A rechargeable battery to power a home from rooftop solar panels

September 24, 2015

A team of Harvard scientists and engineers has demonstrated a rechargeable battery that could make storage of electricity from intermittent energy sources like solar and wind safe and cost-effective for both residential and commercial use. The new research builds on earlier work by members of the same team that could enable cheaper and more reliable electricity storage at the grid level.

The mismatch between the availability of intermittent wind or sunshine and the variability of demand is a great obstacle to getting a large fraction of our electricity from renewable sources. This problem could be solved by a cost-effective means of storing large amounts of electrical energy for delivery over the long periods when the wind isn't blowing and the sun isn't shining.

In the operation of the , electrons are picked up and released by compounds composed of inexpensive, earth-abundant elements (carbon, oxygen, nitrogen, hydrogen, iron and potassium) dissolved in water. The compounds are non-toxic, non-flammable, and widely available, making them safer and cheaper than other battery systems.

"This is chemistry I'd be happy to put in my basement," says Michael J. Aziz, Gene and Tracy Sykes Professor of Materials and Energy Technologies at Harvard Paulson School of Engineering and Applied Sciences (SEAS), and project Principal Investigator. "The non-toxicity and cheap, abundant materials placed in water solution mean that it's safe—it can't catch on fire—and that's huge when you're storing large amounts of electrical energy anywhere near people."

The research appears in a paper published today in the journal Science.

This new battery chemistry was discovered by post-doctoral fellow Michael Marshak and graduate student Kaixiang Lin working together with co-lead author Roy Gordon, Thomas Dudley Cabot Professor of Chemistry and Professor of Materials Science at Harvard.

"We combined a common organic dye with an inexpensive food additive to increase our battery voltage by about 50 percent over our previous materials," says Gordon. The findings "deliver the first high-performance, non-flammable, non-toxic, non-corrosive, and low-cost chemicals for flow batteries."

Unlike solid-electrode batteries, flow batteries store energy in liquids contained in external tanks, similar to fuel cells. The tanks (which set the energy capacity), as well as the electrochemical conversion hardware through which the fluids are pumped (which sets peak power capacity), can be sized independently. Since the amount of energy that can be stored can be arbitrarily increased by scaling up only the size of the tanks, larger amounts of energy can be stored at lower cost than traditional battery systems.

Watch video: How a flow batter works:

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The active components of electrolytes in most flow battery designs have been metal ions such as vanadium dissolved in acid. The metals can be expensive, corrosive, tricky to handle, and kinetically sluggish, leading to inefficiencies. Last year, Aziz and his Harvard colleagues demonstrated a flow battery that replaced metals with organic (carbon-based) molecules called quinones, which are abundant, naturally occurring chemicals that are integral to biological processes like photosynthesis and cellular respiration. While quinones in aqueous solution formed the negative electrolyte side of the battery, the positive side relied on a conventional bromine-bearing electrolyte that is used in several other batteries. The high performance and low cost of the technology, which Harvard has licensed to a company in Europe, hold the potential to provide scalable grid-level storage solutions to utilities.

But bromine's toxicity and volatility make it most suitable for settings where trained professionals can deal with it safely behind secure fences.

So the team began searching for a new recipe that would provide comparable storage advantages—inexpensive, long lasting, efficient—using chemicals that could be safely deployed in homes and businesses. Their new battery, described in a paper published today in the journal Science, replaces bromine with a non-toxic and non-corrosive ion called ferrocyanide.

"It sounds bad because it has the word 'cyanide' in it," explains co-lead author Marshak, who is now assistant professor of chemistry at the University of Colorado Boulder. "Cyanide kills you because it binds very tightly to iron in your body. In ferrocyanide, it's already bound to iron, so it's safe. In fact, ferrocyanide is commonly used as a food additive, and also as a fertilizer."

