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Topic Title: Building 37.5 GWh of Electrical Energy Storage for the Grid
Topic Summary: Investigating why Wind plus Energy storage is going to be much cheaper than Nuclear + Reserve
Created On: 29 October 2013 08:18 PM
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 29 October 2013 08:18 PM
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jarathoon

Posts: 1043
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This carries on from my previous witterings on these two threads

http://www.theiet.org/forums/f...d=54869&enterthread=y

http://www.theiet.org/forums/f...d=54968&enterthread=y

The basic premise for this discussion is that for the same money that EDF thinks it needs to build two EPR nuclear power stations (£16 Billion), I think I can build 15 GW of onshore wind together with 37.5 GWh of electrical energy storage. This makes more productive use of the available wind energy and reduced the amount of spinning reserve and standby reserve needed for the grid.

The energy storage would be in the form of battery modules housed in the onshore wind turbines. (six thousand 2.5 MW wind turbines). Other ways of distributing the storage may be considered as the design develops.

Each onshore wind turbine has (37,500 MW /6000 =) 6.25 MWh of attached energy storage and is capable of storing DC energy from the wind turbine directly as well as from the grid.

The energy storage system exports power to the grid via a 4.5 MW DC-AC converter (allowing both 2.5MW turbine and 2 MW storage system to export at full power) and back in from the grid via a 2 MW AC-DC converter (just for the storage system). During low wind and windless periods the storage system is designed to operate independently of the turbine, by taking energy from the grid at night and feeding it back into the grid during the day, under telemetry command from a distant central control room.

The energy storage modules themselves have a maximum charge rate of 2 MW, from the grid and wind turbine combined, and a maximum discharge rate of 2.0 MW back to the grid.

The aggregate storage system consisting of 6000 onshore wind turbines has a maximum discharge rate of (6000 x 2 MW = ) 12 GW. (which could be sustained for up to one hour when fully charged)

Remember the system can be charged over night for 11.7 hours using two 1.6 GW power stations. It can handle a peak output of 12 GW during the day for up to one hour when fully charged.

The provisional budget is to build the 6.25 MWh storage device as a factory built module (which would include the 2MW AC-DC and the 4.5 MW DC-AC converter), within a £625,000 budget. The storage device is low maintenance and capable of 15,000 charge-discharge cycles (40 year life), with a energy storage cycle energy efficiency of 75% or better.

A much cheaper battery system with a shorter life span that could be maintained on site cheaply by a trained technician at 5 yearly intervals would be considered.

[The energy storage would be roughly equivalent to having 5208, 100Ah 12V lead Acid batteries, embedded in the turbine. The maximum charge and discharge currents being 32 Amps]

[If there are minimum temperature requirements for the energy storage system then it would need to be housed in a heavily insulated cell with a low wattage heating system and frost stat]

If you know an energy storage system supplier that can meet this specification and price point then please contact me.

James Arathoon

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James Arathoon
 29 October 2013 09:14 PM
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cookers

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No I don't know of any battery power storage system supplier that will meet this spec or price point or life cycle.

That is a big DC/AC inverter, a technical challenge.

Charging and dis-charging are likely the limit on battery life, "off the top of my head" thoughts are 10 years max with current technology.

All sitting in the North Sea, just to make life extra interesting.

As you say you have plenty of dough though.

Best of luck.
 29 October 2013 10:48 PM
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JonathanHill

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James,

I like your thinking - I offer comments as follow (some coming from investigations I've been involved with) :

- 1MWh storage - probable cost ~£3M for either Li-Ion or Vanadium Redox (power converters extra)

- "Round trip" efficiences likely to be in the range 75 - 90% dependant on battery technology) and charging regimes

- it is overly optimistic to assume the nameplate rating of the battery can be fully utilised. Different regimes may be necessary to optimise the lifetime "work" that can be reasonably achieved for any battery technology type. Eg it can be very inefficient to get the last 20% of charge into the battery, and life expectancy can be severely compromised if discharged to the extent of the nameplate capacity . Would suggest 60% of nameplate as a budget operating window.

