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-   -   Economic prospects for solar photovoltaic power (https://www.mersenneforum.org/showthread.php?t=16770)

chris2be8 2013-08-23 17:32

The Japanese would not be using batteries if they had a cheaper alternative. Pumped storage needs two reservoirs, one at high level and one at low level. Japan may not have many suitable locations.

Using the sea as the lower one means filling the upper reservoir with salt water, which has more environmental impact that using fresh water.

A bigger problem at high latitudes is that solar power provides most power in the summer, but demand is highest in winter. That needs a lot more storage capacity.

As I said in my first post solar power works best in lower latitudes. It makes more sense to develop it there, then move to higher latitudes when you have the economies of scale.

Chris

chappy 2013-08-23 17:50

[QUOTE=fivemack;350639]Not unspeakably expensive, just a bit cumbersome; 300 gigawatt-hours is a billion tons of water - a lake a hundred metres deep and ten square kilometres surface area - a hundred metres up a mountain. Bloody great dam at the western end of Loch Morar, similar on the north and south sides; since it's basically a fjord and some dozen kilometres from the far side of the middle of nowhere, that's probably reasonably practical.[/QUOTE]

Also the company I work for's [URL="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Taum_Sauk_Hydroelectric_Power_Station"]largest battery[/URL].

I think its in the neighborhood of 220MW for 6-8 hours. I'd have to check.

cheesehead 2013-08-25 00:21

[QUOTE=chris2be8;350646]A bigger problem at high latitudes is that solar power provides most power in the summer, but demand is highest in winter. That needs a lot more storage capacity.[/QUOTE]... or a mix of types of energy source, rather than only solar power.

I think we can safely assume that there will not be some theoretical purely-one-type-of-power-source world in the future, and can reasonably discuss the economics of solar photovoltaic power without imagining or requiring that no other power type exists or will be used.

Though I started this particular thread about only solar photovoltaic power's economics in particular, other types will be, of course, part of the desirable overall mix. This thread is not for advocating or discouraging any particular mixture of power sources; it's for discussion of the economics of one particular type -- solar photovoltaic -- within realistic future projections.

cheesehead 2013-08-25 00:35

[QUOTE=chris2be8;350646]The Japanese would not be using batteries if they had a cheaper alternative. Pumped storage needs two reservoirs, one at high level and one at low level. Japan may not have many suitable locations.

Using the sea as the lower one means filling the upper reservoir with salt water, which has more environmental impact that using fresh water.[/QUOTE]Perhaps someone will start another thread for discussion of energy storage methods and technology -- which would be relevant to energy gathered from not only solar power, but also any other natural source, such as wind, waves, or geothermal, that wouldn't necessarily be available according to a convenient artificial schedule.

Uncwilly 2013-08-25 01:11

[QUOTE=cheesehead;350748]Perhaps someone will start another thread for discussion of energy storage methods and technology[/QUOTE]
[URL="http://www.lightsail.com/tech/"]LightSail[/URL]

chalsall 2013-08-25 01:27

[QUOTE=chappy;350647]Also the company I work for's [URL="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Taum_Sauk_Hydroelectric_Power_Station"]largest battery[/URL].

I think its in the neighborhood of 220MW for 6-8 hours. I'd have to check.[/QUOTE]

Just to put on the record... That's pretty fscking cool!!! :smile:

kladner 2013-08-25 01:58

[QUOTE=chappy;350647]Also the company I work for's [URL="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Taum_Sauk_Hydroelectric_Power_Station"]largest battery[/URL].

I think its in the neighborhood of 220MW for 6-8 hours. I'd have to check.[/QUOTE]

That's pretty cool! The article seems to say that there are 2x 225MW reversible turbines. Do they run below the apparent capacity to have sufficient hours of generating potential?

chappy 2013-08-25 04:19

That's it. its 333 MW for 3-4 hours or 220ish for 6-8.

It is a net loser of power of course, so it is filled at night when MW prices are in the teens and used during the afternoons when prices are in the upper 20's to lower 30's.

The Church Mountain project (which is just a few miles away) was cancelled but was in the neighborhood of twice that size. Environmentalists opposed it (blindly--as they oppose any project by anyone that isn't solar or wind). But it could easily have replaced the plant I work at which is about 800 MW of dirty coal. A definite win for the consumers and for the environment. (not so much for me of course, but I'm consigned to the fate that someday the dumb environmentalists will lose out to the smart ones and I will be out of a job. Until then the dumb environmentalists keep dirty coal plants running. See the early discussion of Germany and photocells causing more reliance on brown coal.)

Uncwilly 2013-08-25 04:55

[QUOTE=chappy;350647]Also the company I work for's [URL="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Taum_Sauk_Hydroelectric_Power_Station"]largest battery[/URL].

I think its in the neighborhood of 220MW for 6-8 hours. I'd have to check.[/QUOTE]
What about this one?
[url]http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Castaic_Power_Plant#Castaic_Power_Plant[/url]

kladner 2013-08-25 05:01

So that installation would currently be in its "charging" phase.

While it necessarily has losses, so do all the other technologies we've been discussing. I think those thyristor stacks have some pretty hefty liquid cooling, i. e. they have some power dissipation to deal with.

What storage does is allow better distribution, over the day, of the total available "generator-hours" of capacity in the system, carrying over excess capacity to match demand. So the proposed/rejected big new "battery" could have taken a coal-fired peaker plant offline?

Uncwilly 2013-08-25 05:44

[QUOTE=kladner;350759]So the proposed/rejected big new "battery" could have taken a coal-fired peaker plant offline?[/QUOTE]Most peaker plants, to my knowledge, tend to be gas turbine (quick to start and stop), 'small' hydro like the ones mentioned, and landfill gas and biomass plants. There are likely some gas (not petrol) fired IC's too. I have talked with the a utility power manager for a small city that I have a connection to, they found that it was cheaper to buy from the grid with their smallish gas turbine on standby to act as a peaker. I know someone that is an electrical load dispatcher for a very large municipal power agency. I could inquire about what their mix of peakers looks like.


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