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plunger
05-02-2015, 05:08 AM
Theres talk of a new battery that will soon be unveiled. Does anyone know anything about it?So-posed to be a game changer, but what will charge it.?
This is from Tesla

Ian B
05-02-2015, 06:23 AM
Are you thinking of this: http://www.teslamotors.com/powerwall

Solar panels charge the batteries. $3,500 for the 10KWh pack, but this is battery only, trade price - then you get installation costs and the solar panels - looks expensive right now, but the price should come down in time I suppose.

Ian

plunger
05-02-2015, 07:14 AM
Thats the one .We suffer from power outages here in S Africa and I heard there was something new on the market,just didnt realize I would have to sell my house to afford it.

RussZHC
05-02-2015, 07:46 AM
First thing I found of interest yesterday, when it was announced, was immediately the various news programs are carrying in-depth stories about how our (they did not make it clear if it was "our" as in Canada generally, Ontario specifically or North America, or world wide) current hydro system was not capable of having all of these various power generating sources linked to it. Sure smacks of the auto industry trying to quash very high mileage vehicles.

Secondly, the link, above that Ian provided, gives some numbers that make me wonder. They show a 7kWh "daily cycle" and using their own statistics, a refrigerator uses 4.8 kWH per day and a clothes dryer uses 3.3kWh per use, so that means running a fridge and using the dryer once a day is already more than the storage of the the daily cycle Powerwall without using or having anything else on. IF that math is correct the implications are you will need several of these (limit is 9) at $3000 a pop. To me, very, very tough sell. Its great that they are trying but IMO the cost would need to be reduce by a power of 10 before I could see the masses rushing out to get some.

J Tiers
05-02-2015, 08:56 AM
It's just a battery... a warmed-over electric car battery.

The big deal is NOT so much distributed individual batteries, each for a tiny "usage pocket"... The real deal is "utility scale" batteries, capable of storing gWh, not kWh.

Yes, the grid is TOTALLY INCAPABLE of dealing with sources such as wind power, and they are TOTALLY INCOMPATIBLE with the grid, needs-wise.

The "connector" here is storage.

problem #1: Wind power is available when it is available, and how it is available, you have no control whatever over it, aside from choosing the site to put up your turbines. When it is available, you may not need it, and when you need it it may not be available. The same is true of solar in areas prone to clouds.

Problem #2: Wind power is variable, but electric load is fairly constant over any short time. Wind *may* drop 20% in a few seconds, and then something has to pick up for the difference. No electric grid will be stable with variations of that percentage, even locally, it may shut down on overload. There exists no source that has good pick-up capability for variations on the order of seconds.

Why it works now: Because the percentage of wind generation is small, and the total variability is not excessive, yet. And because in general, over a large wind farm, the output tends to be pretty constant, some turbines produce less, some more.

To combat this issue, there are new connection regulations proposed to limit the rate of change of power output from any source over a certain size. This is given as a percentage change in output over some time period. If put through, the proposal could shut down new large wind and solar power installations, since there is no way to guarantee that rate of change when you do not control the ultimate source.

Obviously, the solution is a battery or other storage means which can store at minimum, energy equal to several minutes of full output of the installation, so that the output can be maintained long enough to satisfy the rate of change regulations. To go with that, large inverters are required to produce AC from the stored energy

Pumped storage currently provides some of this sort of backup, but is still fairly slow to start and stop, because you will have an immense and very destructive "water hammer" if the flow is changed too fast. It is still far faster than starting a steam plant, and even faster than starting up a gas turbine plant. It is probably considerably less efficient than a good battery plus inverter.