- Placing of Batteries & power converters - I think transmission losses will be minimised if these are sited close to (and probably in approx proportion to) the generating plant that is anticipated to provide the charge, or possibly close to load centres

This has all the hallmarks of a good topic for a Masters or Post Grad research study, though I fear the utility-scale storage technology is not yet adequately developed for serious roll-out.

Keep up the left-field thinking - we're ready for a paradign shift with attendant challenges for our engineers (though personally I currently favour demand side management applied to thermal "storage" as a cheaper-cost option).

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Jonno
 30 October 2013 12:39 AM
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kengreen

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this is undeniably an interesting topic but not I fear very practical in view of our totally wasteful hunger for electricity.

Not only are we awash in gadgets - most of which are in reality toys - but it is unrealistic to pretend that the liking for these things will not feed the appetite of designers for the profits that accrue.

Add to this the accelerating demands of the developing nations who are not unreasonable in wishing for a slice of the cake.

SUuch storage systems demand a lot of space in a future which is threatened (to the best of our present learning) with a loss of space as sea levels rise.

THhe most urgent need, as I see it, is to indulge in a little - no a lot of - self-discipline and return to the age when we made our own entertainment. I would suggest that a very large portion of our accumulative possessiveness is a self-indulgence which we must learn to discard.

As I have saiDd before the way forward is to put our resources, our best brains into rendering atomic generation as safe - if not safer - than air travel has been made today. TherEe is no reason to doubt that this can be done although possibly it will be necessary to transfer power from the self glorifying politicians to the scientists who can winkle-out the protocols and to the engineers who can turn the ideas into realities.

And that last, I believe, is by far the most difficult hurdle to negotiate. Yes I agree - I am advocating doom-and-gloom.

Ken Green
 30 October 2013 03:34 PM
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jarathoon

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Originally posted by: JonathanHill

James,


I like your thinking - I offer comments as follow (some coming from investigations I've been involved with) :


- 1MWh storage - probable cost ~£3M for either Li-Ion or Vanadium Redox (power converters extra)


- "Round trip" efficiences likely to be in the range 75 - 90% dependant on battery technology) and charging regimes


- it is overly optimistic to assume the nameplate rating of the battery can be fully utilised. Different regimes may be necessary to optimise the lifetime "work" that can be reasonably achieved for any battery technology type. Eg it can be very inefficient to get the last 20% of charge into the battery, and life expectancy can be severely compromised if discharged to the extent of the nameplate capacity . Would suggest 60% of nameplate as a budget operating window.


- Placing of Batteries & power converters - I think transmission losses will be minimised if these are sited close to (and probably in approx proportion to) the generating plant that is anticipated to provide the charge, or possibly close to load centres


This has all the hallmarks of a good topic for a Masters or Post Grad research study, though I fear the utility-scale storage technology is not yet adequately developed for serious roll-out.


Keep up the left-field thinking - we're ready for a paradign shift with attendant challenges for our engineers (though personally I currently favour demand side management applied to thermal "storage" as a cheaper-cost option).



So a 6.5 MWh rating for grid use would require a 10 MWh rated battery module operated normally between 90% charge and 25% charge.

The costs structure is slightly better than I originally because the existing power converter is being swapped out for a new power converter with battery storage.

The maximum export power to the grid is 4.5MW, and the maximum import power from the grid is 2.0 MW.

The questions I have are:

1. are there any ways that the battery banks can be used to de-stress, de-rate and cheapen the power electronics and extend their design lifetimes.

Perhaps by splitting the battery into two separate modules the turbine can charge one set of batteries, while another set is charging from the grid or discharging to the grid. The design would specify that the two battery modules can be swapped around every so often using some sort of automated switching mechanism.

2. In power electronics is it generally cheaper and more reliable to specify a high voltage, low current DC-AC Converter to supply directly to an AC Isolation or low voltage gain transformer (for example) or a low voltage high current DC-AC Converter and AC transform up?

