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'Renewable' Energy(s) & Storage ..... ?

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Old Monday 23rd December 2019, 10:34   #1
Chosun Juan
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Question 'Renewable' Energy(s) & Storage ..... ?

It seems that with people believing that CO2e is a problem (don't want to devolve into a discussion of that here) - that many of the proposed solutions take us from the so called frying pan straight into the fire.

Some solutions are just illogical when subject to a broader boundary, some are illogical and uneconomic when true costs are accounted for.

Of necessity any viable solutions require a consideration of the environment beyond a 'sink' , or series of 'free' resources to exploit as most socio-economic / political systems do - whether they be Western Capitalism, Eastern Totalitarian Capitalism, Authoritarian Dictatorships, 'National' Cartels, Theocratic Dystopias, or whatever.

Primary among the unacceptable /worse solutions is Nuclear Power with it's unaccounted for true costs, intractable waste, and Military subservience.

Also unacceptable (surely?) is any Hydrogen based economy where Hydrogen is used as a conversion and transport 'fuel' for Renewable Energy Generation. Nobody ever mentions the water (vapour) produced as a by-product .... rather inconvenient when water vapour is responsible for 95% of the so-called greenhouse effect.

PV Solar Panels /Lithium Battery Storage seems to have issues with recyclability /procurement. These largely seem problems of Governance - rather than technical or economic ones.

Wind Power has issues with impact on birds, Intermittency and Capacity Coverage, as well as Recyclability etc.

Solar Thermal has potential issues with impact on birdlife (in the case of mirror farms and tower based concentrators),

AND NOW: comes news of long life liquid 'carrier fuel' storage of Solar Thermal energy. I am hoping there are some Chemists or Scientists here who can provide some analysis on this methodology.
https://www.sciencealert.com/scienti...N507ASXNe4sWKM

It seems to me that this could be a viable solution in colder climates where the demand for heat output is greater. What happens though with a great big world boundary around it all and widespread adoption - is the amount of 'heat' added every bit as bad as 'CO2e' ?

What about the economics, distribution (monopoly?), toxicity, and recyclability of these fuels /catalysts ?

Any thoughtful, adult analysis, comment, or opinion on this or other alternatives and societal ways of being welcome.




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Old Monday 23rd December 2019, 22:13   #2
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Interesting read Chosun. Thanks for sharing.

I don't think that this would add or subtract any heat to or from the atmosphere, at least over time. As far as I could tell all the heat from the sun that will be stored in the fluid would have remained in the atmosphere anyway but is instead stored to be used later. Since the heat storage time of the fluid is only a couple of decades that heat will be added back into the atmosphere in a relatively short time. So, I think, the net change in heat from this process is zero when viewed over a period of fewer than 20 years.

This is kind of how I understand fossil fuels working too but on a different time scale.

There are devices called flywheels that serve a similar function. They store excess energy in rotational energy to be used later when energy is scarce. They won't keep spinning for decades though.
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Old Monday 23rd December 2019, 22:45   #3
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I think any water vapour produced from Hydrogen is going to be completely negligible in its effect. It will condense or fall out of the atmosphere as rain and have no measurable effect in any short or mid term, surely. (In contrast to CO2 released into the atmosphere).

(The regular daily fluctuations in atmospheric water vapour levels (eg as evinced by measurable humidity) are going to be orders of magnitude greater than all the water vapour emissions from all artificial Hydrogen energy sources in any year ...?)
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Old Friday 27th December 2019, 06:00   #4
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Question

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I think any water vapour produced from Hydrogen is going to be completely negligible in its effect. It will condense or fall out of the atmosphere as rain and have no measurable effect in any short or mid term, surely. (In contrast to CO2 released into the atmosphere).

(The regular daily fluctuations in atmospheric water vapour levels (eg as evinced by measurable humidity) are going to be orders of magnitude greater than all the water vapour emissions from all artificial Hydrogen energy sources in any year ...?)
I really don't understand why there is not more discussion of this aspect of Hydrogen as a 'renewable' (provided it is sourced renewably) energy source.

In practice (for what we are considering here) water can only exist in 3 states:- Ice, Liquid, Vapor.

In any Northern Hemisphere (+NZ) automotive applications, any liquid water tailpipe emissions from Hydrogen vehicles are likely to turn to ice when that liquid hits the ground. Potentially very dangerous for other road users, and possibly lethal for motorcyclists.

In hotter climes/ seasons water on the road is likely to have a similar but lesser effect. In really hot environments that water is likely to change phases into water vapour. (there is also a cooling effect to consider from this phase shift - however probably outweighed by water vapour's role in the Greenhouse Effect).

I'm not so sure the effects would be negligible - especially with widespread adoption. Even if it is cycled daily as rain - it becomes a permanent presence in the atmosphere.




