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The Energy Revolution


nomadpete
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Regardless of whether you subscribe to climate change or not, the world has gradually begun moving away from dirty, polluting, unhealthy fossil fuel.

 

This thread is intended to bring some positivity and currency to our knowledge of developments in energy production.

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I found this little article about an Aussie mob getting a new battery onto the market.

 

 

".....world’s first renewable, hydrogen-powered energy storage system. At full charge, it can furnish a house with electricity for about three days.
For homes in New South Wales Australia, LAVO is offering a green battery storage system to retain the sun for darker days, using a clever system of electrolysis to generate energy from stored hydrogen. The special material in which the hydrogen is stored is leagues safer than conventional technologies. It has a product life of around 30 years, and it can be recycled."

https://www.goodnewsnetwork.org/worlds-first-home-green-hydrogen-battery-powers-your-house-for-3-days/

 

Sure it is expensive but the first production runs of a new product always is. And we'll all be forgetting that our present grid connection cost would cost more if we had to pay for the whole construction and maintenance up front.

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I am familiar with those batteries.  Yes a bit pricey at the moment but they have great potential.    Also I think there is great potential for neighborhood batteries, a group of houses that all have solar share a battery.  When we consider the cost of supplying energy to the average house there is a huge infrastructure cost just to get the power to the street and then into the house.   Imagine  a street where every house has solar and a street sized battery.  Tear down the power poles and sell them for firewood, drop the scrap wire off at Simms metal.

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Neighbourhood solar/storage is something that I've thought a bit about.

 

Sure there'd be some complexities in setting up the ownership framework - but it can be done.  If there was the appropriate regulatory encouragement for greenfields sites, perhaps a carrot/stick approach which makes including a street supply/storage system cheaper than NOT including it, would drive developers to include it.

There could also be some sort of leasing arrangement made.  In addition to a far cheaper kW/h price each house pays, there's an annual charge for maintenance and use of the neighbourhood battery.  It'd still be far cheaper than current electricity prices.

In terms of backup (and here you'd know much more than the rest of us Peter) there could probably be some sort of interconnector between each street battery, probably underground as the distances would be very short.  If there's a fault or one has to be taken offline for repair etc, then other batteries nearby could take some of the load.

 

I agree with pretty much everything you said Octave, except being heavily treated timber you wouldn't want to use power poles for firewood.  They make excellent corner posts though - chop them into 3m lengths and sell them to farmers!

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At wholesale rates today, AUD $30Kis GBP £16.5K. It will cost me about £12K to put enouch solar up to power my house.. and without the feed in tarrifs, there is no plus side for me to contributing to the grid.

 

I pay c. £1500/year for electricity, and this year, I am looking at about £1600 for heating oil (as we are all home and it got bleedin cold for a bit)...

 

I could convert heating to electric fairly cheaply... so for c. £30k (including fitting), it would take about 12 years to pay back...

 

Although... Heating oils has been as cheap as chips and with WT Crude hitting $60/barrel, that cheap as chips won't be around for long.. And I my energy supplier keeps upping their rates well above inflation (but they are still the cheapest - and totally renewable).. so between the two of them, the payback will probably come down to 8 years...

 

It's a long payback, but it also will save me having to put in a ground source heat pump as the only really viable alternative to heating oil, which UK laws are eventually going to force me to do it.. and after government rebates, because of the property we are in, the cheapest we have found will still cost us.. £80K.. Yep.. £80K....

 

So, win win.. thanks for the article - I will be contacting them..

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If I was younger, it'd be well worthwhile to go off grid. But my calcs put amortisation at 25 - 30 years. We are relatively frugal consumers. Probably less if I allowed for the expected inflation of electricity bills.

If I could count on living past 100 I'd definitely give the bird to grid connection.

 

I noticed an interesting sideline benefit - the battery has four individual removable batteries which can be used for other purposes. Such as electric bikes. Or an electric wheelchair in my later years?

As things stand I'm planning to ground source my heat pump as that's a worthwhile investment.

Edited by nomadpete
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Out here in the backblocks of Vic, I have read that it is a losing proposition to supply power at the rate set by the regulator. If this money was used to subsidize communal storage,  I reckon it would be viable .

I think the first small town in Australia is doing this...  anybody know the story?

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We have the unused roof space to place solar power panels on. We have an improving technology for producing power from solar radiation. I have no doubt that the technology for storing excess electricity is also improving at a great rate. 

