boil As Fund Attracts Investors, I talked about energy storage funds, which are a way of investing in energy storage to add capabilities to electricity grids.

This article talks about how the Gore Street Energy Fund is investing in two energy storage facilities at the Port of Tilbury and Lower Road in Essex

I have also found this article on Solar Power Portal, which is entitled Gore Street Fund Makes New Battery Acquisitions With New 19MW Pair From Origami Energy.

The second article has a picture of a 4 MW/4.8 MWh Tesla battery at Cenin Renewables.

The link to Tesla gives a well-presented page of applications of these batteries.

One example given is Renewable Integration, where this is said.

Smooth and firm the output of a renewable power generation source such as wind or solar.

This will be a large application for these types of large batteries, as although we don’t have masses of sun, we do have a lot of wind.

Big financial institutions like Pension Funds and Insurance Companies need secure long term investment to place their money and these energy storage devices, would appear to offer a sensible return, that enables them to pay their investors, like anybody who has a pension. Traditionally,these financial institutions have invested in property and government bonds for example.

Lately, they have been investing in railway rolling stock, which have a life of up to forty years. These energy storage systems should offer a reasonable life, if well-maintained and updated.

As there will large numbers of energy  storage systems installed in the UK in the next decades, I think they could be a big area for investment.

At an individual level, we will also see houses built or refurbished with solar panels and batteries.

We are at the start of an exciting revolution!

 

November 24, 2018 Posted by | World | , , , , , | Leave a comment

Mathematics Of Energy Storage

I am particularly talking about the sort of energy storage that is attracting the attention of Energy Storage Funds, that I wrote about in Batteries On The Boil As Fund Attracts Investors.

The Times article of the same name has this paragraph.

A typical 50-megawatt energy storage site of the kind the company intends to acquire hosts 19 containers each housing thousands of lithium-ion cells. A fully-charged container has the energy to boil 32,000 kettles.

This page on ConfusedEnergy.co.uk, says this.

We are often told to only use as much water as we need in a kettle and not to fill it to the top, but what are the potential annual saving in doing this. Well it takes roughly 4.5 minutes to boil a full (2 litre) kettle with a power rating of 3kW (kilowatts).

This means that to boil a kettle needs 0.225 kWh.

  • Boiling 32,000 kettles needs 7200 kWh or 7.2 MWh
  • Which means that the total capacity of the nineteen container energy storage facility is 136.8 MWh.

So the energy storage could provide the rated 50 MW for nearly three hours.

Lithium-Ion Batteries, Supercapacitors Or Both?

The article in The Times doesn’t mention supercapacitors.

If you watch the video in A Must-Watch Video About Skeleton Technologies And Ultracapacitors, Skeleton Technologies state the following about their ultracapacitors.

  • They are more affordable.
  • They generate less heat.
  • They have a higher energy density.
  • They can handle more charge/discharge cycles.
  • They have a faster response time, so would respond better to sudden demands.

I suspect there may be several operational and financial advantages, in replacing some of the lithium-ion batteries with supercapacitors.

 

 

November 10, 2018 Posted by | World | , | Leave a comment