An inverter can be brought on-line in a few seconds. Startup time is "no seconds" if it is the normal output means, with the source charging the battery, and the inverter providing output all the time. Inverter efficiency is very good, 97% or so for even tiny VFD size inverters

However, the need is for batteries as much as 10,000 x bigger than the tesla units.

flylo
05-02-2015, 08:59 AM
Plunger if you want a foolproof system that wont break the bank PM me. I've done several remote cabins that you ccan't tell your off the grid & not expensive either.

vpt
05-02-2015, 10:31 AM
I heard or read something not long ago about smaller batteries (aaa, aa, c, d, etc) switching over to an aluminum based conductor/core. Supposed to be much safer for the environment, cheaper, and something else better.

boslab
05-02-2015, 11:35 AM
The uk government are running a trial with them at present, the good bit is they fitted them for free if you signed up, no shortage of takers for the 10 kW I think set up.
I suppose it would allow a lot of people to go off grid, provided your usage was not including a dirty great workshop including welding, most folk over here can easily cope with the smaller capacity, you don't need that much power to run the average uk house, they are just about the smallest in the world
I don't know if the set ups they are fitting are tesla batteries or just ordinary ones.
Mark

The Artful Bodger
05-02-2015, 03:56 PM
J Tiers, I disagree with your naysaying of wind as an electricity generator.


https://www.meridianenergy.co.nz/about-us/west-wind/

I agree that wind may not be the best available solution but not for the reasons you give.

Peter.
05-02-2015, 06:28 PM
Why do wind generators have to be stood so far apart? Why can't they stand them in offset ranks closer together to get a higher density in the area and be less imposing on the landscape?

plunger
05-02-2015, 11:47 PM
Cause when they implode they dont create a domino effect in destruction

J Tiers
05-03-2015, 12:08 AM
Each wind generator actually needs the space, because they actually extract energy from a cylinder of air that extends way back downwind of them. It seems a bit strange, but it's true.

As for naysaying, Who is saying "nay"? Not me. It's just fine as an adjunct source, but clearly is not ready to be the ONLY source, of power. It's a rare site that is a year around high power site, and many of those sites are 'taken" already.

I think SMALL SCALE wind power is a bad joke on most of the poor saps that buy a wind generator expecting wonderful savings. they will never see those, in most cases, just because they are in a lousy wind area. If you have half the wind speed, you get 1/8 the power, and that's where most generators are.... your 10kW generator gives you a tad over a single kilowatt much of the time. Solar is far more reliable.

But utility scale wind is much more than just a proven technology.... it can pay nicely. But that's at the 50Mw and above wind farm size.

However, the fact remains that there MUST be storage to get proper usage out of wind power. If you have a megawatt available, but can only use 250kw, you are wasting possible power. If you could store it, then you could use it later, when you DID need it. Solar is the same way.

And the issues with variability are also important. As mentioned above.

Both wind and solar are very much good sources.... you just need to be able to use the power when it is available. Since that isn't the case, you MUST have storage, or you are not getting your money's worth.

But, the tesla battery is not the right item. It's cute, but only a fraction of what is ideal for just one house.

The Artful Bodger
05-03-2015, 01:47 AM
If the generator system has variable output and the needs are also variable storage may be the answer, but not necessarily the only answer.

Generator facilities that can be brought online to cover periods of high demand or low output from primary systems is one solution but the systems must be able to be brought online quickly which precludes thermal (coal,oil, nookular or gas. Hydro plants can be brought up quicker than thermal plants but not really instantly.

The most practical solution for most countries is insurance in the form of distributed generation facilities and a distribution grid that can handle whatever the requirements predicted with a bit more to spare.

For a small scale installation, say a farm, resort hotel etc the answer may be to install excess generation capacity using less economical systems, diesel alternators for example and to arrange the load to incorporate inherent storage. If you are operating an institution with no grid supply and heating is a major part of your energy requirements then keep plenty of hot water on hand, thats what I mean by a load that incorporates storage.

Here is one place getting serious with solar power..
http://www.radionz.co.nz/international/pacific-news/236793/solar-energy-project-on-niue-about-to-be-launched

mattthemuppet
05-03-2015, 02:43 AM
Isn't one of the main issues with wind and solar in the US the limited interconnectivity of the regional power grids? I would have thought that better interconnects, especially from the more remote but constant sun/ wind areas, would go a long way towards smoothing out input vs. demand.