 

I have no doubts that our grandchildren - those born after 2010 - will live in a world where domestic, retail and office activities are powered completely by solar power, with the supply to meet excess demand for those purposes will be stored in innocuous "battery" units located either short distance from residences, or in "power rooms" beneath office block, apartment blocks and shopping centres.

 

Other systems for generating electricity, be they by burning fuels, nuclear reaction, or harnessing wind and water, will be maintained in order to supply the heavy demands of industry. 

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Bruce - No, I don't know the story - but I read an article recently where there's excitement at the prospect of remote and rural regions generating sizeable amounts of renewable power. 

The reason being, the longer a power line is, the more cost is involved in installing transformers to keep the power going at satisfactory voltage levels over long distances.

But with small remote and rural towns generating sizeable amounts of power, and feeding it back into those long power lines, this is going to reduce the problems caused by pushing the power one-way over long distances.

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At the farm in western Vic, there is plenty of wind, lots of sunshine and lots of timber. I reckon a wood-burning steam generator would work just great, except that it would be hard to pay for an attendant  out of the electricity sold.  Maybe we need to change how we look at electricity prices and be prepared to pay much more for electricity when it is dark and still.

 

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I believe the greatest load on the system is caused by air conditioning and that is most needed hen the sun shines. Direct couple the AC unit to solar and no need for storage, better still live without AC by using sensible design of buildings.

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On 20/02/2021 at 12:57 PM, spacesailor said:

The first fully Solar powered town WAS, Lightning ridge.

BUT

Now on the grid like the rest of us.

spacesailor

Perhaps you meant White Cliffs. It had an innovative solar power station using parabolic collectors. After a few years’ operation it needed some upgrades but the Liberal minister in charge decreed that the mains power system be extended to White Cliffs, at much greater expense.

His record in government was not impressive, so they gave home a posh job in London.

 

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/White_Cliffs_Solar_Power_Station

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Sensible design !.

Most 'houses' are bought ready built,  to the cheapest price possible.

Thats the reality of today's housing market.

Second house, you can have a little input of design.

BUT

That dollar price Will dictate the end result.

I have slept in a Full, no holds, owner designed house,

Allass not too our liking.

spacejksailor

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  • 2 weeks later...

I wonder why they took the battery packs out of the Nissan Leafs, if they're still useable for AGV's in the factory?

 

Toyota are getting into the EV revolution - but at a slower pace. They are concentrating on hybrids for the next few years, before they move over to solid state batteries.

 

One thing I found interesting is that Toyota are using Ni-Mh batteries for their current hybrid models. I can't see the reasoning behind that. Cost? They are only just moving over to Li-Ion batteries.

 

https://www.whichcar.com.au/car-news/toyota-etnga-suv-teased

 

 

 

 

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There,s a guy in Sydney who buy,s damaged electric cars just to take the batteries, for other uses.

One little bump on those E V,s & they,r a total write off, so the insurance companies are willing to let him have them cheap.

Possibly used in that Sydney solar tourist boat, that kept running out of battery power.

spacesailor

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About 20 years ago, I knew a bloke who restored an old clinker built lifeboat. It was about 18' long and he fitted a roof covered in solar panels driving an ex golf buggy electric motor with a battery bank. Via a fitted gearbox to a traditional brass prop, it would push the boat along the river at up to 7 knots. He took tourists up and down the river and had a couple of hours of range on a sunny day.

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23 hours ago, onetrack said:

I wonder why they took the battery packs out of the Nissan Leafs, if they're still useable for AGV's in the factory?

 

These would be batteries that have reached a point where their range has degraded.   A lot is asked of EV batteries however as they degrade they are still useful for AVGs and stationary power systems.    

 

https://thedriven.io/2021/01/29/nissan-ev-batteries-get-second-life-in-transport-and-the-grid/

“Simply recycling an old car for scrap metal wouldn’t be good enough.”

Nissan LEAF batteries being sent to the 4R factory are first graded on the quality of their components. Some components get an “A” grade and can be reused in new EV battery units, while others with a “B” grade can be used for industrial machinery like forklifts and large stationary energy storage. “C” grade components can still be put to good use in backup supply power units.

Regardless of what grade the batteries receive, however, 4R Energy’s engineers estimate that recovered Nissan Leaf batteries end up with a life span of about 10 to 15 years – beyond that of its role as an EV battery – dramatically extending the usefulness of EV batteries, increasing the cost value, and reducing their overall carbon footprint."

 

 

 

 

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