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Old Friday 27th December 2019, 06:12   #5
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Question Solar PV + Li ion Battery provided Renewable Energy - Easiest System to Recycle ??

In any consideration of alternatives - life cycle impacts and recyclability must be key considerations ......
https://renew.org.au/renew-magazine/...Ykj-jm3kbzao4g





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Old Friday 27th December 2019, 14:35   #6
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The snag with lithium-ion for solar (and wind) is one of availability. Even with recycling, the demand for EV means not enough Li for renewables. Sodium-ion is probably a better solution here (no availability issues for sodium) but still a few years from full implementation - will be significantly cheaper in the long run.

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Old Friday 27th December 2019, 16:25   #7
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Originally Posted by edenwatcher View Post
The snag with lithium-ion for solar (and wind) is one of availability. Even with recycling, the demand for EV means not enough Li for renewables. Sodium-ion is probably a better solution here (no availability issues for sodium) but still a few years from full implementation - will be significantly cheaper in the long run.

Rob (who works on both lithium and sodium-ion)
Presumably sodium has more significant safety issues? Lithium is bad enough, but a pool of liquid sodium metal pouring out of a punctured battery would be fun
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Old Friday 27th December 2019, 20:26   #8
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Safer in many ways. No sodium metal involved and can transport cells at zero V unlike lithium.

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Old Thursday 9th January 2020, 15:48   #9
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Question

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Originally Posted by edenwatcher View Post
The snag with lithium-ion for solar (and wind) is one of availability. Even with recycling, the demand for EV means not enough Li for renewables. Sodium-ion is probably a better solution here (no availability issues for sodium) but still a few years from full implementation - will be significantly cheaper in the long run.

Rob (who works on both lithium and sodium-ion)
Rob,

Would you care to comment on where advances in lithium chemistry may take us and where the limits and economics of the various alternatives may lie .... ?

I can imagine a suite of battery types depending on use. Individual transport certainly requires the most energy dense offerings (particularly aircraft, and high-performance automotive - https://newatlas.com/energy/lithium-...mGSx7rJ87Qlltc , or even further down the track - https://www.greencarreports.com/news...ible-batteries ) , whilst other applications such as household storage could use alternate solutions as you've mentioned.

There is also massive scope to reduce energy demand, and integrate a variety of solutions - for instance, each household footprint captures enough solar energy to power the house + car ..... at least at latitudes less than ~45° where the design considerations are easier .....




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Old Monday 13th January 2020, 13:16   #10
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Chosun,
As you say high performance transport will need Li-ion (at least in the medium term). Various advances such as Li-air, Li-sulphur are touted to increase energy density but neither is likely to be suitable for transport (if they are viable at all). Solid state lithium-ion is more likely but won't offer a big advance on current state-of-the art. New chemistries for Li-ion will give some (incremental) improvement as will improvements in pack design and integration with supercapacitors.
Sodium is more suitable for grid (and off-grid) and low cost transport (e.g. three wheelers in India) and also for rail in remote areas and ferries (combined with fuel cells).
Reduction in demand is a key component though.

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Old Saturday 1st February 2020, 18:10   #11
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The advantages of solar PV panels is that the energy can be produced where it is being consumed and it can be installed on existing buildings and structures.

With hydrogen there needs to be a central facility that will use electricity to produce the hydrogen which will then need to be transported hundreds or thousands of miles (as with natural gas and oil) and then burned in less than 100% efficient cars and trucks. But for large corporations that want to maintain their energy monopolies to maximize profits, having central hydrogen production plants and distribution networks that require a great deal of capital to create is a win win. They get a monopoly and the high costs are barriers to competition that might reduce their profits.

Solar panels that were made in the 1970's are still providing more than 90% of their rated output a half century later. Costs have gone down so much that the payback period is now around 5-7 years for a homeowner. The only obstacles are political as people like the Kochs fear the loss of income and power if there is competition for oil and coal as energy sources. The Kochs alone spend over $100 million a year to protect their businesses and to get favorable tax breaks worth billions of dollars.

A key problem with privatized transporation as in the United States is that land developers make more money and auto companies make more money with a transporation system that forces people to own and maintain automobiles. Half the land of American cities is used to move and store motor vehicles and amounts to a huge public subsidy for personal transit. Electric trollies and high speed trains do not need batteries.
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Old Saturday 1st February 2020, 20:10   #12
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Firstly, the "problem" with hydrogen producing water vapor or even ice on the road is just a misunderstanding. Burning hydrocarbon fuels also produces vast amounts of water - the actual ratio depends on the length of carbon chains in the fuel, but it's in the ballpark of 1:1 with CO2. Ever seen "smoke" coming out of a modern car's tailpipe? That's the water vapor. One can even argue that this is less of a problem in case of hydrogen-based propulsion, where the hydrogen is likely coming from water already present in the hydrosphere, whereas in hydrocarbon-based one, the hydrogen comes from oil, so it has been previously trapped in it and is being newly released to circulation.

