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Old 30th September 2019, 07:02 AM   #81
Dr.Sid
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Originally Posted by a_unique_person View Post
Australia is just about to build a big pumped hydro power generator the good thing about them is it is low tech and very simple.
If there is good geological location, they should absolutely be built. You just can't expect they will solve the energy storage problem.
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Old 30th September 2019, 07:59 AM   #82
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Clearly, the UK needs to build more mountains
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Old 30th September 2019, 08:13 AM   #83
The Great Zaganza
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Originally Posted by Dr.Sid View Post
If there is good geological location, they should absolutely be built. You just can't expect they will solve the energy storage problem.
there are almost no places in which you can't built pumped-storage hydroelectric plants: wherever there are groundwater reservoirs, you can do it. You can use strom basins as reservoirs.

Heck, you can even do hydroelectric storage in the ocean:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stored_Energy_at_Sea

there is way more energy storage potential here than humanity will ever need.
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Old 30th September 2019, 08:24 AM   #84
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Originally Posted by The Great Zaganza View Post
there are almost no places in which you can't built pumped-storage hydroelectric plants: wherever there are groundwater reservoirs, you can do it. You can use strom basins as reservoirs.

Heck, you can even do hydroelectric storage in the ocean:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stored_Energy_at_Sea

there is way more energy storage potential here than humanity will ever need.
Nonsense. You need huge volumes (think lakes), and large altitude difference (hundreds of meters), close together. Locations like that are really not common.

Storms basins are supposed to be empty, and they are just too small, with not enough altitude difference.

The idea with cavity under the sea sounds good, but building huge cavities in several hundred meters of depth is not current technology, AFAIK.
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Old 30th September 2019, 08:31 AM   #85
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No, you really don't.
Remember that we aren't talking energy production, we just want to balance grid load.
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Old 30th September 2019, 08:56 AM   #86
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Originally Posted by The Great Zaganza View Post
No, you really don't.
Remember that we aren't talking energy production, we just want to balance grid load.
Sure. Here in Czech Republic we have one pumped water plant. The height difference is 510m. The volume of the upper basin is 2.7 million of cubic meters, 15.4ha, 26m depth. That's small for a dam, but not so small for artificial basin on top of the mountain, with artificial insulation.

The power plant can produce 650MW for 7 hours. Peak power consumption in Czech Republic is 10GW. At the moment there are no plans to build more, as there are no other feasible locations.
650MW for 7 hours is better then nothing, but it's not enough to even balance the load. Most of the time the power plant is used to burn useless power in the grid, when wind and solar farms overproduce.
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Old 30th September 2019, 09:02 AM   #87
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no feasible location in Czech Republic?

According to a recent study, it has as potential of 600+ TWh.

http://re100.eng.anu.edu.au/global/


and it is already building two more dams in cooperation with Turkey:

https://www.thebusinesssoiree.com/ar...ants-in-turkey

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Old 30th September 2019, 11:36 AM   #88
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Originally Posted by The Great Zaganza View Post
no feasible location in Czech Republic?

According to a recent study, it has as potential of 600+ TWh.

http://re100.eng.anu.edu.au/global/


and it is already building two more dams in cooperation with Turkey:

https://www.thebusinesssoiree.com/ar...ants-in-turkey
It says:
None of the PHES sites discussed in this study have been the subject of geological, hydrological, environmental, heritage and other studies, and it is not known whether any particular site would be suitable. The commercial feasibility of developing these sites is unknown. As with all major engineering projects, diligent attention to quality assurance would be required for safety and efficacy.
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Old 30th September 2019, 02:43 PM   #89
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The real impact of pumped storage is not in balancing the system, or peak lopping, but in the change in operational practice they being about. They permit a large reduction in the level of operating reserve that must be carried. This reduction is almost always present, and it is very large. It is however "invisible money" and not obvious to those outside the industry.

Dinorwig pumped storage station in the UK would have saved money even if it were never used, due to the change it brought to the operating regime.
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Old 30th September 2019, 08:08 PM   #90
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Originally Posted by Brainster View Post
Because Luddites protest and wail and moan about them. I can understand; it must suck to realize that you've been on the wrong side of this issue since the 1970s.