3. In this respect would it help to remap the cells of the battery when switching battery modules between turbine interface mode and grid interface mode?

I think placing battery storage close to the wind turbines is better from an investor point of view, especially if capital cost savings and reliability improvements made on the existing power converter.

A 2V 3000Ah lead acid battery stores 6kWh of energy (1667 of them are needed to construct a 10 MWh battery - that de-rated gives a 6.5 MWh capacity) that's probably £75,000 in lead acid batteries per 2.5 MW wind turbine - without haggling for extra bulk discount. Well designed, the recycle value of the batteries, could be improved by design, so the net battery cost figure (allowing for the recycle value) can be reduced as much as possible.

Lets say that the batteries have a 10 year life, that gives 3 changes over a lifetime of 40 years. Lets make the batteries a consumable cost and charge them to the wind turbine at £7,500 per year. Lets triple that cost to reflect other costs i.e. £22,500 in battery costs per year.

According to the DECC onshore wind energy is worth £95 per MWh.

The income from a 2.5 MWh wind turbine in theory will be (assuming capacity factor 0.21)
£95 * 24 * 365 * 2.5 * 0.21 = £436,905

Lets multiply this by the battery cycle efficiency (75%)

So net income now is £436,905 x 0.75 = £327,679 per year

The other element of the income involves buying electricity during the night cheaply and selling it at profit during the day.

The money that can be made from this depends on the percentage of the overnight battery charge that is due to imports from the grid. If 25% of the energy on average is due to the grid and the day night cost differential is £25 per MWh then

£25 * 365 * 6.25 * 0.25 = £14,257 (very little, spinning and standing reserve payments will be worth much more)

(The battery energy capacity may have to be increased slightly to realise this income)

£327,679 + £14,257 gives a combined income of £341,936

The rest of the income in this simplistic view has to come from grid services, such as providing backup to the grid, spinning reserve and standing reserve.

National Grid Standing Reserve Market

We could tender part of our storage to maintain the spinning and standing reserve. See page 7 in above National grid document.

An availability price is set, along with an exercise price. It will be rare that the full availability from the battery storage system will ever be called upon, so some of the availability sold can be assigned to the de-rated specification of the battery system. Deep cycling the batteries once in a while will be fine and will raise revenues suitable to pay for the battery replacement and maintenance costs.

There is a 1 MWh capacity between 15% minimum charge and a 25% minimum charge.

Over the year this brings in an income of

Availability price * 365 * 24 = £4 x 365 * 24 = £35,040 per year (on 2002/2003 prices)

If this exercised 5 times a year say the extra income is

£200 * 5 * 1 = £1000 (on 2002/2003 prices)

A standing reserve income of £36,040 per year (from part of the de-rated capacity of the battery). I suspect this is a large underestimate on what can be earned at todays prices.

Other availability income can be generated on the active part of the storage but the cost/benefit of bidding will depend on some detailed statistical analysis, which is beyond me at this stage.

These are just quick and dirty calculations, just to get a feel for whether this can work from an economic perspective.

As I have said before do this we will save considerable amounts of capital outlay require to buy extra assets in the capacity market.

James Arathoon

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James Arathoon
 30 October 2013 04:58 PM
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jarathoon

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If you put all power generated via the batteries there will be little benefit from having asymmetric import export from the grid. 2.5 MW in and 2.5 MW out will be fine I think (and much cheaper), since money generated from excess day/night trading will always be small.

Night charging from the grid is needed to maintain a reliable power source that can meet the needs of the evening peak power demand period, even during periods where there is little wind, as well as for reliable provision of spinning and standby reserve power.

The batteries can be in any charge state when swapped from grid side to turbine side. e.g. 90 % charged on turbine side swapped to 80% charged from grid side.

Since I have defined a normal upper charge capacity of 90%, there will scope to draw energy from the grid at any time if that is what the operator asks. This may also generate an income on an availability/ exercise cost model.

James Arathoon


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James Arathoon
 30 October 2013 05:39 PM
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dlane

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James,

Have you considered isentropic heat storage instead of utilising batteries?