Because ferrocyanide is highly soluble and stable in alkaline rather than acidic solutions, the Harvard team paired it with a quinone compound that is soluble and stable under alkaline conditions, in contrast to the acidic environment of their original battery developed last year.

Marshak compares exposure to the concentrated alkaline solution to coming into contact with a damaged disposable AA battery. "It's not something you want to eat or splash around in, but outside of that it's really not a problem."

There are other advantages to using alkaline solution. Because it is non-corrosive, the flow battery system components can be constructed of simpler and much less expensive materials such as plastics.

"First generation flow batteries were single-element couples - transition metals like vanadium or iron or chrome," says Michael Perry, Project Leader for Electrochemical Systems at United Technologies Research Center, who was not involved in the work. "Now we're seeing the possibility of engineered molecules giving us the properties and attributes that we want in one complete system. More work is required and justified but the Harvard team is really demonstrating the promise of next-generation chemistries."

Robert F. Savinell, Distinguished University Professor and George S. Dively Professor of Engineering at Case Western Reserve University, another battery expert who was not part of the Harvard research, agrees that the new technology offers significant advantages over other flow batteries concepts, including "potential very low costs with sustainable materials, high efficiencies at practical power densities, and safe and simple operation." He adds: "It should be expected that this flow battery approach will have a short development and scale-up path for fast commercial introduction."

Harvard's Office of Technology Development has been working closely with the research team to navigate the shifting complexities of the energy storage market and build relationships with companies well positioned to commercialize the new chemistries.

The demand for battery storage is driven by regulatory factors as much as economic ones. In some states, as well as many parts of the world, if it can't be instantaneously used by meeting electricity demand, solar energy incident on solar panels goes to waste unless the electricity is stored. However, in many states, customers have the right to sell electricity produced by rooftop solar panels at high consumer rates under a regulatory scheme called net metering. Under those circumstances, consumers have little incentive to install batteries. But market experts like William W. Hogan, Raymond Plank Professor of Global Energy Policy at Harvard Kennedy School, believe that such policies are ultimately "uneconomic and unsustainable." And as more and more homeowners install solar panels, utilities are opposing requirements to buy electricity from their customers.

Hogan says net metering is one of a series of "regulatory gimmicks designed to make solar more attractive" and predicts that eventually consumers with rooftop photovoltaic panels will lose the option of exchanging electricity for discounts on their utility bills. When that happens, these homeowners have an incentive to invest in .

That's the emerging market opportunity that Tesla Motors entrepreneur Elon Musk hopes to leverage with his company's recently-announced Powerwall system. But the design engineered by Aziz and his Harvard colleagues offers potential advantages in cost and the length of time it can maintain peak discharge power compared to lithium batteries.

"This has potential because photovoltaics are growing so fast," Aziz says. "A cloud comes over your solar installation and BAM - the production goes crashing down. Then the cloud goes away and the production goes shooting up. The best way of dealing with that is with batteries."

Explore further: New cathode material creates possibilities for sodium-ion batteries

More information: Alkaline quinone flow battery, Science, www.sciencemag.org/lookup/doi/10.1126/science.aab3033

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54 comments

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blyster
4.2 / 5 (5) Sep 24, 2015
I'd invest in this in a heartbeat.
aksdad
5 / 5 (2) Sep 24, 2015
Context would be helpful. How does it to compare to the deep cycle lead acid batteries that are commonly used to store electricity from PV panels? Amp hours?
EyeNStein
5 / 5 (2) Sep 24, 2015
Interesting: How many £££? Terminal voltage? Internal impedance? Cycle efficiency?
These missing figures determine how it compares with other technologies. How many cells each with a pump are needed? How big would a minimum 12kWh rig need to be?
Eikka
2.2 / 5 (6) Sep 24, 2015
What's still missing? When can we expect it on the market?

Hogan says net metering is one of a series of "regulatory gimmicks designed to make solar more attractive" and predicts that eventually consumers with rooftop photovoltaic panels will lose the option of exchanging electricity for discounts on their utility bills.


