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View Diary: For electric power generation, the end of fossil fuel is in sight (215 comments)

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  •  Liquid Metal Batteries (14+ / 0-)

    I'd like to see these simulations recalculated taking liquid metal batteries into account. While they say they're at least a year away from commercialization, they could erase the need for a backup power source altogether and put the energy delivery curve on a more predictable and constant basis.

      •  How close are they to market? (2+ / 0-)
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        Icarus Diving, Noodles

        The brief searching I did doesn't show they are near going to market with versions scaled to deliver grid level power. I would venture to guess Ambri is 2 years from delivering product to market that can handle the grid.

        •  no idea (0+ / 0-)

          About all I know is that this came out of UCLA and their immediate focus seems to be small devices. I'm only guessing it can scale up to "grid capacity" size.

          I'm wondering, too, if current generators (like hydroelectric) couldn't be made far more efficient if they had a way of storing excess electricity - i.e., if the generators aren't limited by the need to supply only what the grid can handle at any given moment.

          •  Even 10 years out would be great. (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Icarus Diving, cynndara

            We'd certainly start small, such as for personal devices which may be available sooner, and scale up form there. On the other hand, we might not need it scaled to grid size if it's usable for most devices and cars. It may reduce the usage required if it stores electricity efficiently and help us conserve power thus extending the lifetime of current generators without having to replace them with something bigger.

    •  The study already assumes massive power storage (1+ / 0-)
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      They assume storage power capacity totaling about 20% of total power generating capacity, providing about 2.5% of total energy.

      They're modeling a mix of hydrogen  in high-pressure tanks, Li-titanate batteries, and GIV (grid-integrated vehicles). That is a lot of storage, but is a lot less than I have ever assumed.

      This is an impressive paper; they did some good work.

      •  Umm, that's missing the point (1+ / 0-)
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        Liquid metal batteries are meant to be put at the exit of any and all solar/wind installations not just to provide energy when the sun isn't shining or the wind isn't blowing, but rather to provide a smooth energy output to the grid.

        It isn't just the erratic delivery that's a problem for these electricity sources. It's the erratic intensity of the energy. These batteries solve both delivery and intensity concerns which it sounds like this paper isn't accounting for. Not having read the paper, I can't say that for sure though.

    •  Another solution could be (0+ / 0-)

      Vanadium Flow Redox Batteries, for large capacity storage

      "If knowledge can create problems, it is not through ignorance that we can solve them. Isaac Asimov (8.25 / -5.64}

      by carver on Mon Feb 04, 2013 at 02:40:33 PM PST

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    •  Well, if we build wind turbines as fast as we can, (0+ / 0-)

      it will still take more than one year to build enough to stop burning fossil fuels.  The liquid metal battery may be ready to use before the renewables build-out is over.  

      Renewable energy brings national global security.     

      by Calamity Jean on Tue Feb 05, 2013 at 12:38:36 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

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