July 01, 2022, 06:42:00 PM
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Topic: Ersatz for Natural Gas?  (Read 4539 times)

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Offline rolnor

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Re: Ersatz for Natural Gas?
« Reply #15 on: March 04, 2022, 01:58:33 AM »
Batteries are also interesting but they need to be enormous of course. In Sweden we also sell a very large number if electric cars now.

Offline Enthalpy

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Re: Ersatz for Natural Gas?
« Reply #16 on: March 04, 2022, 04:42:28 PM »
Electricity storage lets run any power plant permanently at full capacity, even at night when consumption is low, and restore the excess energy during daytime peak demand.

I suggested it for Japan when electricity was scarce after the Fukushima disaster. I also evaluated that lithium batteries cost less than building excess production capability to satisfy the consumption peaks. In California, one electricity company even shut an existing gas power plant to replace it with a battery by Tesla.

Presently in Europe, storage would let the coal and nuke power plants produce at full capacity 24/7 to consume less gas and oil.

To be seen: how quickly the batteries can be delivered. They would have been useful before the present crisis, and will keep useful after.

Offline Enthalpy

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Re: Ersatz for Natural Gas?
« Reply #17 on: March 04, 2022, 04:49:13 PM »
Batteries are also interesting but they need to be enormous of course. [...]

I put figures on that, and the size is reasonable. Night-to-day storage for a nuke power plant is roughly as big as the parking lot for the employees. My flywheels would be smaller, more efficient from night to day but less so over several days.

Cost: if you build 4 power plants to satisfy the daytime peak consumption, as a mean only 3 plants produce, 1 idles. Building 3 power plants plus a big battery costs far less.

We have enough lithium. Research is in progress about sodium batteries.

Offline Enthalpy

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Re: Ersatz for Natural Gas?
« Reply #18 on: March 04, 2022, 05:18:34 PM »
A wood-fired power plant can distribute heat too.

Any heat-to-electricity conversion could, but with nuke power plants it's too dangerous.

Heat distribution favours power plants of limited size located near towns and cities.

Offline rolnor

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Re: Ersatz for Natural Gas?
« Reply #19 on: March 04, 2022, 10:13:40 PM »
Yeah, we have lithium, but do we have enough cobalt? I dont have these numbers but batteries seem hard if you want to bufffer the power for a whole country. The battery for a electric car is around 10000-20000usd and they have limited life-span.

Offline Borek

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Re: Ersatz for Natural Gas?
« Reply #20 on: March 05, 2022, 03:34:39 AM »
So far we have no reliable battery technology for this scale of operation - from what I understand there is one pilot battery plant, and it went off due to overheating at least twice in the last five months.

https://interestingengineering.com/lithium-ion-battery-overheating
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Offline rolnor

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Re: Ersatz for Natural Gas?
« Reply #21 on: March 05, 2022, 04:51:00 AM »
I think this can be solved but it still seems hard with todays battery technology, its just so very large currents. I guess its impossible to make a battery with redox-technique that can be more size and weight efficient than lithium batteries because lithium is the smallest nucleus available?

Offline Borek

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Re: Ersatz for Natural Gas?
« Reply #22 on: March 05, 2022, 07:26:39 AM »
I think this can be solved but it still seems hard with todays battery technology, its just so very large currents. I guess its impossible to make a battery with redox-technique that can be more size and weight efficient than lithium batteries because lithium is the smallest nucleus available?

For storage sodium is potentially much better, as it is a lot cheaper and slightly lower energy density is not as important as in cars. Still, we don't have the technology ready yet.

Similarly there is a storage potential in flow batteries, but they haven't been scaled up yet.

So in general: yes, there are potential solutions, but there are no proven solutions as of now.
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Offline rolnor

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Re: Ersatz for Natural Gas?
« Reply #23 on: March 05, 2022, 07:45:54 AM »
I think sodium would be more flammable, more dangerous?

Offline Borek

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Re: Ersatz for Natural Gas?
« Reply #24 on: March 05, 2022, 11:59:14 AM »
I think sodium would be more flammable, more dangerous?

It is not much more difficult to deal with than lithium.
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Offline rolnor

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Re: Ersatz for Natural Gas?
« Reply #25 on: March 05, 2022, 03:51:10 PM »
Yes it is, have you compared reactivity with water?

Offline Borek

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Re: Ersatz for Natural Gas?
« Reply #26 on: March 05, 2022, 05:26:48 PM »
In both cases contact with water or air is out of the question and in both cases we talk about metal that is sealed off and its production and processing requires an inert atmosphere. From this point of view differences in their reactivities with water is not a serious problem - it doesn't make the fabrication process much different.
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Offline Enthalpy

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Re: Ersatz for Natural Gas?
« Reply #27 on: March 05, 2022, 07:13:39 PM »
So far we have no reliable battery technology for this scale of operation - from what I understand there is one pilot battery plant, and it went off due to overheating at least twice in the last five months.
https://interestingengineering.com/lithium-ion-battery-overheating
Thanks! I didn't know about these events.

The B-777 Dreamliner experienced fires due to battery overheating. This was "solved" by packing the batteries in fireproof containers, so the flames don't spread. Doing the same on the ground is no big story. Accept one battery to burn from time to time, continue operation. And: who bozo put water sparklers over lithium batteries? Firefighters - first responders - engineers know that electric circuits demand foam or powder.

If these fires result from poor cooling, the technical answers are easy and well known. No nice news for the production as it implies deep changes in the design, but no need for years long research neither.

Home batteries by Tesla don't ignite, do they? Hint to a better design, probably better cooled because thinner. If Tesla can produce them at the same €/kWh, the answer is to assemble more of them instead of the big units.

How does the storage plant in Australia perform? Somehow I have in mind that it's bigger than the one in California.

Offline Enthalpy

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Re: Ersatz for Natural Gas?
« Reply #28 on: March 05, 2022, 07:24:12 PM »
Yeah, we have lithium, but do we have enough cobalt?
https://pubs.usgs.gov/periodicals/mcs2020/mcs2020-cobalt.pdf
4× more Co than Li mined presently, and 1/2 as much Co reserves as Li. I too had read allegations that Co is scarce, apparently it's b*t. In addition, some Li batteries use no Co.

The battery for a electric car is around 10000-20000usd and they have limited life-span.
Tesla give 10 years guarantee and estimate 20 years life. From my previous computations, just buy, operate, send back for recycling, and you save money.

Offline rolnor

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Re: Ersatz for Natural Gas?
« Reply #29 on: March 06, 2022, 12:03:57 AM »
OK. I agree, recycle is key in the future for batteries, its should not be difficult. If you look att Tesla Powerwall these are 14kWh and 8000usd each. If you want to heat a Swedish house in the winter you need around 30kWh/day if you use a heat-pump. Offcourse price will be different if you make them for industrial use. I imagine you need at least 10-20 times this capacity/house if you want to buffer the system in a country. It sometimes is low wind speeds for 1-2 weeks.
« Last Edit: March 06, 2022, 12:30:16 AM by rolnor »

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