That's what I keep saying. The utility is making a net loss on the power they're forced to buy, so they pass the expense on to other retail customers.

In general, nearly all of the renewable energy incentives in use by governments today are bad ideas.They are all paying huge sums of public money to private companies and investors for small amounts of energy in return, and the end result is just slowing down of actual progress and extra troubles for grid utilities.
MR166
5 / 5 (3) Sep 24, 2015
Well here's hoping that this is the real thing. If so, this could make renewables a viable solution to our energy needs.
Eikka
3.4 / 5 (5) Sep 24, 2015
Interesting: How many £££? Terminal voltage? Internal impedance? Cycle efficiency?
These missing figures determine how it compares with other technologies. How many cells each with a pump are needed? How big would a minimum 12kWh rig need to be?


It appears to be 1.34 Volts.

The current efficiency exceeded 99%, with a stable round-trip energy efficiency of 84%. A 0.1% loss in capacity per cycle was observed during cycling, which appears to be a continuous loss of electrolyte over the 100 cycles.

Three possible loss mechanisms were explored: chemical decomposition, electrolyte crossover through the membrane, and leakage from the pumping system.


Apparently it's mostly the pump leaking on them.

By increasing the temperature to 45°C, the peak galvanic power density increases from 0.45 to ~0.7 W cm−2 (Fig. 2C), as the cell area-specific resistance (ASR) decreases from about 0.878 to 0.560 ohm cm2
billpress11
4.3 / 5 (6) Sep 24, 2015
Eikka, I don't know where you got the 1.34 volts from, but a series of 90 of these batteries could build up the voltage to 120 volts. Granted there are many unanswered questions in this article. It is only a matter of time till wind and solar becomes competitive for individual home owners. I look forward to that. In some parts of the country it already is.
Elmo_McGillicutty
not rated yet Sep 24, 2015
Do we need 2 tanks for each 1.34 Volts?
billpress11
4 / 5 (4) Sep 24, 2015
Do we need 2 tanks for each 1.34 Volts?

Yes, one positive the other negative. There is a lot of information missing in this article, so whether it holds promise or not I cannot say.
RealScience
3.7 / 5 (3) Sep 24, 2015
Do we need 2 tanks for each 1.34 Volts?


No, two big tanks would suffice (as long as the tanks are electrically isolated from the electrochemical conversion hardware).

However one would need a separate electrochemical conversion unit for each 1.34V, as these would have to be electrically placed in series to add their voltages.

And the pump(s) would have to deliver roughly the same amount from the tanks to each electrochemical conversion unit in order to keep the efficiency high, since the currents from the electrochemical conversion units would have to be the same from all units in series.

However those are just modest engineering challenges, and the real challenge is in the chemistry. IF the basic reaction works reliably and at low cost and is as safe and non-toxic as indicated, then this will be a real breakthrough and the engineering will happen very quickly. The chemistry sounds promising but must be proven in practice ...
billpress11
3 / 5 (2) Sep 24, 2015
RealScience, you may be correct but we really do not know the voltage difference between the tanks. I was just taking the 1.34 volts from what Eikka stated. This type of battery could work more like a capacitor than a battery, with a surplus of electrons in one solution and a deficit in the other. If so the voltage could be much higher. There is just too much missing information in this article.
RealScience
3 / 5 (2) Sep 24, 2015
I am also just taking the 1.34 volts from what Eikka says.

In a flow battery the voltage difference is between the two sides of the electrochemical conversion unit rather than between the tanks. The tanks could easily feed the conversion unit through non-conductive pipes (they could even drip-feed it through air gaps for extreme electrical isolation). As a general rule if something does not need to be charged, it should not be charged, for safety, reducing galvanic corrosion and convenience of not needing additional electrical isolation.

