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View Diary: Home-made self-sufficiency in West Virginia town offers a solar model adaptable nationwide (148 comments)

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  •  Battery type? (0+ / 0-)

    I haven't run the numbers myself.  People I trust have.  If we're using anything lithium based, we're unable to do this for the whole of the US because of price pressures.  I understand there are some newer phase change technologies that can build batteries out of underground caverns and relatively cheap materials, but these require parking-lot sized installations.  

    What are they doing to store the power?

    If it weren't for the battery problem, I'd say just use gov't subsidies to cover every roof in solar panels.  But my education may be outdated.

    •  We will probably soon see a rethinking of the (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Russgirl, shaharazade

      way the grid works, with lots of energy being stored at the neighborhood level with flow batteries:

      The new electrolyte mixture not only has the potential to improve the operations of a vanadium redox battery, but can also decrease its costs, the study found.
      Because it needs less electrolyte liquid to operate at capacity, the storage tanks could be made smaller and use less material. The better operating temperature also reduces the need for a costly cooling system.
      An earlier study by the laboratory pointed to vanadium redox flow batteries as a promising backup storage system for renewable energy generation, allowing for up to 12 hours of power storage in a residential neighborhood or large industrial site.

      "A candle loses nothing by lighting another candle" - Mohammed Nabbous, R.I.P.

      by Lawrence on Tue Feb 28, 2012 at 03:34:14 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  pumped water storage, gravity storage using... (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Calamity Jean, ozsea1

      .... hydraulics in deep vertical shafts, thermal storage using molten salt, etc.; all of these being utility-scale technologies.

      Batteries are useful for homes, but could be sized to provide backup only for critical things that need to run during grid power outages, such as refrigerators, a few lights and a radio, and telecoms (your laptop uses 35 watts, add another 5 watts for your DSL or cablemodem and your router).  

      "Minus two votes for the Democrat" equals "plus one vote for the Republican." Arithmetic doesn't care about your feelings.

      by G2geek on Tue Feb 28, 2012 at 05:07:53 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

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