This may be more cost effective, won't have the same hazardous waste concerns the battery cells have and should give you a better return on the power without having to worry about discharge cycles.

Isentropic Heat Pump

Kind regards

Donald Lane
 30 October 2013 08:42 PM
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ArthurHall

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I understand SSE were installing a HV storage battery at Lerwick power station. The battery used liquid sodium as the electrolite and operated at 650 degrees C. It was under construction a couple of years ago when I was last there. I havent heard if its in commission yet.
 30 October 2013 11:06 PM
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jarathoon

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Originally posted by: ArthurHall

I understand SSE were installing a HV storage battery at Lerwick power station. The battery used liquid sodium as the electrolite and operated at 650 degrees C. It was under construction a couple of years ago when I was last there. I havent heard if its in commission yet.


Is this the one?

http://www.ssepd.co.uk/HaveYou...olio/ShetlandBattery/

"Project update

The battery system has been successfully procured and installed. However, we have requested an extension to the project end date. This is because we have not been able to proceed to energisation due to a significant fire at another installation of the NaS battery technology in Japan. Commissioning was halted just two weeks before the scheduled date for energisation on receipt of a request from the battery manufacturer to place all installed NaS batteries in a 'cold' (non-energised) state pending further investigation. We are currently working with the relevant Japanese organisations to understand the results of investigations and any associated risk and possible control or mitigation measures that may be required."


They use lead acid in the telecoms industry, in cars, on submarines, when not try the principle out with lead acid batteries, with lots of sensors and along with some computerised systems to put limits on charge and discharge currents.

The researchers who develop cutting edge technology often forget that firms will not want to pay for people with several PhD's to run it!

The anex to the main building alone would cost more than my £600,000 budget!

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James Arathoon
 31 October 2013 12:55 PM
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jarathoon

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Originally posted by: dlane

James,

Have you considered isentropic heat storage instead of utilising batteries?

This may be more cost effective, won't have the same hazardous waste concerns the battery cells have and should give you a better return on the power without having to worry about discharge cycles.

Isentropic Heat Pump

Kind regards

Donald Lane


If wind + storage can beat the economics of third generation nuclear power + associated capacity market spending, we should be very interested.

Wind + Lead acid storage looks competitive to me with Nuclear Power strike price.

The raw cell battery cost is around £75,000 per 10 MWh. Lets estimate the net cost after bulk discounts and recycling as £55,000 per MWh. The 10 MWh battery storage has to be renewed every 2 years (say after 730 cycles), that's £27,000 in consumable spending per year to maintain the storage.

Under the current plans nuclear would get a guaranteed strike price of £93 per MWh if ready today and £10 billion of loan guarantees on a capital spend of £16 billion.

That's an equivalent to a £427,707 income per year for a 2.5 MW wind turbine with 0.21 capacity factor.

Even if all the electricity from the wind turbine is passed through a storage system with a 75% cycle efficiency that's an income of £320,780 per year.

Over 35 year contract that's just over £11 million of income to play with in your business plan.

I think it is technically and economically possible to get wind turbines with electricity storage working for 35 years in a practical fashion given the level of income guarantees on offer to nuclear.

Little further research and development is needed, in the case of using Lead Acid batteries, just some infrastructure and logistical design work.

As I showed in another thread, spending the £32 billion on onshore wind and storage avoids the need to spend a further £18 billion in capital in the capacity market (plus all the associated operations and maintenance costs for 35 years).

Therefore I repeat:

If wind + storage can beat the economics of third generation nuclear power + associated capacity market spending we should be very very interested.

I think there will be conservative forces in the generation industry, at DECC and the wider governing class who will want to try to stop this. They might even fund ridiculous research projects to show just how uneconomic and impractical energy storage is in comparison with the alternatives.

However once our energy policy becomes governed by rational debate and rational calculation and estimation, as I think it will soon, the freedom and scope for government to agree to spend billions and billions of our cash in secretly negotiated deals without any oversight or interventions from parliament will reduce.