It won't work like a capacitor - with one amp-second of excess electrons in one tank and the deficit of electrons in a tank a meter away, the two tanks would attract each other with a force equivalent to a million tons (9x10^9 Newtons - see Coulomb's law). Each tank's solution must be electrically neutral overall - ions flow through the battery and electrons flow through the load to do work, and the results are still neutral overall.
greenonions
4.4 / 5 (7) Sep 25, 2015
Eikka
In general, nearly all of the renewable energy incentives in use by governments today are bad ideas
But subsidizing coal - to promote pollution - that kills millions of people every year, distorts markets, and discourages renewable energy - that makes sense to you? http://cleantechn...r-fuels/
Eikka
2.6 / 5 (5) Sep 25, 2015
But subsidizing coal - to promote pollution - that kills millions of people every year, distorts markets, and discourages renewable energy - that makes sense to you?


Why would it?

However, the renewables subsidy policies also cause the practical need to subsidize fossil fuels for a simple reason: the forced insertion of random power into the grids pushes the other operators offline, which means they lose revenue. That means some of the powerplants that the grid depends on while the renewables aren't available become unprofitable since they aren't allowed to sell enough, so utilities start shutting them down for good and you get a power shortage - unless they too get subsidized to remain as backup.

Also, the subsidy on coal you're referring to is absolutely miniscule. It's $7.54 per tonne, which is 6150 kWh of energy, which makes it a whopping 0.12 cents per kWh.

That fraction of a cent is surely going to put 23 cents per kWh solar power out of business.
Eikka
3 / 5 (6) Sep 25, 2015
I am also just taking the 1.34 volts from what Eikka says.


It's from the paper. The cells go from 1.1 - 1.34 Volts full.

The cell appears to need a slight overpotential to charge, hence the overall 84% efficiency.
Eikka
2.6 / 5 (5) Sep 25, 2015
There's basically a big hoolabaloo on the amount of subsidies that fossil fuels get, from the subsidy-supporters who try to apologize why renewable energy should keep getting subsidized at unsustainable rates for no practical benefit.

But the reality of the situation is that 80% of the global fossil fuel subsidies consist of things like China or Iran subsidizing the cost of automotive fuels to their people to keep their societies running.

The rest is half-pennies per kWh, or loan guarantees that are erroneously counted as subsidy even though not a single cent is actually paid to anyone.

If you want to "play fair", then fine, how about $2/MWh like nuclear power is getting, instead of $231/MWh like solar power has recieved over the past five years? The average level of renewable energy subsidy in the US is $35/MWh according to the EIA.

Eikka
2.6 / 5 (5) Sep 25, 2015
And of course, net metering laws allow you to sell renewable energy directly at retail price at an average of ~$110/MWh because the utility is forced to trade your electricity for theirs.

You're allowed to subtract the energy you produce when you're not using it, from the energy you use when you aren't producing it. That's called the "virtual battery" principle - you pay nothing, and other people pay and provide you the "battery".

And that goes on top of all the federal and state subsidies and tax breaks you're already receiving, but that sort of price fixing doesn't offically count as subsidy so it doesn't show up in the statistics.
billpress11
4 / 5 (4) Sep 25, 2015
RealScience, you are right, I had never heard of a "flow battery" before and did not understand how they worked.

Flow battery - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
https://en.wikipe..._battery
greenonions
4.3 / 5 (6) Sep 25, 2015
Eikka
That fraction of a cent is surely going to put 23 cents per kWh solar power out of business.

Same argument over and over. Fossil fuels get less subsidies than renewables - so that makes it right. Despite the fact that fossil fuels have been receiving subsidies for genertions - and renewables are the new kid on the block. So where did you get your 23 cents figure from? I see PPA's for solar power coming in at 5 cents a kWh - which after subsidies factored out - is about 8 cents a kWh - and the price keeps falling. I would be in favor of dropping all subsidies at this point - as wind and solar are ready to be the cheapest source. One thing you will of course never talk about - is the externalities of fossils. Someone is having to pay to clean up Beijing, Mumbai, etc. etc. - but don't expect you or the coal industry to volunteer for that one.
greenonions
4.3 / 5 (6) Sep 25, 2015
Eikka
Why would it?
Well we don't hear you calling for the removal of support to fossil fuels, do we? Just bashing clean, cheap, home grown renewable energy at every turn.
Eikka
2.6 / 5 (5) Sep 25, 2015
Well we don't hear you calling for the removal of support to fossil fuels, do we?


