Storing wind power for a calm day

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reikiman
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Storing wind power for a calm day

I tried to find the original thread.. but couldn't.. a couple days ago someone asked what to do with excess power from a solar power system. I remember replying talking about resistors and heating water... and this morning found an article which inspired me to a blog posting on my site...

Utility will use batteries to store wind power is about an electric utility who is installing battery packs in their electric grid to handle peak demand times, and one purpose is to store power coming from wind turbines. "The batteries will be built by NGK Insulators of Japan. They use a sodium sulfur chemistry and operate at temperatures of more than 800 degrees Fahrenheit." And it appears each battery unit stores 7 megawatt hours of electricity, can be replenished nightly, and for most intents and purposes acts like a peaker power plant.

My blog posting, Storing wind power for a calm day goes over this specific technology plus a few other methods. I also found a company who is using a wind turbine to compress air, and the compressed air can be released to generate electricity.

ArcticFox
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Re: Storing wind power for a calm day

<table border="0" style="border:1px solid #999999; padding:10px;"><tr><td>
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andrew
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Re: Storing wind power for a calm day

That may not be a bad idea, but the cost is insanely expensive.

The cost is very high, $27 million for 6 megawatts of capacity, or about $4,500 a kilowatt, including the price of substation improvements.

Don't know how much of that is batteries, but lead-acid wet celled batteries can store a kwhr for about $70, and I'm sure less in quantity. Compare that to the $4,500/kwhr for these.

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PJD
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Re: Storing wind power for a calm day

Unfortunately, there are few suitable pumped storage hydroelectric sites left from a wild-land impact and public acceptance perspective, and the list which probably got a lot smaller after one such facility in the Missouri Ozarks failed catastrophically. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Taum_Sauk_pumped_storage_plant). This facility had some major deficiencies (no emergency spillway!) but failure will be brought up by by the public whenever any other site is considered.

Compressed air pumped-storage sounds promising. Besides the use of tanks, underground storage, either in sealed-off mines or depleted oil or gas reservoirs (this is already done to store natural gas) could be used. The environmental impact for such facilities is nil and there are a lot more potential sites.

ArcticFox
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Re: Storing wind power for a calm day

Would anyone here get upset if the US built giant wind gennies on the north side of the Grand Canyon?

I'm not talking about those teenie ones in Mojave, I'm talking about the UK-sized wind turbines, massive enough to see from the south side of the canyon. It would be a blend of technology versus nature.

5m_01.jpg

Or they could just take the whole state of Utah and cover it all with these - nobody's doing anything to that state anyways (except for those NBC waste sites all over the place).

<table border="0" style="border:1px solid #999999; padding:10px;"><tr><td>
<a href="http://www.BaseStationZero.com">[img]http://visforvoltage.org/files/u419...
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LinkOfHyrule
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Re: Storing wind power for a calm day

WAIT! I havn't seen the Grand Canyon yet!

*searches Google images for "grand canyon"*

Eh, it's not that grand. Go ahead. You can have Utah, too. I don't get anything from there.

The author of this post isn't responsible for any injury, disability or dismemberment, death, financial loss, illness, addiction, hereditary disease, or any other undesirable consequence or general misfortune resulting from use of the "information" contai

reikiman
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Re: Storing wind power for a calm day

Would anyone here get upset if the US built giant wind gennies on the north side of the Grand Canyon?

I wouldn't.. I'm all 'for' wind power. Uh, wait 'Grand Canyon' is a National Park and I believe the defined paradigm for 'National Park' (in the U.S.) is to keep those places wild. Just like oil drilling in ANWR is off limits because it's a Wildlife Refuge, so should industrialization be banned in a National Park. Some places are set aside to preserve wild areas for a reason. I took a look on the National Park Service web site and don't see an obvious link to legal requirements, but their mission statement is in alignment with a legal requirement to keep national parks wild: http://www.nps.gov/aboutus/mission.htm

However there are lots of places which don't have that designation which would be great to put wind farms. And there are a lot of wind farms being built in the Plains states, using the really large turbines too.

Are you sure Utah is a good state? How is their wind potential? The main determining factor is the average wind speed in the area, and for example North Dakota (if I remember right) is one of the primo spots for wind. If Utah has good wind, go for it.

But.. if you've been paying attention to this, you know that a bunch of NiMBY's in Massachusetts worked real hard to block some wind turbines which would be visible from (er..?) Nantucket (???) (?Maybe it was Martha's Vineyard?). They claimed it would be environmental degradation to have the vista of open ocean changed to have some wind turbines within view. Hurm.. weirdos. That's just my opinion. Maybe I'm the weird one, because I cheered loudly the first time I drove through Altamont Pass (where Gov. Moonbean's - now Atty General Gerry Brown- wind farm was built).

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vinnie
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Re: Storing wind power for a calm day

Colorado is big on wind power and getting bigger. Before I got my solar panels I was part of a program that guaranteed that whatever I paid in electricity each month would be used entirely by my energy company to purchase wind power only to sell forward.

