Why Seasonal Energy Storage is Necessary for Large-Scale Penetration of Renewables
“Why should we be able to store energy for months?”
Energy storage is the biggest bottleneck in the deployment of renewable energy. Not only are we currently limited in the amount we can store, but also the time, as decay occurs the longer it is stored. And with the deeper penetration of renewables, energy will have to be stored for longer durations, so that charge can be stored during the sunny summer months and extracted in the dark winter ones. This is Why Seasonal Energy Storage is Necessary for Large-Scale Penetration of Renewables.
Distributed Energy Storage
“How can we best optimize energy storage?”
If you ask a renewable energy expert what is one of the biggest hurdles facing the proliferation of solar and wind, chances are you’ll hear energy storage. Storing energy requires a massive infrastructure investment, whether it be in batteries or other mechanisms. However, for the most optimum approach, all methods should be combined to create a Distributed Energy Storage solution. This way the maximum amount of energy can be stored for later use.
Image credit cleanpowerexchange.org
“What is the largest possible scale of energy storage with modern day engineering?”
Companies such as Tesla Motors are investing in energy storage like there is no tomorrow. The current frontier is Gigawatt-Hour-Scale Storage. Just to put things into perspective, one gigawatt-hour is enough to power the average California home for over 92 years!
How Tesla’s Big Australian Battery Might Become a Monopoly
“Why might there be no more ancillary service players in South Australia after Tesla?”
California based Tesla Motors recently made headlines by supplying 100 MW of their batteries to the South Australian Hornsdale Power Reserve to help control ancillary services. This project was so efficient that it absorbed 55 percent of all FCAS revenues in South Australia as well as cutting ancillary services pricing by 90 percent. Analysts say that this has been so efficient that it is possible that there will be no more room for competition in South Australia.
MPPT Charge Controllers
“What is the most efficient solar tracker?”
PWM Solar Charge Controllers are definitely a step up from On/Off Solar Controllers. However, they’re definitely not the most efficient models. MPPT Controllers (Maximum Power Point) can maximize the output by changing the current and voltage delivered while doing the best to keep power constant. Because of this, they are the most highly valued systems on the market.
“Can Solar Plus Storage make the grid obsolete?”
In the 20th century, back when we were reliant on massive power plants to produce energy, if you wanted to have electricity in your home then you had to sign up an electrical utility. But with the advent of Solar Plus Storage Systems, this might become a thing of the past. Now that people can not only generate but store their own electricity at their home, there is no longer a need to be attached to the grid. In some cases, it’s actually cheaper to become off-grid! As a result, many people are undergoing grid defection and turning to generate their own electricity.
Lithium ion batteries
“What exactly makes the type of batteries in your phone so special?”
You are probably hearing about special “lithium ion batteries” being featured in devices everywhere. But have you ever wondered what exactly makes them so special? Well, let’s take action and use our engineering mindset to figure this out. In contrast to traditional batteries, lithium ion batteries are constructed out of lithium and carbon. These elements are fairly light in nature, and lithium is also highly reactive, allowing these batteries to have a very high energy density. Quantitatively speaking, lithium-ion batteries can hold 150 watt hours in a single kilogram, only 1/6th of what is required for older lead acid batteries! Furthermore, Lithium Ion batteries lose their charge during storage at 1/4th of the rate other batteries do, can be recharged before being completely discharged, and can handle hundreds of charge/discharge cycles. This combination of high energy density and rechargeability makes lithium ion batteries terrific options to outfit mobile machines such as phones and cars. However, the same highly reactive property that makes them so effective with energy storage also causes structural instability, since they start degrading once they begin degrading once they leave the factory and can be very prone to unintended and dangerous heat-induced chemical reactions such as explosions.