Why should I do everything? Want me to hop on one leg and sing the national anthem as well?

Just bashing clean, cheap, home grown renewable energy at every turn.


That's begging the question that the renewable energy we have is cheap, clean and homegrown.

None of those are actually true, and that's the whole point.

We keep buying Chinese made solar panels and Danish wind turbines, all built on fossil fuels out of non-renewable and non-recycleable materials, causing more indirect pollution by destabilizing the power grids, and on top we're paying for it multiple times the worth of whatever little energy they give.
Eikka
3.4 / 5 (5) Sep 25, 2015
Or if you want a more precise answer:

Well we don't hear you calling for the removal of support to fossil fuels, do we?


That is https://en.wikipe...aboutism

Whataboutism is a case of tu quoque or the appeal to hypocrisy, a logical fallacy which attempts to discredit the opponent's position by asserting the opponent's failure to act consistently in accordance with that position, without directly refuting or disproving the opponent's initial argument.


And also:

https://en.wikipe...rivation
The fallacy of relative privation, or appeal to bigger problems, is an informal fallacy in which an opponent's arguments about issues are minimized, deemed unimportant, or dismissed on the grounds that more important topics and issues exist, regardless of whether these problems are relevant to the question at hand or not, with the implication that any issue less serious is not worthy of discussion.


Eikka
4 / 5 (8) Sep 25, 2015
Though of course the proper answer to the question of why I am not calling for the removal of support to fossil fuels is, that fossil fuels aren't actually subsidized to any significant extent despite the propaganda. We're are in reality talking about fractions of a cent per kWh.

The removal of these subsidies is of course justified, but it is a rather academic concern because they are not a significant factor in why renewable energy isn't working out. Those subsidies may matter in the internal competition between different fossil fuels, such as gas vs. coal, or brown coal vs. black coal, or one supplier vs. another etc. but they simply do not have a significant impact on the question of fossil fuels vs. renewables.

In other words, trying to make a mountain out of that molehill is just distracting everyone from the real issues and skewing our perspective on the matter.
gkam
1.7 / 5 (6) Sep 25, 2015
"why renewable energy isn't working out."
-----------------------------------

It works well here, Eikka. Why can't you folk do it?
italba
1 / 5 (1) Sep 25, 2015
@ Eikka: Fossil fuels subsidies are many times more than renewable energy ones, see http://www.source...ubsidies . According to "the Guardian" article http://www.thegua...und-coal without those subsidies many coal power plants will be closed, and export from Australia to China would stop, it would not be profitable anymore.
Eikka
3 / 5 (6) Sep 25, 2015
Fossil fuels subsidies are many times more than renewable energy ones


No they aren't. On a per kWh basis, fossil fuels get neglible subsidies. The total sum is larger simply because fossil fuels make so much more energy.

Your site lists -loans- as subsidies. It's just plain bullshit.

You're biting on propaganda. For example, the guardian article:

This equates to $8 per tonne, almost 25% of the sale price.


Yes. However, a tonne of coal is worth 6150 kWh so the subsidy is actually only worth 0.13 cents per kWh.