Then I also disagree with the sweeping dismissal of nuclear power. Does it really have more "unaccounted for" costs then other power sources? With the attention and hate it receives, nuclear is actually being forced a lot to include all external costs into its operation, produce funds for future liquidation of plants etc... while the hydrocarbon industry largely avoids that and the same can be said for example for lithium production in less developed countries. The military argument is also just emotional, most modern nuclear plants don't produce anything of practical use to any military application.
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Old Saturday 1st February 2020, 20:26   #13
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Aluminium Batteries - they hit the headlines big a few months back. Anyone hear any more? Surely makes a lot more sense than some of the other alternatives eg lithium ...
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Old Monday 3rd February 2020, 07:39   #14
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Out of the fire into the frying pan would appear to be a better analogy.

Renewables are not without impact, but on the whole they have less impact than what we do now. That we hear so much about the potential impacts says more about the influence of people who would rather we stayed firmly in the fire because they make more money that way.....
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Old Wednesday 12th February 2020, 02:41   #15
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Thumbs up South Australia’s clean-energy shift brings lowest power prices on national grid,

https://www.theguardian.com/australi...Q_3k293c0TE_3U





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Old Saturday 15th February 2020, 11:47   #16
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Thumbs up Why green energy finally makes economic sense

https://www.knowablemagazine.org/art...msJ_iK5zAo8PwE






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Old Saturday 15th February 2020, 13:37   #17
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Thumbs up New Research Explains How Solar Panels Could Soon Be Generating Power at Night

https://www.google.com.au/amp/s/www....s7R8l_WWZaedYc







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Old Thursday 20th February 2020, 06:26   #18
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Grist for the mill - automotive battery cell cost estimates .....

https://www.businessinsider.com.au/t...eMTk&r=US&IR=T





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Old Thursday 20th February 2020, 13:04   #19
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Grist for the mill - automotive battery cell cost estimates .....

https://www.businessinsider.com.au/t...eMTk&r=US&IR=T

Chosun
That article is interesting from what it doesn't examine, or tell us. Scaling up to mass-market supply will have an impact on unit costs when manufacture is ramped up in preparation. The first-generation battery-type design that lends itself the most easily to to mass production will become cheaper. There is much design effort now being put (including scalability) into next-generation batteries, too, which could outperform the first-generation leader.

It's also apparent that improvement in first-generation developments has already led in places to battery-rental being cheaper than battery-purchase followed by battery replacement purchase; the former method includes the total recycling of the battery by the initial supplier.
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Old Saturday 7th March 2020, 09:19   #20
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That article is interesting from what it doesn't examine, or tell us. Scaling up to mass-market supply will have an impact on unit costs when manufacture is ramped up in preparation. The first-generation battery-type design that lends itself the most easily to to mass production will become cheaper. There is much design effort now being put (including scalability) into next-generation batteries, too, which could outperform the first-generation leader.

It's also apparent that improvement in first-generation developments has already led in places to battery-rental being cheaper than battery-purchase followed by battery replacement purchase; the former method includes the total recycling of the battery by the initial supplier.
MJB
Recycling in any new 'electric' economy is a very important component. Anyone who has read the 'Plastic Planet' article that I posted knows how horribly wrong that has gone.

It would be madness moving to more widespread use of batteries while severely impacting the planet on the supply and disposal side, without any consideration given to a circular economy for these materials and the proactive governance to ensure appropriate investment and economic and environmental sustainability.




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Old Monday 9th March 2020, 09:36   #21
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The world needs a plan and governance before the fact ....

"When electric cars go mainstream, the industry should be ready to recycle their batteries."

https://insideevs.com/news/402838/fo...jdNDpxXwwOk05Q





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Old Monday 16th March 2020, 13:53   #22
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Thumbs up Solid State Batteries

https://www.autoblog.com/2020/03/13/...6H9Gj_JmLDpV-L






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Old Wednesday 18th March 2020, 06:23   #23
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420Wh/kg ..... Li-metal

https://insideevs.com/news/404544/si...q0ziviJkHpAo0I






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Old Thursday 26th March 2020, 05:22   #24
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'Green' Hydrogen from concentrated solar .....
https://theheartysoul.com/secretive-...0KB2ePdgfMBhVg

The article doesn't mention what the hydrogen conversion process is (likely proprietary), and still has my bugbear of artificially creating heat, though I suspect a boundary analysis may (?) show less heat than that lost in even a 50% efficient ICE for example.

Would like to see the total efficiencies (and what heat is rejected to the environment), and also what temperatures these are running at in the absence of solar insolation ..... ?





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