James Arathoon

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James Arathoon
 31 October 2013 05:29 PM
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davegray65

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James

It doesn't have to be electrical storage. Take a look at http://www.google.com/hostedne...E_LuZGKQA6V7xWlZZPZPCw or google "solar power station in spain works at night".

I suspect that economies of scale would make large (probably independent) storage sites more efficient. The storage facility could be anywhere between the generator and the consumer without seriously influencing transmission losses. Does this suggest a new branch of the industry - independent storage facilities?

Regards

Dave Gray
 01 November 2013 06:43 PM
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jarathoon

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Originally posted by: davegray65

James



It doesn't have to be electrical storage. Take a look at http://www.google.com/hostedne...E_LuZGKQA6V7xWlZZPZPCw or google "solar power station in spain works at night".



I suspect that economies of scale would make large (probably independent) storage sites more efficient. The storage facility could be anywhere between the generator and the consumer without seriously influencing transmission losses. Does this suggest a new branch of the industry - independent storage facilities?



Regards



Dave Gray


Dave,

Not necessarily, because a proportion of the capital costs of the power converters needed are being paid for by re-engineering and re-tasking the existing wind turbine power converter cabinets.

Having storage capacity in the wind turbines means that if National grid wants to constrain exports to the grid from wind turbines in certain locations, to prevent overloading of the grid, then this energy can be stored and released later.

Most of the energy the wind farms will be releasing from storage will not have been externally generated by another supplier. Therefore the wind turbine investors are just making a lower margin on their electricity sales, rather just relying on price differentials between night and day to earn a living.

As everyone finds when they do the calcs, price differential trading, brings in next to nothing and so money will have to be made on other services, such as on spinning reserve and standby reserve payments etc, plus some subsidies.

When National Grid people do the calcs they find that a system of distributed storage at the substation level of lower works best from their point of view.

However, from the customer point of view, when the costs of retail electricity from the grid rises above that of unsubsidised solar, it may make sense to have some in house storage, and take the minimum amount of electricity from the grid they can in the summer months. With a smart grid they can program their storage system to take electricity from the grid when it is cheapest.

If gas prices decline due to fracking, then in winter people may consider the option of generating electricity for their home using a small gas turbine or low noise internal combustion engine or whatever other technology proves cost effective and up to the task.

If only run in winter an electricity generating efficiency of 10% may suffice (with the other 90% going into heating the house).

If the consumer wants a higher level of efficiency, so that they can use gas powered electricity generator outside of the winter months (to heat a water tank for example), then some of the excess output power they will have in winter can be used to power a proportion of the heating as electical heating. While the water tank is being heated, the battery store used in the summer for storing solar energy, can in winter store the electricity that is generated from the gas turbine. Enough electricity needs to be generated so that their is enough battery power to last until the water tank next needs to be heated up.

If grid electricity becomes too expensive (compared with storage) then people will come off the grid (larger users first) and generate their electricity from solar in summer and from shale gas in winter. This is because local generaton competes with the retail price of electicity not the wholesale price!

In a free market economy the government is not mandated to make choices which make absolutely no economic sense from the publics point of view.

People in this country have always been free to make choices in their own best interests, and generating their own electricity at home may eventually become just another one of those choices. If this happens we won't need such a big and over-arching national grid, just a series of local grids, as was the case at the beginning of the twentieth century. The costs of third generation nuclear energy at any cost, will ultimately fall on those who cannot afford to generate their own electricity off-grid.

To go back to the grid electricity storage issue...

My calculations show there is an upper limit to the amount of energy storage our grid needs to cope with night day variations, with minimal reserve generating capacity. With the current night day variation in demand through out the year, storage needs start maxing out at about 80 GWh (assuming no extra demand management than exists today).

With demand management a lower level of energy storage will be required.

If we have a lot of generation and storage away from the population centres then grid losses will be higher. If this is a problem we will have to lay a few HVDC power cables across the country to change the loss geometry of the grid (certainly one between Scotland and London initially, to cheaply transfer Scottish renewable energy and later geothermal energy from Iceland down to the London based consumers and businesses) .