As an interesting example of the law of unintended consequences, one of the major effects of the Energiwende (sp?) in Germany has been to boost the amount of coal being burned. As subsidised prices of renewables became competitive with gas, fewer gas powered stations were kept in use (either for peak or base loading) and more coal fired stations used instead due to the cheapness of coal. Another example is the huge amount of wood chips/ pellets being shipped from the US to the UK to keep the biomass fired power stations running as local sources can keep up.

The Artful Bodger
05-03-2015, 02:46 AM
Here is another county that has gone totally solar power..
http://cleantechnica.com/2013/10/06/an-island-tokelau-powered-100-by-solar-energy/

The Artful Bodger
05-03-2015, 02:50 AM
Isn't one of the main issues with wind and solar in the US the limited interconnectivity of the regional power grids?

The grid is the key, if it can handle whatever comes along the generator capacity can be hydro, thermal (including nuclear), wind, solar, tidal flow or penguins on treadmills, whatever the location has to offer.

Baz
05-03-2015, 06:29 AM
While it has been pointed out that a powerstation cannot be run up quickly enough to handle sudden dips in wind or solar generation no mention has been made of active load levelling. When some capacity is being used for heating and refrigeration plus some other industrial processes these can be turned off in an instant when web connected and compensate for the fluctuations in power sources. distributed generation also saves on power transmission losses which can be significant.

michigan doug
05-03-2015, 06:42 AM
A more robust and intelligent grid solves about 80% of the variable nature of wind and solar inputs. As noted by Baz, if everybody get's their water heater and other big loads hooked to a smart grid so they can be turned off occasionally, that helps a ton. Then if we get good high voltage/long distance DC transmission lines so we can share loads and wind/solar sources better, that pretty much solves the rest of it.

boslab
05-03-2015, 08:01 AM
While it has been pointed out that a powerstation cannot be run up quickly enough to handle sudden dips in wind or solar generation no mention has been made of active load levelling. When some capacity is being used for heating and refrigeration plus some other industrial processes these can be turned off in an instant when web connected and compensate for the fluctuations in power sources. distributed generation also saves on power transmission losses which can be significant.
Dinorwic in north wales deals with the sudden changes, I think it was full capacity in something crazy like 16 seconds, it's a 2 lake thing, rain the lake during the day and pump it all back at night.
They have 6 300 Mw generators that come on line in a few seconds, worth a visit as it's the biggest man made chamber in Europe.
Mark

ironmonger
05-03-2015, 10:10 AM
I heard or read something not long ago about smaller batteries (aaa, aa, c, d, etc) switching over to an aluminum based conductor/core. Supposed to be much safer for the environment, cheaper, and something else better.


You may have seen this:
http://www.extremetech.com/electronics/202778-an-aluminum-graphite-battery-that-could-charge-your-smartphone-in-60-seconds

Looks to be promising.

wind...
We had a fellow ham a few years ago that described his private wind system. He only ran it in the winter and used the output for supplemental heating. Resistance heating is the most efficient use of electricity, and he did not bother with any storage. His wind site was located on a hill near his house and he used ferrite core transformers to kick the voltage up to ~220 or so to cut the transmission losses. The sun doesn't shine much in the winter, but it seems the wind does keep blowing...

paul

Lee Cordochorea
05-03-2015, 11:27 AM
Regarding the fancy battery, the only thing amazing about it is the high price. Energy density (watt-hour per kilogram) is pedestrian. Your laptop battery is 1.5x to 2x as good. Price per watt-hour of the fancy one is eight times as much as your laptop battery.

Can you say "marketing hype?"

mattthemuppet
05-03-2015, 12:19 PM
We're talking elon musk, of course it's marketing hype! Given that most if not all of tesla's profits come from selling co2 credits to other car makers, what else would you expect? The main point of this battery has nothing to do with distributed power and everything to do with convincing investors that his jiggafactory isn't going to be a white elephant.

The Artful Bodger
05-03-2015, 05:10 PM
I presume the reason why Tesla have co2 credits to sell is that they have a product that is getting sales.