It's just sensationalist bullshit. It's only 25% of the price because coal is that friggin cheap.
italba
5 / 5 (3) Sep 25, 2015
@ Eikka: You keep saying that solar and wind technologies are made of "non renewable" materials. Please, delete it from your stereotypes book, from every power generator you can recycle just a few percent of the building materials value, and some parts of them must be disposed of in special, and expensive, landfills. And would you think about nuclear plants?
italba
5 / 5 (2) Sep 25, 2015
You can't keep counting coal subsidies on a "kWh" basis, it's a dominant technology and it give much more power than renewable! You have to count, as well explained in SourceWatch article, all others tax, banks, transport, and other form of hidden subsidies. If those would cease, the whole coal economy will be out of market in a very few years.
Eikka
3 / 5 (6) Sep 25, 2015
export from Australia to China would stop, it would not be profitable anymore.


That's because the Chinese have plenty of coal on their own. The subsidy is only because the Australian government wants to undercut prices for export, and domestic operators have made some marginal deals based on that price which would fail if the subsidy was lifted.

But even if you remove the "generous" subsidy off of coal, renewable energy still can't compete because the subsidies paid to renewable power cost literally 100-1000 times more.

You can't keep counting coal subsidies on a "kWh" basis, it's a dominant technology and it give much more power than renewable!


I can, I will, and that's the only sensible way to count it.

Renewable power cost won't go down simply by building more of it.
Eikka
3 / 5 (4) Sep 25, 2015
You have to count, as well explained in SourceWatch article, all others tax, banks, transport, and other form of hidden subsidies.


But surely all that was included in the $8 per tonne estimate. If you want to include bullshit figures like loans, by all means, but that just makes it more propaganda.

You keep saying that solar and wind technologies are made of "non renewable" materials. lease, delete it from your stereotypes book, from every power generator you can recycle just a few percent of the building materials value, and some parts of them must be disposed of in special, and expensive, landfills.


The amount of disposable waste produced would be beyond our means to manage. You fail to understand just how many solar panels and wind turbines we actually need to produce enough energy.

And would you think about nuclear plants?


Again, an error of perspective. Nuclear power produces a fraction of the waste.
italba
5 / 5 (2) Sep 25, 2015
Onshore wind energy is, without any subsidies, cheaper than coal NOW. And "Renewable power cost won't go down simply by building more of it" is a pure and simple bullshit, every technology becomes cheaper when it becomes mainstream, particularly PV based on silicon technology.
Eikka
3.7 / 5 (6) Sep 25, 2015
If those would cease, the whole coal economy will be out of market in a very few years.


Of course, if you stop lending money to a particular businesses, it stops almost immediately for a lack of capital.

Though in reality it won't stop, because if you forced people to stop using coal, it would instantly remove half our energy resources, and with no meaningful way to replace it you would get the third world war on your ass.

As much as we would like it, we have -no- exit strategy, because we can't handle the renewables yet.

Onshore wind energy is, without any subsidies, cheaper than coal NOW.


It isnt. That's just more bullshit by not counting the subsidies paid.
italba
5 / 5 (1) Sep 25, 2015
How many wind turbines and PV panels does it takes to sum up the mass of ONE traditional power plant? Do you really want we calculate it?
Eikka
3.7 / 5 (6) Sep 25, 2015
How many wind turbines and PV panels does it takes to sum up the mass of ONE traditional power plant? Do you really want we calculate it?


Well, for one 600 MW traditional powerplant, you need about 800 modern 3 MW turbines, which each take up around 0.75 square kilometers of land around them so they aren't too close, so wiring them up requires about a few thousand kilometers of cable, each will have a reinforced concrete foundation, a fiberglass and metal tower, fiberglass and metal wings... etc. and someone has to transport them, maintain them, spare parts... and rebuild them 10-20 years later.

Then you have to consider the cost and size of the battery systems that we inevitably need, how much materials they require and how much pollution their manufacture causes...

If you want to, please go ahead.
italba
3.7 / 5 (3) Sep 25, 2015
I showed you this http://www.irena....atID=494 report last week about renewable energy cost compared to fossil fuels, have you problems with your memory? Maybe you remember only what suits your own ideas?
Eikka
3.4 / 5 (5) Sep 25, 2015
Oh, and Italba, if you want to make a complete argument, you should also consider how we are going to build more renewable energy by using the renewable energy.