I suggest the new HVDC power cables are securely laid as a part of rail infrastructure investment e.g. Midland Mainline Upgrade.

Some of the new combined cycle gas stations we will need to build, can be built close to our population centres, to help offset some of the losses.

However when it comes to replacing these gas stations with flexible Gen IV molten salt nuclear stations from 2035 onwards (on my plans, not DECC's plans I should add) or by tidal power, grid losses will gradually increase.

We can choose to put up with grid losses gradually increasing over the next few decades or we can install a few HVDC power cables across the country to change the grid loss geometry and so help to offset this trend that way.

James Arathoon


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James Arathoon
 02 November 2013 11:06 AM
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jarathoon

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JonathanHill talks of paradigm shifts...

"Major European utility set for dramatic transformation"

see here

"One of Europe's largest utilities is on the cusp of reportedly transforming its business from being a centralised energy provider into a decentralised energy provider."

It will be interesting to see how this plays out...

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James Arathoon
 19 November 2013 09:00 PM
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donaldswifthook

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There is a lot of confusion here. My mobile phone stores energy from the power system, but it is misleading to talk as if is FOR power system energy storage. Batteries can only be seriously considered on a power system for control and balancing services such as spinning reserve. For energy storage as such, only pumped water is practical for both size and cost.
Control and balancing services are needed on stand-by 100% of the time, whereas wind generation is available only 30% on average in the UK [and only 15% in Germany where most of the EU's wind farm are]. Even if the stores are mounted on the wind turbines themselves, they will not operate with them most of the time, so it is misleading to talk as if they were particularly closely coupled together in a system sense.
To talk of installing power system storage for wind energy is wholly unrealistic. Wind power is the last to be stored on a well-run power system.
When different types of power plant are generating, it may not be obvious which is filling a store but compare the system with a store to what it would be without one (for instance, if the store failed or filled). The power being stored must be coming from that plant which would be shut down if storage stopped.
A well-run power system always uses its cheapest running-cost generation first, so the stored power will always come from the plant with the dearest running-costs that would be shut down. Wind turbines have zero running-costs - the wind blows free - so wind is (almost) always the cheapest generation (marginally speaking) whenever it is available and so it will never be stored. There is one serious proviso: UNLESS the cheapest is also the dearest, i.e. when there is only wind power left on the system.
In that case, wind power is the last to be stored.

Edited: 19 November 2013 at 09:13 PM by donaldswifthook
 19 November 2013 11:47 PM
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jarathoon

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donaldswifthook,

I don't think you have understood what I am trying to say. You are thinking from a supply market perspective rather than looking at the total cost a customer has to pay. I am just asking what happens if we push all or most wind energy through storage. Using lead acid batteries as an example (which aren't very environmentally friendly I agree) it seems that onshore wind power operators can make just as much money this way as they can chucking energy straight onto the grid with a subsidy. Organising subsidies in a different way may well save the consumer money over DECC's current plans.

The capital depreciation cost of generation plant sitting idle for most of the time has to be paid for in capacity payments (as DECC currently plans) or with extremely high premium prices for electricity consumed at peak times. Because utilisation of reserve generating capacity is very hard to predict in advance, when there are lots of renewables on the grid, we are always going to end up paying over the odds for this service.

I am just pointing out that with a little engineering effort onshore wind power combined with lead acid storage and less capacity market spending, can already be made cheaper than that third generation nuclear power + much higher levels of capacity market spending.



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James Arathoon
 20 November 2013 10:02 AM
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kengreen

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on reading the above posts I conclude that someone in making a fortune by manufacturing rose-coloured spectacles?

The only bit of engineering common-sense that I perceive is James' suggestion that that large energy storage units be broken up and charged/discharged in rotation.
My experience with batteries started circa 1943 and continued through the period I spent in the Navy. I suggest that the ideas promoted above make the nuclear industry appear to be even safer than air transport.

there are two glaring faults in the reasoning above:
(a) that costs should be allowed to over-rule engineering experience
(b) that there is an advantage is centralised provision of services.