1-800miner
05-04-2015, 12:52 AM
I have three solar panel systems totaling 11kw. They all stopped generating on the twenty first also my computer died that day.( Of course the day I left town for a week)
When I got home it took three days to get the computer up.That is when I realized the inverters had shut down.
Edison was sending 265 volts at me,way too much. Inverters locked down so I was using 100% Edison power. My bill/usage went up ten fold.
It took a half dozen calls to convince them that it was their problem,not mine.
When they came to the house they agreed about too much voltage. He said that if the wind mills in Tehachapi (thirty miles south) were at full capacity at the same time that one of the hydos was off line it kicked up line voltage in our area. Usually they could adjust for it but this one slipped by them.
He said the company would make good on my skyrocket bill, but would probably fight me on the cooked computer issue.
we will see what happens.

mattthemuppet
05-04-2015, 01:11 AM
I presume the reason why Tesla have co2 credits to sell is that they have a product that is getting sales.

oh for sure, but the cars aren't making the money, the credits are. Essentially they're making the cars to sell the credits :) Last year or the year before that came to $150m. Profits not expected until 2020, if ever.

Musk is playing a shell game, dazzling everyone with flash, pazzazz and grand visions. It's a pretty precarious position to be in though - almost all of the cars are sold in CA, stock price is very sensitive to bad news (car fires, questionable mileage claims etc), only 1 model etc. Fair play to him for trying and he sure has shaken the old players up a bunch, but the constant "next big thing" hype obscures alot of the humdrum reality of making cars.

plunger
05-04-2015, 01:36 AM
Isnt he the same guy who co invented paypal and is planning to send space ships into orbit to transport civilians.Clever guy.

J Tiers
05-04-2015, 08:44 AM
Dinorwic in north wales deals with the sudden changes, I think it was full capacity in something crazy like 16 seconds, it's a 2 lake thing, rain the lake during the day and pump it all back at night.
They have 6 300 Mw generators that come on line in a few seconds, worth a visit as it's the biggest man made chamber in Europe.
Mark

Pumped storage. Not very efficient, but effective.

Speed of starting depends on whether it is a low head or high head system. Low head can start faster, because the water carries less energy. If you just turned the valve "on" or "off" in a high head system, the "water hammer" (inertial effects) would tear it up, so starting and stopping has to be done slowly.

With a low head system, it is possible to do the startup considerably faster without doing damage.

The Taum Sauk reservoir here (it's actually on Proffit mountain) is a reasonably high head, at 800 feet, and so cannot be started as fast. However, the high head systems can have a lot more stored energy per cubic metre of water storage. it's a trade-off.

mattthemuppet
05-04-2015, 02:55 PM
Isnt he the same guy who co invented paypal and is planning to send space ships into orbit to transport civilians.Clever guy.

he is indeed, on all counts. the simple fact that he got Tesla motors started and it's still a going concern, how ever he's managing to do it, is proof enough!

tc429
05-04-2015, 07:53 PM
Dinorwic in north wales deals with the sudden changes, I think it was full capacity in something crazy like 16 seconds, it's a 2 lake thing, rain the lake during the day and pump it all back at night.
They have 6 300 Mw generators that come on line in a few seconds, worth a visit as it's the biggest man made chamber in Europe.
Mark

they were talking about doing something similar at a local old gigantic mine... pour water down during peak, pump back up off peak- but in my opinion, its more of a profit at any cost scheme than a storage medium...never saw the 'efficiency' expected of the system, but would bet it was under 20%... wasting the bulk of excess generation to recover a little when the price is there might make dollars, but still- a huge amount of wasted energy...

they had also talked of using compressed air the same way- bet that woulda been in the 5-10% range... but still coulda made someone rich, by wasting unneeded power at night... hopefully someday someone will figure out a better mechanical storage device- maybe massive flywheels on magnetic bearings, etc, or just giant capacitors that could feed grid-scale inverters for a few minutes max until staged generation can be brought back online...