Look, you have three choices: Atomic energy, coal energy, or natural gas energy. Or of course you could harness the power of a unicorn's farts. In the midst of this existential crisis, I am a bit disappointed how many supposed environmentalists are fantasizing about that fourth option.
And the real luddites are...

People who cling to outdated production methods that are no longer competitive. IOW, you.

New IAEA Energy Projections See Possible Shrinking Role for Nuclear Power
Quote:
Nuclear power’s electricity generating capacity risks shrinking in the coming decades as ageing reactors are retired and the industry struggles with reduced competitiveness, according to a new IAEA report....

Nuclear power produced about 10% of the world’s electricity in 2017...

Over the short term, the low price of natural gas, the impact of renewable energy sources on electricity prices, and national nuclear policies in several countries following the accident at Japan’s Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant in 2011 are expected to continue weighing on nuclear power’s growth prospects, according to the report. In addition, the nuclear power industry faces increased construction times and costs due to heightened safety requirements, challenges in deploying advanced technologies and other factors.
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Old 1st October 2019, 06:45 AM   #91
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Originally Posted by Dr.Sid View Post
If there is good geological location, they should absolutely be built. You just can't expect they will solve the energy storage problem.
So? No one thing will solve the storage/renewalble/de-carbonizing energy production.
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Old 1st October 2019, 11:00 AM   #92
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Originally Posted by ahhell View Post
So? No one thing will solve the storage/renewalble/de-carbonizing energy production.
That's all I'm saying.
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Old 1st October 2019, 04:53 PM   #93
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Originally Posted by Roger Ramjets View Post
And the real luddites are...

People who cling to outdated production methods that are no longer competitive. IOW, you.

New IAEA Energy Projections See Possible Shrinking Role for Nuclear Power
Your source specifically mentions luddite policies like Germany shuttering existing reactors early because of paranoia. I'm not sure that really proves the point you wanted to make.
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Old 1st October 2019, 06:41 PM   #94
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Originally Posted by Darat View Post
What I've found interesting is the underlying assumption that we have to "drop in" something that let's us continue to live exactly as we do at the moment. If climate change is to be mitigated how we live will have to change.
I disagree. We certainly could mitigate and even reverse AGW and still do just fine in our modern lifestyle.

It's the fact that many people are making unsupported claims that include major lifestyle changes, that fuels most the resistance to doing anything at all.
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Old 2nd October 2019, 04:32 AM   #95
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A new concept could make more environmentally friendly batteries possible
Quote:
A new concept for an aluminium battery has twice the energy density as previous versions, is made of abundant materials, and could lead to reduced production costs and environmental impact. The idea has potential for large scale applications, including storage of solar and wind energy.
Reading the article, they have not got the energy density yet. But it should produce batteries that are far cheaper than current ones. This would have huge implications. For example storage of energy for peak times would be a lot cheaper.
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Old 2nd October 2019, 05:11 AM   #96
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Renewable energy technology and Energy Storage Technology are still in the stage of the Cambrian explosion: we don't know which technologies will prevail (or simply dominate), but they are probably ones not even available yet.
We are nowhere near the limit of what can be achieved.
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Old 2nd October 2019, 05:49 AM   #97
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Originally Posted by rjh01 View Post
A new concept could make more environmentally friendly batteries possible


Reading the article, they have not got the energy density yet. But it should produce batteries that are far cheaper than current ones. This would have huge implications. For example storage of energy for peak times would be a lot cheaper.
There is new battery technology announced every week. Few of them make it to production stage though. Still even the production batteries improve at great pace.
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Old 2nd October 2019, 06:52 AM   #98
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Energy density is critical for electric vehicles and portable devices, but not so much for institutional power banks or load shifting for the power grid. The factors to look at are cost per storable kWh, requirements for maintenance and operating environment, and long-term performance stability over thousands of charge-discharge cycles.
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Old 4th October 2019, 06:47 PM   #99
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While we pooh-pooh it and pine for the old days when Nuclear Energy was going to be our savior, China goes out and does it.