Ken Green
 20 November 2013 07:54 PM
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donaldswifthook

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I am certainly thinking of the total that the consumer - who pays for everything at the end of the day - has to pay, James. My remarks apply to a well-run power system aiming to use the cheapest generation available at any time. If you always store wind energy you will often deny the power system and its consumers the cheapest [zero-marginal cost] power available at that time and this cannot be advantageous to them overall, particularly with round trip losses on all wind. If you adjust subsidies to avoid this, you no longer have an optimised power system and will not save money for consumers overall.
Almost anything can generate more cheaply than third generation nuclear power at present: it has quadrupled in cost in real terms in the last decade and you are mistaken in thinking that batteries are cheaper than other capacity options. If they were, they would certainly be widely used already but they are not. [Gas turbines usually are.]
Are you keeping a close eye on Li-ion batteries? There seems to be the same Moore's Law for them as there is for the lap-tops they power and they are already cheap enough to be first choice for some electric vehicle developments.
The engineering experience of power system storage installed with wind turbines is precisely zero, Ken. 300GW of wind farms have been installed world-wide with no associated storage and it is a glaring fault to believe there is any engineering experience for costs to over-rule.
The main advantage of centralised provision of services is reliability. Anyone is free to use their own power generation at any time if they find it advantageous. Hardly anyone does and it is a glaring fault to think they would.
 21 November 2013 12:09 AM
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jarathoon

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donaldswifthook,

I am sure if it was a indpendent engineer designing the electricity supply system instead of DECC, what you say would have some relevance I am sure.

The Hinkley Point C EPR's if built (which I think is highly doubtful) will not be ready to attach to the grid before 2023. That gives a little time to bring down the costs and increase the practicality of what I am suggesting and what other people are suggesting as alternatives.

I think everyone will be keeping a close eye on battery technology developments over the next few years.

-------------------------
James Arathoon
 21 November 2013 12:33 PM
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clivebrown

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Its not just battery storage that is developing - Hydrogen is also receiving lots of attention. Some years ago an inspired young engineer initiated the PURE project on the northernmost Shetland island. Project Unst Renewable Energy had a wind turbine which could either export to the grid or store energy in the form of hydrogen (via electolyser & compressor); the hydrogen was used to power a small car or to generate electricity (via fuel cells in both cases). The project has now developed to http://pureenergycentre.com/

I think that both batteries and hydrogen will become large scale means of storing energy. Batteries have good turn-round efficiency but large weight which is not ideal for vehicle application. The converse applies to the hydrogen/fuel cell system. But both are suitable for domestic scale generation to the grid via the vehicle to grid concept; to my mind domestic scale CHP with hydrogen is also relevant for achieving a low carbon future.

Regards....Clive

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clivebrown
 21 November 2013 12:46 PM
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kengreen

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no, I must beg to differ. You are still concentrating on the mistake I have highlighted before.

You are quite wrong to base your arguments on the cost of producing electricity; it's absolutely irrelevant except in the classroom and perhaps in "that other place". It may be - in fact it is - not relevant to the immediate short term but it is pointless to close your eyes to the inevitable long-term consequences coupled with energetic nailing of colours to the mast.

Fossil fuels are not by any means exhausted but it cannot be denied that they are heading that way either with or without cost analysis. it matters not whether you consider that statement to be relevant; the real world truth is that man's demand for electrical energy is rapidly rising because
(a) the ruthless march of the search for wealth by means of technological manufacturing
(b) the unstoppable and ever-increasing demands from the so-called third world communities
(c) the increasing requirement for energy in the futile effort to hold back the self inflicted problems that arise from global warming.

in the not too distant future the cry is going to become "to hell with the cost - we need more energy". Unless it becomes possible to cultivate a return to the horse and cart there are going to be a whole host of factories which manufacture bullets for the biting.

Ken Green
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