I've read some concerns about huge wind turbines killing hordes of birds and thus placement of large wind turbines needs to consider avial migratory patterns as well. I'm sure Republican Senators can find ways around that. Oh, wait, they don't care about wind power...sorry.

Vinnie
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reikiman
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Re: Storing wind power for a calm day

I've read some concerns about huge wind turbines killing hordes of birds and thus placement of large wind turbines needs to consider avial migratory patterns as well. What I understand about this is ... the Altamont Pass wind farm has its turbines situated in some of the worst locations for increasing bird kills. That wind farm is in a prime hawk & eagle area, and these birds like to ride the winds near the hill crests, and that's right where the turbines are. That and a number of other issues were studied and identified on the Altamont Pass turbines, and I understand that turbine makers and wind farm designers have taken all those lessons and applied them to new wind farms. But the lessons were not applied to the Altamont wind farm. What I've read says modern turbines and modern wind farm practices do not contribute to higher bird kill.

It's also well known that glass & steel skyscrapers also kill a lot of birds, through birds flying into the buildings. Do we hear hue and cry over skyscrapers killing birds? Nope.

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vinnie
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Re: Storing wind power for a calm day

It's also well known that glass & steel skyscrapers also kill a lot of birds, through birds flying into the buildings. Do we hear hue and cry over skyscrapers killing birds? Nope.

I hear dat! I have an idea, let's combine the two and put wind turbines on top of skyscrapers.

Seriously though, I am glad to hear that the bird issue has been studied and addressed. Between hydro, wind and solar it seems like we should be able to easily provide the energy we need.

It's all about paradigm shifts, huh?

Vinnie
Broomfield, CO

davew
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Re: Storing wind power for a calm day

It's also well known that glass & steel skyscrapers also kill a lot of birds, through birds flying into the buildings. Do we hear hue and cry over skyscrapers killing birds? Nope.

I don't know who "we" are, but I certainly hear about it frequently. Building designers and ornithologists are working on the problem. There are a lot of factors including building design, location, and lighting. The first two are set for most buildings, but apparently lighting can be adjusted to reduce kills. The problem is largest during migration season where many birds, passerines especially, migrate exclusively at night.

I think the "hue and cry" most people don't hear is because of the content-free nature of what we listen to and read. People decry the 24/7 Britney and Paris new cycles, yet they go back to those same sources time and time again. Only the first time can that source be held to blame. To be informed on this and other topics I recommend avoiding blogs, TV news, most newspapers, most news magazines, and talk radio. These can be fine for mindless entertainment, but provide very little new and useful information. I recommend seeking out The Week magazine, Science News, The Wall Street Journal, BBC Radio, and NPR news programming. The Week (a general news magazine) and Science News (a science magazine written for the layman) have especially high signal to noise ratios. Each take about two hours a week to read which you will have plenty of time for after your tell your cable or satellite TV company to stick it where the sun don't shine.

Specifically with regards to wind turbines: the old designs had smaller blades that turned faster. The new giant turbines are not only more efficient, but their slow-spinning design cuts way down on bird kills.

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spinningmagnets
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Re: Storing wind power for a calm day

I live in a dense residential area, so I am not allowed to have a wind-gen (hurts property values) but I may make one for back-up power during an outage. I also can't have a clothes line to air-dry my wash instead of using my dryer, but I now hang my work jeans indoors, and they dry in a day.

There's a lot of work going on with cellulosic ethanol (alcohol from grass) at Ohio State U, as the government will take up to 20% ethanol to stretch gasoline supplies.

Looks like the diesel-from-algae may actually work, with pilot plants in the desert.

Wind in Utah is sporatic but sometimes fierce (there's a town called "Hurricane" for a reason) probably not steady enough for a government funded project.

I'm a fan of "otherpower.com" windmills-from-junk, and if your battery pack is topped off during a certain windy month...

I'm not recommending that anyone do this,...but I personally do many things without permits, permission, legal compliance, or common sense.

Extra wind-electricity can be used to electrolyze water into O2/H2. I was on a submarine where we stored the O2 for an atmosphere bleed, and pumped the H2 overboard.

You can use a free old refrigerator compressor to pump H2 into an old large propane tank (keep the whole operation away from the house, the tinyest spark...well, Google "Hindenburg")

If you're going to buy a propane barbeque, pay a little extra to get the one where the air mixing valve can be adjusted so it can take natural gas without producing poisonous carbon monoxide. H2 burns just like CNG.

Also, H2's wide flammability range means its dangerous (like motorcycles and women), but at the same time, its easy to get combustion by adjusting the air mix on a propane kit for a car or generator. It can also be mixed 50% with CNG, and it will remain suspended, rather than separating like Italian salad dressing.

If you try this and kill yourself, I will drink a beer in your honor with solemn respect.

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