Fengning Pumped Hydro Project Will Increase Chinaís Hydro Storage To 40 Gigawatts
Quote:
China is leading the world in pumped hydro energy storage. Its National Energy Administration says there are already 19.23 gigawatts of pumped hydro capacity in China and another 31.15 gigawatts (GW) under construction for a total of 40 GW. The first phase of the 3.6 GW, $2.78 billion Fengning storage project in Hebei province is scheduled to come online prior to the start of the 2022 Winter Olympics. Once the second phase is completed in 2023, it will be the largest pumped hydro facility in the world.... According to the State Grid Corporation of China, the designed annual power generation is 3.424 terawatt-hours (TWh) with 4.565 TWh of corresponding pumped water.
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Old 4th October 2019, 07:05 PM   #100
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"19.23 gigawatts of pumped hydro capacity in China and another 31.15 gigawatts (GW) under construction for a total of 40 GW"

I'd really like to think that the people who actually operate China's energy systems can do math.
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Old 7th October 2019, 11:31 AM   #101
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Now I keep wondering about adaptive re-use of existing reservoirs and nearby lakes.

I was looking at a map of the Colorado Front Range, north of Denver. A few moderate sized reservoirs up there (Carter and Horsetooth) in the foothills, and a number of lakes down on the plains below - some of those lakes were purpose built for irrigation, others were just incidental from gravel mining along the Poudre, Big Thompson, and St. Vrain rivers.

The catch being that none of the lower lakes are right next to the reservoirs, they are all a mile or two away. The bigger reservoirs are popular for recreational use, a few of the irrigation reservoirs are as well.

I just wonder if there is pump storage potential there. If the pumps are to be also used as generators, then there would need to be several miles of high-pressure pipe. The elevation drop would only be about 120 meters or so - not a whole lot, but I would think there would still be the potential to harvest power from that.

I can't imagine these would have enough power to provide more than 10% of the power needs for the towns of Ft. Collins or Loveland even for just for 10 hours a day with all the water then pumped back uphill (not ten percent overall, just ten percent when during the time period the turbines are generating power). The power could come from daytime solar or wind (the wind in southern Wyoming is strongest during the day), use that to pump the water uphill then let it generate downhill power when wind and solar are not producing enough at night.

Still, adaptation of existing facilities could be a step in getting these things more familiar to the public. A step, albeit a small one.

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Old 7th October 2019, 11:41 AM   #102
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Originally Posted by Roger Ramjets View Post
And the real luddites are...

People who cling to outdated production methods that are no longer competitive. IOW, you.

New IAEA Energy Projections See Possible Shrinking Role for Nuclear Power
You're 100% right! Natural gas is cheaper, so let's just keep burning natural gas. No downside to that, right?
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Old 15th October 2019, 12:27 PM   #103
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This:
https://www.popularmechanics.com/tec...nergy-storage/
just got a big investment.
The idea is to store excess energy by lifting and lowering concrete blocks with an electric crane. Easy to place, easy to scale, small space, very few moving parts.
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Old 15th October 2019, 01:24 PM   #104
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Originally Posted by The Great Zaganza View Post
This:
https://www.popularmechanics.com/tec...nergy-storage/
just got a big investment.
The idea is to store excess energy by lifting and lowering concrete blocks with an electric crane. Easy to place, easy to scale, small space, very few moving parts.
Sounds great in theory. But it does not store much energy. 271 MJ by my calculations. If they took 1MW from it then the power would run out in 4.5 minutes.
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Old 15th October 2019, 02:43 PM   #105
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Originally Posted by rjh01 View Post
Sounds great in theory. But it does not store much energy. 271 MJ by my calculations. If they took 1MW from it then the power would run out in 4.5 minutes.
Somebody had to make mistake somewhere. From the website:

The company's website discusses options of 20, 35, and 80 MWh storage capacity as well as anywhere between 4 to 8 MW of continuous power discharge for 8 to 16 hours.

4 to 8 MW still isn't much. But it's something.
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Old 15th October 2019, 02:53 PM   #106
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Originally Posted by The Great Zaganza View Post
This:
https://www.popularmechanics.com/tec...nergy-storage/
just got a big investment.
The idea is to store excess energy by lifting and lowering concrete blocks with an electric crane. Easy to place, easy to scale, small space, very few moving parts.