I remember reading about a guy in florida with a antique lister diesel 6hp, running a 20kw generator head- the massive lister flywheel and mass of the rotor in the generator would handle inrush for A/C, well pump starting- even though the engine is only capable of a fraction of the genset rating in continuous use... power plants face similar issues but with mammoth machinery. If I do ever cobble up a generator at home, it WILL be getting mammoth steel flywheel added, and possibly 'staged' engines with clutches that could cold start almost instantly- sharing coolant could prewarm diesel for easier starting, flywheel could start motor with little to no rpm loss... those old listers were cool- read about one that ran pumping water in the middle of nowhere, continuous use except downtime for oil changes and service for 40 years without needing rebuilt...6 hp but at half a ton, and 600 rpm, they tend to last insanely long hours... think they were on the right track, and the guy with the oversized genset had the right idea...let the flywheel be the short term 'battery' equivalent to handle the short peaks at near 100% efficiency...

J Tiers
05-04-2015, 08:05 PM
they were talking about doing something similar at a local old gigantic mine... pour water down during peak, pump back up off peak- but in my opinion, its more of a profit at any cost scheme than a storage medium...never saw the 'efficiency' expected of the system, but would bet it was under 20%... wasting the bulk of excess generation to recover a little when the price is there might make dollars, but still- a huge amount of wasted energy...



Aren't we cynical????

Actually, it makes sense. it is a sort of "ultra-peaking" plant, able to be turned on rapidly (not rapidly enough for wind offset, but fast even so). Faster than a coal plant for sure, and faster than most any gas turbine also.

When demand hits a short-term high, it can be called on to provide the balance of the power, and avoid keeping a coal fired plant on-line and waiting 24/7, burning coal and not producing a watt of electricity.

The alternative is to start shutting off users, instituting rolling blackouts, etc, because if the supply is even a little less than the demand, frequency (and voltage) are likely to drift out of spec, and trigger a massive progressive shut-down.

The smart grid, with remote shutdown of your heat or hot water, etc, is really just a prettied-up way of saying "we are going to give you third-world power, with electric available sometimes, and sometimes not....... but it's really BETTER power, because it's computerized and it's smart, even though it's shut off to you".

With so many appliances that just do not work at all without electricity, including gas ranges..... and gas hot water heaters, not to mention mandatory radon ventilating systems, sump pumps, etc, just shutting off power is not quite the smartest thing to do.

But, most new appliances are having the technology installed. fridges, A/C, even toasters. Enjoy your mandatory daily visit to the 3rd world.

That is what plants like Taum Sauk, or the other mentioned, are intended to make un-necessary.

The Artful Bodger
05-04-2015, 08:18 PM
We have had remote shutdown of heating loads etc for the last 70 years or so but in no way is it third world power, it is however cheaper power. We have our domestic hot water on remote control but we could have other loads too. Irrigation pumps, stored hot mass home heating, pool heating etc.

Rustybolt
05-04-2015, 09:00 PM
An interesting talk from electrical engineers on renewable energy. Especially solar and wind.



Andrew Dodson - Issues Integrating Renewables @ TEAC6


Its on youtube.

tc429
05-04-2015, 09:06 PM
Aren't we cynical????


the plant I'm talking about were both privately owned, not tied for grid peak support per-se, but solely for profit... pumping a lake out of a 1000 foot hole burning 'free' off peak power, and getting a little bit back when sellable- just seemed a terribly inefficient way to store a little (even if normally wasted) power...surely theres got to be a better way...

in europe many homes have a 'trombe wall' thermal passive solar heating- using simple mass damping works very well, no moving parts or conversion losses at all... I still think a flywheel or capacitor could be a far more efficient alternative to the heavy losses associated with pumping air or water- but what do i know-I'm just a tinkerer...

J Tiers
05-04-2015, 10:37 PM
Pumping water can be much more efficient than air, which incurs throttling losses all over the place. I don't have figures for the efficiency at Taum Sauk, but if it didn't make good sense, the powerco would not have rebuilt the place, or built it to begin with..