Because as it stands, all renewable energy is built by using fossil energy.

It's a rather convoluted business for example to turn wind power into diesel fuel so the maintenance guy can drive his truck around fixing the things. The efficiency of transforming electricity into diesel is exceedingly low.

That applies to every stage of the process, and for that reason, building renewable energy on renewable energy is going to take up a large portion of the renewable energy you get in the first place, and so you have to build many times more of it.

It isn't simply a matter of replacing a coal fired powerplant with an equivalent amount of solar power. You have to conside the entire system.
italba
not rated yet Sep 25, 2015
0,75 square kilometers is a HUGE amount of land! Each wind turbine would be 1,5 Km from the next one, you'll probably wrong by one or two orders of magnitude. Have you ever seen a thermoelectric power station? With the 800 steel poles of the turbines you'll probably not build neither one of the condensation towers!
Eikka
3 / 5 (6) Sep 25, 2015
I showed you this http://www.irena....atID=494 report last week about renewable energy cost compared to fossil fuels, have you problems with your memory? Maybe you remember only what suits your own ideas?


I have replied on this matter before, and their LCOE estimates are incorrect because they don't account for the fact that the "non-subsidized" prices still reflect the effect of subsidies.

The subsidies that are paid reduce the capital costs by providing a faster return of interest, so the up-front cost is lower than in the case they had to make the same money by selling power over the next 20-30 years.

And as I pointed out above, what would be the up-front cost if they had to use renewable energy instead of fossil fuels to build it?
Eikka
2 / 5 (4) Sep 25, 2015
0,75 square kilometers is a HUGE amount of land! Each wind turbine would be 1,5 Km from the next one, you'll probably wrong by one or two orders of magnitude.


Nope.

Remember the article some time ago, where they showed that wind power is limited to about a Watt per square meter on the large scale.

When you dot the landscape with 3 MW turbines, that's how far apart they have to be to not exceed 1 Watt per m^2 on average.

Have you ever seen a thermoelectric power station? With the 800 steel poles of the turbines you'll probably not build neither one of the condensation towers!


It's not the steel that is the problem - that is recycleable. It's all the fiberglass and exotic materials.
italba
5 / 5 (1) Sep 25, 2015
And every first fossil fuel power plant was built with animal and human energy. What a silly argument is it?
italba
5 / 5 (1) Sep 25, 2015
Please see the Sheperds Flats wind farm here https://en.wikipe...ind_Farm . It will have 338 turbines in 78 square kilometers surface, how much surface per every turbine? And, please, don't call "fiberglass" an exotic material!
ab3a
3 / 5 (2) Sep 25, 2015
Please see the Sheperds Flats wind farm here https://en.wikipe...ind_Farm . It will have 338 turbines in 78 square kilometers surface, how much surface per every turbine? And, please, don't call "fiberglass" an exotic material!


Your enthusiasm is laudable, but you need more information: While the rated power output of that wind farm is 845 MW, that's not what you will see most of the time. In fact, I've seen a similar wind farm in Kansas City, MO. Talking to the local ISO, they told me that while the farm was rated for 300 MW, at full output, that the full output usually occurs at night when they don't need it, and the only other generation facilities need base load which they can't cut in to.

So the farm is rated at 6 MW. Yes, you read that right. >6< MW. Mind you, this policy comes from an independent system operator, not a generation plant owner. The only way this can work is with efficient energy storage.
ryggesogn2
1 / 5 (3) Sep 25, 2015
Most places won't allow anyone to be off of the grid.
italba
not rated yet Sep 25, 2015
The Sheperds Flats power station should provide, according to Wikipedia article, 2,000 GWh of energy a year, about 228 MW mean power out of 845 maximum. Obviously it will be much better when it could be used together with a cheap and efficient energy storage system, like the flow battery in this article, or a reversible hydropower plant, or a hydrogen production - fuel cell system.
greenonions
4.2 / 5 (5) Sep 25, 2015
Eikka
Why should I do everything? Want me to hop on one leg and sing the national anthem as well?