This has some problems. The precision crane system is expensive for the amount of energy stored. Even the concrete blocks are expensive for the amount of energy stored. It wouldn't work in any wind. (Cranes can't place blocks with the necessary precision to stack a tall tower of other blocks safely on top of them, when hanging from 100m of cable that's being vibrated by wind, regardless of software.)

It might work better built downward instead of upward. Lower blocks into trenches using cranes that run on rails at ground level alongside the trench (where they're much cheaper to maintain and service). Excavating the trenches would be even more expensive, though. And could only be done in places where the trenches wouldn't just fill with water, or need to be pumped out constantly.
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Old 15th October 2019, 03:19 PM   #107
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Originally Posted by Dr.Sid View Post
Somebody had to make mistake somewhere. From the website:

The company's website discusses options of 20, 35, and 80 MWh storage capacity as well as anywhere between 4 to 8 MW of continuous power discharge for 8 to 16 hours.

4 to 8 MW still isn't much. But it's something.
But who has made the mistake? Can someone do the calculations and see who is correct?
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Old 15th October 2019, 05:59 PM   #108
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Here's a design that might be practical on a small local scale. You need a vertical shaft in the ground, a long near-horizontal tunnel that intersects the bottom of the shaft and extends equal distances in each direction, and a near-horizontal railway that crosses near the top of the shaft. This would be expensive to create, but probably already exists in a lot of places in the form of abandoned mines.

When fully charged, the weights are loaded on a continuous chain of flatcars on one arm of the surface railway. Ideally, the loaded arm of the top railway should have a slight downward slope toward the shaft, and the bottom one a slight downward slope away from it, so that the railways are gravity-powered during the discharge cycle. To draw power, weights are lowered down the shaft (possibly more than one at a time, especially if the shaft is deep, using some kind of looping chain) and loaded onto the downhill rail arm underground. To store power, the opposite process occurs.

If suitable sites exist, this scheme could be simpler, safer, and more robust than building and rebuilding precision high-rise towers of stacked weights.
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Old 15th October 2019, 08:38 PM   #109
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Originally Posted by rjh01 View Post
But who has made the mistake? Can someone do the calculations and see who is correct?
I didn't find enough info in the article to make a calculation. In particular, I didn't see anything about the total number of blocks.

E = m*g*h. So if you assume there are only 6 blocks (from the 6 cranes), and they move 400 feet and each have a mass of 35 tonnes, then you get 251 MJ.

https://www.google.com/search?q=35+t...%2Fs%5E2+in+MJ

If there are many more blocks, you get more energy. But probably not the same for each. You can't put every block on the top, and you may not have room to lower every block to the ground.

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Old 15th October 2019, 09:40 PM   #110
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Originally Posted by Myriad View Post
Here's a design that might be practical on a small local scale. You need a vertical shaft in the ground, a long near-horizontal tunnel that intersects the bottom of the shaft and extends equal distances in each direction, and a near-horizontal railway that crosses near the top of the shaft. This would be expensive to create, but probably already exists in a lot of places in the form of abandoned mines.

When fully charged, the weights are loaded on a continuous chain of flatcars on one arm of the surface railway. Ideally, the loaded arm of the top railway should have a slight downward slope toward the shaft, and the bottom one a slight downward slope away from it, so that the railways are gravity-powered during the discharge cycle. To draw power, weights are lowered down the shaft (possibly more than one at a time, especially if the shaft is deep, using some kind of looping chain) and loaded onto the downhill rail arm underground. To store power, the opposite process occurs.

If suitable sites exist, this scheme could be simpler, safer, and more robust than building and rebuilding precision high-rise towers of stacked weights.
It's really just pumped hydro, but with rocks instead of water.
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Old 15th October 2019, 09:40 PM   #111
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Originally Posted by BowlOfRed View Post
I didn't find enough info in the article to make a calculation. In particular, I didn't see anything about the total number of blocks.

