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Old 2021-02-13, 08:08   #23
retina
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LaurV View Post
just fill a barrel with scraps of it, and lift/lower all the barrel
Not scraps, ingots. And forget about the light weight barrels, just make one huge ingot, 50kL ~= 1130t.

But even then, that still only gives ~2260kW, or so. There needs to be some other, better, solution.
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Old 2021-02-13, 14:10   #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by retina View Post
Not scraps, ingots. And forget about the light weight barrels, just make one huge ingot, 50kL ~= 1130t.

But even then, that still only gives ~2260kW, or so. There needs to be some other, better, solution.
I'm not sure how to make a practical energy storage system using a single large solid mass. A shallow inclined plane and/or a hydraulic jack come to mind. But assuming it's possible, it is also not clear to me why the volume of the mass would matter that much. A big box of scrap steel, or concrete, or rocks, or dirt could serve as a mass.

But it seems to me you need a few numbers to start with:

1) How many watt-hours of electricity does your backup system need to be able to produce?

2) How much power does it need to produce?

3) How much energy can you produce (or import) for your backup system?

4) How long do you need to be able to store the energy?

A flywheel will run down over time. Diesel fuel deteriorates over time, but you can probably store a supply for a few years if you treat it and your storage tanks with a lot of TLC. A raised mass will stay at the high point indefinitely.
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Old 2021-02-13, 15:28   #25
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Raised masses are unstable situations. Consider one big rock and a not so shallow slope. And energy capture during controlled descent. And it's happened before (1 fatality). The rail car strategy has advantages; steel rolling on steel is very efficient, plus brakes are built in. Real estate cost and efficiency will limit how low a slope is used. Economics and lifetime matter. Rust will limit lifetime of components. Pumped hydro is also popular for large capacity, leveraging existing dams and hydroelectric generating plants, although its failure modes can be spectacular.

Last fiddled with by kriesel on 2021-02-13 at 15:36
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Old 2021-02-13, 15:46   #26
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dr Sardonicus View Post
But it seems to me you need a few numbers to start with:

1) How many watt-hours of electricity does your backup system need to be able to produce?

2) How much power does it need to produce?

3) How much energy can you produce (or import) for your backup system?

4) How long do you need to be able to store the energy?
Not answering those specific questions, but consider this situation:

I don't want the generation+storage to use more space than the thing(s) it is powering. Storage uses a lot of land area. I don't have infinite land area at my disposal (not yet anyway). So the idea behind osmium (or any dense material) is that the storage density is maximised, reducing the land usage. If there was a convenient mountain out the back that I could hoist containers of mass up 2000m then that would make a huge difference.

Ignoring the initial capital costs:
Nuclear is extremely energy dense, but in no way practical yet in small sizes.
Diesel is very energy dense, is not free, and not independent.
Solar/wind is energy sparse, free and independent. And in many cases panels can simply be placed on the roofs, so the sparseness can be managed quite well.

Storage is sparse, probably something like only 10% (or less) of land area is for the buildings+plant+minions+whatnot+etc., the rest being for storage of some type.

It is the storage that makes things tricky.

Last fiddled with by retina on 2021-02-13 at 15:47
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Old 2021-02-13, 17:56   #27
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kriesel View Post
Pumped hydro is also popular for large capacity, leveraging existing dams and hydroelectric generating plants, although its failure modes can be spectacular.
Failures of similar systems that have actual death tolls: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/St._Francis_Dam and https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Johnstown_Flood
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Old 2021-02-14, 15:47   #28
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Quote:
Originally Posted by retina View Post
<snip>
Ignoring the initial capital costs:
Nuclear is extremely energy dense, but in no way practical yet in small sizes.
Diesel is very energy dense, is not free, and not independent.
Solar/wind is energy sparse, free and independent. And in many cases panels can simply be placed on the roofs, so the sparseness can be managed quite well.

Storage is sparse, probably something like only 10% (or less) of land area is for the buildings+plant+minions+whatnot+etc., the rest being for storage of some type.

It is the storage that makes things tricky.
So, diesel is not free and not independent. Neither is your main power supply, nor (I imagine) much of what you have that uses electrical power. I assume you chose to hook up to the grid and have diesel backup generators because you thought that combination met your needs better than the available alternatives. It is good to check from time to time whether circumstances might have changed. Perhaps power rates have gone up, or other forms of backup power have become available that might justify making a change.

Another variable is, what your priorities are WRT using electrical power when main power is out. What do you really need to keep running, and what can you do without? I merely offer this as something for you to think about. I won't volunteer suggestions, and I don't need to know what your priorities are.
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Old 2021-02-14, 20:51   #29
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And what is the minimal load that is needed for the lair in the cold months (presumably when solar has low output)? And remember, solar will still produce power (at a lower rate) when there is cloud cover. When it is cold and solar is low, a sterling cycle system could use the ambient temp and the geo-thermal temp to make power. When it is hot, flip the direction and with the solar, you might be able to sell power to the grid.
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Old 2021-02-15, 05:19   #30
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dr Sardonicus View Post
it is also not clear to me why the volume of the mass would matter that much.
aaaa... space restrictions? You could make it with feathers too, if you can buy half of Sahara, and install gravitic lifts everywhere... , then make huuuuuge bales, up to the sky.
He suggested osmium because is very dense, so, in theory, the best per required space, but that about "easy to find, etc", was sarcastic. Osmium is extremely rare and quite difficult to work with. And I am sure you got the joke, because in the next post you suggested keep it liquid (osmium melts at about 4000°C or so). Just to make is clear, hihi.

Last fiddled with by LaurV on 2021-02-15 at 05:28 Reason: s/ballots/bales/ - english playing tricks on me!
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Old 2021-02-15, 13:51   #31
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LaurV View Post
aaaa... space restrictions? You could make it with feathers too, if you can buy half of Sahara, and install gravitic lifts everywhere... , then make huuuuuge bales, up to the sky.
For any given shape, the linear dimensions of a given mass with that shape will vary inversely with the cube root of the density. A cube of lead (density 11.35) will have a side about 26% longer than a cube of osmium with the same mass. A cube of tungsten (density 19.3) would have a side only about 5% longer.

I still have no idea how to use a large solid mass for an energy storage system.
Quote:
He suggested osmium because is very dense, so, in theory, the best per required space, but that about "easy to find, etc", was sarcastic. Osmium is extremely rare and quite difficult to work with. And I am sure you got the joke, because in the next post you suggested keep it liquid (osmium melts at about 4000°C or so). Just to make is clear, hihi.
Yes, as I pointed out, a little powdered osmium would probably be a lifetime supply...

The current benchmark for retina is main power from the grid, with diesel generator backup. Perhaps he can devise a way to assume control of the supply of diesel. That would solve the dependency problem.
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Old 2021-02-15, 14:23   #32
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dr Sardonicus View Post
The current benchmark for retina is main power from the grid, with diesel generator backup.
Correct. In terms of space efficiency, the incoming grid electrons are a clear winner.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dr Sardonicus View Post
Perhaps he can devise a way to assume control of the supply of diesel. That would solve the dependency problem.
Now you are talking.

I just need to drill a few oil wells, install some pumpjacks, build a refinery, and fill the diesel tanks. Maybe, if I have some excess I can also sell it off for profit. And if I split it off to a separate company I can call it mobishelltex.
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Old 2021-02-15, 15:55   #33
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Quote:
Originally Posted by retina View Post
I just need to drill a few oil wells, install some pumpjacks, build a refinery, and fill the diesel tanks. Maybe, if I have some excess I can also sell it off for profit.
That's a great idea! Perhaps 100 years late, but a great idea nonetheless.
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