We have had remote shutdown of heating loads etc for the last 70 years or so but in no way is it third world power, it is however cheaper power. We have our domestic hot water on remote control but we could have other loads too. Irrigation pumps, stored hot mass home heating, pool heating etc.

If it sticks with those, OK. What I've been seeing is a LOT of things covertly or overtly equipped with the remote control.

As for third world power, IIRC there were rolling blackouts in LA or some such place in the relatively recent past....

our entire house has passive temperature stabilization, it's a brick house, with plaster walls inside. many many tons of "stone", and takes typically 3 days to heat up or cool off to ambient temps unless actively heated. (we don't use A/C)

The Artful Bodger
05-04-2015, 11:12 PM
Are you sure those are remote control not monitoring devices?

J Tiers
05-05-2015, 08:30 AM
Are you sure those are remote control not monitoring devices?

Got your tinfoil hat on today so "they" don't stop you from mentioning that?

http://zapatopi.net/afdb/

I assume they are shutoffs, they are described as being "smart grid enabled". The water heaters are explicitly "smart grid enabled" and have shutoffs, so I would expect that other devices using the same descriptive language are the same.

It seems pretty invasive, especially for very small loads. For large industrial users I can see it, but it would take a huge number of water heaters to make much difference.

It takes 500 2 kw loads to make up 1 megawatt, which is about half the power of a regular rail locomotive. Possibly 250 water heaters, depending.

By contrast, one wind farm can be 50 to 100 mW. A short term drop to half power in one such would require shedding a load of many thousands of water heaters, especially since not all would be "on" at the time.

Seems like a lot of work. Also seems like aiming at consumers instead of the real target.... Similar to focusing on cars and ignoring huge power plants and large industries as far as carbon emission and pollution. (Oh, wait, who has all the money?)

lakeside53
05-05-2015, 10:40 AM
As Artful has pointed out, NZ has had load management in place for a vey long time primarily via domestic water heaters. Yes.,., it take a lot of 4-5KW water heaters to make much difference, but... due to the lack of piped gas, NZ primarily heated domestic water via electricity; maybe a million heaters? When I was there it was called "ripple control" - 500hz or so (?) control signal was superimposed on the mains to turn the loads on and off by substation or local region. Works very well.

And not just NZ : it's in several much larger population counties : http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Load_management. The UK example cited states 5GW is night "storage" heaters.

gundog
05-05-2015, 11:16 AM
This has been a good discussion I will add a little insight to some of this. In North America we have several Agencies that have oversight of the electrical Grid. WECC in the West that is where I work ERCOT in Texas and a half dozen in the East. Each company is connected to the Grid and they are responsible for Frequency and voltage and a specified amount of spinning reserve. Spinning reserve is basically more energy than what you are using to cover sudden outages. Each balancing area has schedule of power to supply or use this is a dynamic system the interconnections helps everyone connected to absorb changes to the system.

Wind generation has to be held to less than roughly 20% of total generation on line at any given time due to wind being somewhat unpredictable. The problem is the fastest generation sources usually take at a minimum of 20 minutes to bring up most plants much more time.

During off peak times usually the middle of the night there is excess power available these pumping plants help keep voltage from going too high. There are many different devices on the system that either boost or reduce voltage. Long high voltage lines that are lightly loaded act like a capacitor and raise voltage. They don’t like taking these lines out of service because of making the system less able to take some other outage like a loss of another line or generation source or path.

Nuclear plants are probably the slowest to make generation output changes having a pumping plant in the system to use this excess power during non-peak times makes sense pump water during off peak to help regulate this excess energy and then generate power with the stored water during peak energy times.

Solar is a more predictable energy source than wind. A few years ago Texas came really close to black out due to having too much of their generation from wind and the wind suddenly stopped blowing sending them into a load shed situation.

A smart grid makes sense being able to switch off non-essential loads in case of a disturbance in the grid to stop cascading outages.

I am a NERC certified transmission operator for my company and operate a portion of the system. I posted this information from memory I am not an expert in explaining how everything works but I have a pretty good grasp on the big picture and how each device and line works in relation to the system.