E = m*g*h. So if you assume there are only 6 blocks (from the 6 cranes), and they move 400 feet and each have a mass of 35 tonnes, then you get 251 MJ.

https://www.google.com/search?q=35+t...%2Fs%5E2+in+MJ

If there are many more blocks, you get more energy. But probably not the same for each. You can't put every block on the top, and you may not have room to lower every block to the ground.
the 6 blocks hold almost 70kwhrs of energy, less if the stack at the bottom
gets high or the top low. output power depends on how fast you lower the
blocks and how fast you can place one then grab another off the top.
to me it looks as good as the solar roadway.
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Old 15th October 2019, 10:48 PM   #112
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Originally Posted by Brainster View Post
You're 100% right! Natural gas is cheaper, so let's just keep burning natural gas. No downside to that, right?
And we will continue to burn natural gas until something cheaper replaces it. That's never going to change unless we become a dictatorship run by fanatical environmentalists.

Of course there are downside. But natural gas does have one thing going for it over nuclear - the ability to rapidly meet demand when needed. A gas turbine can be spun up and down in minutes, a nuclear reactor takes days. That means that gas can still be useful even when we aren't using much of it.

As for how long it will remain cheaper...

More Signs That Natural Gas Canít Compete With Renewables on Cost
Quote:
Right now, natural gas prices are artificially low because fracking companies have been producing record amounts of natural gas at a loss. As Schlotterbeck points out, this is an unsustainable business model. But it has supplied natural gas consumers with artificially cheap energy, giving natural gas a competitive edge over the dying coal and nuclear power industries.

Yet even with this advantage, natural gas is losing ground economically against renewables plus battery storage for power generation. The latest example is highlighted in a Forbes column this week that discusses the Los Angeles Department of Power and Water's deal to build a new solar plus battery storage project expected to produce electricity at half the cost of a new natural gas power plant.
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Old 15th October 2019, 11:19 PM   #113
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Originally Posted by BowlOfRed View Post
I didn't find enough info in the article to make a calculation. In particular, I didn't see anything about the total number of blocks.

E = m*g*h. So if you assume there are only 6 blocks (from the 6 cranes), and they move 400 feet and each have a mass of 35 tonnes, then you get 251 MJ.

https://www.google.com/search?q=35+t...%2Fs%5E2+in+MJ

If there are many more blocks, you get more energy. But probably not the same for each. You can't put every block on the top, and you may not have room to lower every block to the ground.
Great. I will agree with this. 251 MJ will give you 1MW for 251 seconds which is 4 minutes or 100KW for 40 minutes. Not much.

This is why many tonnes of water is normally used.
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Old 16th October 2019, 01:41 AM   #114
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Originally Posted by Myriad View Post
When fully charged, the weights are loaded on a continuous chain of flatcars on one arm of the surface railway. Ideally, the loaded arm of the top railway should have a slight downward slope toward the shaft, and the bottom one a slight downward slope away from it, so that the railways are gravity-powered during the discharge cycle. To draw power, weights are lowered down the shaft (possibly more than one at a time, especially if the shaft is deep, using some kind of looping chain) and loaded onto the downhill rail arm underground. To store power, the opposite process occurs.
How is this better than one big weight being raised and lowered in a deep shaft using a wire rope round a winding drum, which I believe is already being tried?

Dave
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Old 16th October 2019, 03:23 AM   #115
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Originally Posted by Dave Rogers View Post
How is this better than one big weight being raised and lowered in a deep shaft using a wire rope round a winding drum, which I believe is already being tried?

It gets many times higher capacity out of the same deep shaft. Especially if the shaft is narrow. Or, allows the same capacity with smaller weights and therefore less demand on cables, bearings, and the gearing for the generator.

Of course, the storage conveyors/railways add cost and complexity, so it might not actually be better in whole-system terms.

Pumping out a mine to a shallow surface reservoir for pumped water energy storage could work too, as long as the mine doesn't naturally flood itself too quickly, or leach too much toxic elements into the water.
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Old 16th October 2019, 09:56 AM   #116
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Originally Posted by rjh01 View Post
Great. I will agree with this. 251 MJ will give you 1MW for 251 seconds which is 4 minutes or 100KW for 40 minutes. Not much.