Well - being consistent with your position would be nice. When the topic is so important -you show yourself as being agenda driven - and hypocritical.
Heliopro
not rated yet Sep 26, 2015
Here's a new battery chemistry that's safer than conventional lithium ion. New 12 kWh lithium iron phosphate battery based bifacial (double sided) solar systems with new "DoubleBack" redundant inverter technology to be announced on the Teslasolar .com website next month. Not only higher capacity (12 kW), but inherently safer and longer lived.
docile
Sep 26, 2015
This comment has been removed by a moderator.
greenonions
5 / 5 (5) Sep 26, 2015
Eikka
Renewable power cost won't go down simply by building more of it.

I really don't understand your need to attack renewables, or your need to say thigs that are false (such as Nissa Leaf batteries vast $17,000 - or electricity from PV costs 23 cents per kWh, etc. etc) Look at these 2 articles - in comparison to your false statement.
http://www.econom...-uplands
http://cleantechn...s-heres/
kochevnik
5 / 5 (5) Sep 26, 2015
@Eikka Though of course the proper answer to the question of why I am not calling for the removal of support to fossil fuels is, that fossil fuels aren't actually subsidized to any significant extent despite the propaganda. We're are in reality talking about fractions of a cent per kWh.
You continue to prove yourself a liar. Report Shows The Oil Industry Benefits From $5.3 Trillion in Subsidies Annually ]http://www.politicususa.com/2015/06/09/report-shows-oil-industry-benefits-5-3-trillion-subsidies-annually.html
its
3.3 / 5 (3) Sep 27, 2015
Did anyone notice "The high performance and low cost of the technology, which Harvard has licensed to a company in Europe"

If they did that with their last "formula", it is probably reasonable to assume that they will do it again with this one. Great for Europe not so great for the US. Is it that the US companies don't see the value in this or is it that Harvard is now funded by Europe?
EyeNStein
5 / 5 (1) Sep 27, 2015
@its: If it had a good chance of succeeding Harvard would have created a company around it.
If its unlikely to fly they sell licences to other companies including Europe.
Then the USA's "first to be an American" patent system can protect any useful spinoffs and sell the products to Europe.
italba
not rated yet Sep 27, 2015
The licensee for this technology should be Green Energy Storage, http://www.greene...e.eu/en/ .
ryggesogn2
1 / 5 (2) Sep 27, 2015
The conundrum for many here is that a govt big enough to do 'for' you is big enough to do 'to' you.

I'm sure many here cheer for govt subsidy for this battery yet govts around the county make it illegal for home owners to install solar panels and batteries and go off the grid.

Personal rapid transit systems (http://transporta...edu/prt) are another victim of govt. Cities are interested in installing one, but there is no pot of money they can use for PRT. The only money they can use is for light rail or buses.
Just another way govts interfere with innovation.
Osiris1
1 / 5 (1) Sep 27, 2015
Take away ALL Harvard's tax exemptions and force it to register as an enemy agent. Direct all domestic funding away from it and embargo it from participating in American activities. Have it investigated by the new House Un-American Activities Committee to be headed, ironically, by a Republican leader named McCarthy. Send in the bug finders, the rat catchers, the building inspectors to all its buildings and then sic the zoning fellas on them, re-classifying all the areas around them as heavy industrial and allowing houses of prostitution next to them. Deny aid programs to all its students, and influence banks not to lend to its students.
IN addition, their graduates and students should all be assigned bad credit ratings, and their grads denied jobs AND security clearances here.
Until and unless they stop their hostile Anti-American policy and sell to exclusively American companies with ALL their production, sourcing, and assembly facilities IN the United States.

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