We are continually trained and tested to operate in order to keep our operator license up to date.

I can see where people might think pumping water to use later to generate looks inefficient and you are right but because there is excess energy during off peak times that can't just be shut down easily and brought back up it makes sense. We use Shunt reactors as well as other devices to lower voltage they act like a big toaster and that energy is just being used for no use so pumping water rather than using one of these reactive devices makes more sense when you look at it that way. Charging a battery or any other use of this excess power just makes sense to me.

The reactive devices capacitors to raise reactors to lower are also used to make power flow in the direction we want it to go as well a phase shifting transformers. The system is very dynamic and is always changing.

Mike

Rosco-P
05-05-2015, 11:30 AM
Long high voltage lines that are lightly loaded act like a capacitor and raise voltage. They don’t like taking these lines out of service because of making the system less able to take some other outage like a loss of another line or generation source or path.
Mike

Mike, what is the voltage in kV of the highest voltage transmission line in use in the US today? Any plans that you know of for even higher voltage lines? I'm sure there has to be a point of diminishing returns, where the physical size of the tower and the cost of exotic material in the insulator string exceed any benefit.

Is the true failing of the grid in the US, the interconnects and the inability to send the power efficiently with minimal loss from where it's generated to where it's needed in peek load situations?

lakeside53
05-05-2015, 11:41 AM
Nuclear plants are probably the slowest to make generation output changes having a pumping plant in the system to use this excess power during non-peak times makes sense pump water during off peak to help regulate this excess energy and then generate power with the stored water during peak energy times.


If I'm reading the wiki citation above correctly, that's what the UK does - uses domestic night storage heaters to provide 5GW load for the nuclear excess.

gundog
05-05-2015, 11:46 AM
Mike, what is the voltage in kV of the highest voltage transmission line in use in the US today? Any plans that you know of for even higher voltage lines? I'm sure there has to be a point of diminishing returns, where the physical size of the tower and the cost of exotic material in the insulator string exceed any benefit.

Is the true failing of the grid in the US, the interconnects and the inability to send the power efficiently with minimal loss from where it's generated to where it's needed in peek load situations?

The largest I know of is an East West 750Kv DC line. The largest my company has is 500 Kv AC lines. I worked 20 years as a lineman before a back injury forced me into this gig and I was one of a few who performed 500 Kv barehand work. Do a google search on barehand transmission work you may find it interesting.

gundog
05-05-2015, 11:48 AM
The largest I know of is an East West 750Kv DC line. The largest my company has is 500 Kv AC lines. I worked 20 years as a lineman before a back injury forced me into this gig and I was one of a few who performed 500 Kv barehand work. Do a google search on barehand transmission work you may find it interesting.

The first electric utility I worked for Pacific Gas and Electric in California has a system like this do a google search for the Helms Project it is a very intersting read PG&E won some engineering awards for that.

Ironwoodsmith
05-05-2015, 02:27 PM
Here is a link to a storage system using electric locomotives on an 8 mile incline. They can cycle several load trains to the top and store them on sidings until the need for electricity arises. They claim they can spool up in 5 to 10 minutes.

http://www.aresnorthamerica.com/article/4875-advanced-rail-energy-storage-using-trains-to-store-power

Edit: here is a video clip I found interesting on the actual deployment of the loads.

https://vimeo.com/48344799

The Artful Bodger
05-05-2015, 03:31 PM
I assume they are shutoffs, they are described as being "smart grid enabled".

They might be shutoffs and may be able to be use for grid levelling but are you sure these devices are not being added to new appliances as an enticement to the purchaser? For example, you put dinner in the oven before leaving for the day and turn it on from your smart phone when starting on the way home or maybe more importantly turn it off if you are delayed.

J Tiers
05-05-2015, 06:27 PM
That's the "internet of things".... a different animal. Maybe they have that too.

And maybe the "promised" smart grid enabled stuff will not be out quite as soon as expected.... maybe someone decided it might not be as smart as it seemed. Who knows what wheezes lurk in the hearts of men?