This is why many tonnes of water is normally used.
Here's a youtube link to the animation of their proposed energy storage method:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=itbwXMMkBQw

For the range of power outputs they are claiming, their method would indeed require the use and fast manipulation of thousands of their 35 ton blocks and probably well over 10,000 for their largest figure.
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Old 16th October 2019, 10:23 AM   #117
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Originally Posted by Dave Rogers View Post
How is this better than one big weight being raised and lowered in a deep shaft using a wire rope round a winding drum, which I believe is already being tried?

Dave
Or make wind turbine towers a bit wider, maybe a lot wider, and have a single weight within the tower that can be raised when the grid does not need energy from that turbine and lowered when the grid needs additional energy from that turbine. That would allow many more locations without much more foot print and the weight would be protected within the tower.

Of course, this would massively increase the complexity of wind turbine tower design, but engineers like tough problems like this. Variable wind load, variable loads from an x axis rotating mass that should operate within a certain RPM range but can also rotate about a Z axis within a range of speeds, variable center of gravity of the entire unit as the most massive single element moves up and down the height of the structure within a range of variable speeds. Good times!
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Old 16th October 2019, 10:32 AM   #118
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Originally Posted by Dr. Keith View Post
Or make wind turbine towers a bit wider, maybe a lot wider, and have a single weight within the tower that can be raised when the grid does not need energy from that turbine and lowered when the grid needs additional energy from that turbine. That would allow many more locations without much more foot print and the weight would be protected within the tower.

Of course, this would massively increase the complexity of wind turbine tower design, but engineers like tough problems like this. Variable wind load, variable loads from an x axis rotating mass that should operate within a certain RPM range but can also rotate about a Z axis within a range of speeds, variable center of gravity of the entire unit as the most massive single element moves up and down the height of the structure within a range of variable speeds. Good times!
That's useless. Check the formula above. One weight is nothing. You need tens of thousands of weights, and even then it's just small capacity storage.

Or the numbers from pumped water plant I know:
2.7 MILLIONS of tons of water + 510m of height difference = 650MW for 6 hours.
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Old 16th October 2019, 10:37 AM   #119
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Originally Posted by Dr.Sid View Post
That's useless. Check the formula above. One weight is nothing. You need tens of thousands of weights, and even then it's just small capacity storage.

Or the numbers from pumped water plant I know:
2.7 MILLIONS of tons of water + 510m of height difference = 650MW for 6 hours.
I was thinking of one weight per turbine over a vast wind turbine farm, so on the order of thousands* of weights. It would still just be a small storage solution, but could help in combination with other solutions and it would not be exposed to the elements or require massive increase in the footprint.

That being said, it would require a lot of power units to raise and lower each weight, so it would be fairly complex, even if fully contained within the towers.

*That should be "hundreds" since the largest wind farms only have hundreds of turbines, not thousands.
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Old 16th October 2019, 11:50 AM   #120
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Originally Posted by Dr. Keith View Post
Or make wind turbine towers a bit wider, maybe a lot wider, and have a single weight within the tower that can be raised when the grid does not need energy from that turbine and lowered when the grid needs additional energy from that turbine. That would allow many more locations without much more foot print and the weight would be protected within the tower.
Let's look at an example wind turbine, the Vestas V90:
https://en.wind-turbine-models.com/t.../16-vestas-v90

Rated power is 2 MW. Typical output may be less, let's say 1 MW. Let's say we want to replace the power output of this turbine for 1 hour using a weight, so 1 MWh of energy, or 3.6 Gigajoules (3.6x109). The height of the turbine tower is around 100 meters, so using E=mgh and rounding to g=10 m/s2, that means the weight required would be...
(drumroll, please)
3.6x106 kg, or 3600 metric tons. The total max weight of a Vestas 60 wind turbine is 328 tons. So you're talking about adding a weight around 10 times as big. The cost of a tower which can support such a weight is going to be very, very high. And that's not even getting into size issues.

Quote:
Of course, this would massively increase the complexity of wind turbine tower design, but engineers like tough problems like this.
It's not a matter of complexity. It's a matter of material cost. It's prohibitively expensive. Pumped water storage works because you don't have to build the whole structure which holds up all the weight, you primarily rely upon terrain to do it for you.
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