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Old 10-15-2020, 08:08 PM   #141
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Originally Posted by Time2 View Post
I don't see how we could have 30% electric vehicles and not have grid problems.

The Pacific Northwest Labs study looked at all of the capacity that’s sitting unused in the grid, a grid built for "...the one hour of the year when demand for electricity peaks and for every other hour of the year goes underutilized,"
I see sometime in late December, in the North East around 7:30, everyone has driven home through the ice and cold, plugged in their chargers and the furnaces have come on and the brownout starts.
Enter the massive bank of batteries that are distributed throughout the region, charged up during the day and ready to be discharged to provide heating and lighting to the shivering northeasterners at night, and juice for their EVs too so they can go to work in the morning.

Yes, lots and lots of batteries will have to be part of the solution, in order to store solar energy collected down where I live, the sunny Southwest where we have maybe, oh, 5 cloudy days each year. And of course that means lots and lots of transmission lines to bring the juice up north.

In the long run, the earth will inevitably run out of fossil fuel, and RE will be all that humanity has. Well, maybe nuclear power will be fashionable again when people are cold in the winter and hot in the summer.

I like RE a lot, but don't see anyone coming up with a proposal on how to pay for all that infrastructure. California is suffering from PSPS (Public Safety Power Shutoff) because of sagging power lines as we speak. And California is the richest state, and can't afford better transmission lines.
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Old 10-15-2020, 09:41 PM   #142
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People talked earlier about round-trip efficiency of lithium energy storage. I think it is appropriate to share my own experience here.

I am adding a new block of battery storage of 12 kWh to my solar system. It is divided into 28 modules, and I carefully measure each module capacity so that I can later check their degradation with age and usage.

I have a voltage and current logger which records the I and V every 10 seconds during charging and discharging. It gives me a data file to import into a spreadsheet for me to compute the power (P = V*I). The modules are 120 Ah nominal, and I use a relatively low current of 10 A, so that the charging and discharging take 12 hours each.

My spreadsheet showed the round trip power loss being 5.7%. That's decent I thought, but what could be expected with this type of cells? Then, just out of curiosity, I measured the voltage loss due to the wiring of the setup. I had 7 milliohms of resistance that was not accounted for. That alone caused a loss of 3.5%. The cells themselves are better than 2.2% at the C/12 rate.

But there's more. I adopted Tesla's method of attaching each cell to the bus using small wires that serve as fuses at the cell level. That caused roughly a 1% loss. The intrinsic cell loss could be down to 1%. Lithium cells are very, very good!

With a much better professional cell assembly, along with top-notch electronics for the charging circuit and the inverter, I think total system efficiency can easily get to 10% loss or better for a round trip.

But even if the loss is 20%, it is still quite good. Pumped hydro power storage has 20-30% loss by comparison.

California is in dire need of more batteries to store the excess solar energy it generates in early spring early in the day, and has to pay Arizona and other neighbor states to take some off its grid. Yes, California has to pay to give away power some time. Yet, it still has to import around 30% net over a year period. When you have solar power out the wazoo some time, you need a place to store it. You do not care if it is 50% efficient if it is cheap. Lithium batteries are very good, but they are still too costly.

If you cannot afford enough batteries to store for use at night, when will you be able to store for a rainy day or two?

I shared this article in LA Times in a past thread, and it is worth repeating here.

On 14 days during March, Arizona utilities got a gift from California: free solar power.

Well, actually better than free. California produced so much solar power on those days that it paid Arizona to take excess electricity its residents weren’t using to avoid overloading its own power lines.

It happened on eight days in January and nine in February as well. All told, those transactions helped save Arizona electricity customers millions of dollars this year, though grid operators declined to say exactly how much. And California also has paid other states to take power.
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