Energy From Thorium Discussion Forum

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PostPosted: Apr 08, 2017 4:27 pm 
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KitemanSA wrote:
Would also remove the final impediment to 100% nuclear power.

I see you understand something that so many wind and solar advocates miss. Energy storage systems do not care where the energy comes from, they work for nuclear and coal just as well as they do for wind and solar.

If we get utility scale energy storage then this means a lot of the problems of coal, nuclear, and natural gas go away. This would make wind and solar look even worse, so bad that I'm not sure even government subsidy can keep it propped up.

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PostPosted: Apr 29, 2017 1:32 pm 
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Kurt Sellner wrote:
KitemanSA wrote:
Would also remove the final impediment to 100% nuclear power.

I see you understand something that so many wind and solar advocates miss. Energy storage systems do not care where the energy comes from, they work for nuclear and coal just as well as they do for wind and solar.

In truth, they work better for nuclear in that the amount needed for nuclear is less than 1/40th that needed for solar and even less than that needed for wind.

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PostPosted: Apr 29, 2017 2:44 pm 
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If we get utility scale energy storage then this means a lot of the problems of coal, nuclear, and natural gas go away. This would make wind and solar look even worse...

Please explain how our lack of utility scale storage (1) holds back the expansion of natural gas power plants and (2) helps renewables.


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PostPosted: Apr 29, 2017 6:48 pm 
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BSFusion wrote:
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If we get utility scale energy storage then this means a lot of the problems of coal, nuclear, and natural gas go away. This would make wind and solar look even worse...

Please explain how our lack of utility scale storage (1) holds back the expansion of natural gas power plants and (2) helps renewables.


It holds back natural gas because ~61% efficient CCGTs crush literally everything at this point (with commercial capital rates anyway).
The only reason we can't have an all CCGT fleet is they don't do well at low capacity factors.


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PostPosted: Apr 30, 2017 9:35 pm 
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BSFusion wrote:
Quote:
If we get utility scale energy storage then this means a lot of the problems of coal, nuclear, and natural gas go away. This would make wind and solar look even worse...

Please explain how our lack of utility scale storage (1) holds back the expansion of natural gas power plants and (2) helps renewables.

A lack of utility scale storage does not hold back expansion of natural gas, it holds back some of the efficiency of natural gas. Combined cycle natural gas plants have double the efficiency of gas turbines used to cover peak power demands, if we can replace these turbines with a combination of combined cycle natural gas and electric storage devices then we can see our reduction of CO2 output from energy be reduced further. Much of the recent reductions in US CO2 production comes from natural gas use (replacing coal) and an economic downturn (reducing consumption of many high energy luxuries). Further reductions can be seen with affordable electric storage systems and low carbon (relative to coal) natural gas combined cycle generation.

A lack of utility scale electricity storage does not help renewables. As it is now we need to see a one for one addition of a watt of natural gas turbine capacity for every watt of additional wind and solar capacity. I recall that this is such an important aspect of wind (having ready backup for when the wind not blowing) that siting for wind farms is based largely on availability of natural gas for the backup power. In other words, no one is going to run expensive power lines for wind power unless they know the lines will have a high capacity factor on that line, meaning that there must be another source of electricity on that same line to make up for the 70% of the time the wind is not blowing. If we have affordable electricity storage then the storage systems can be sited with the turbines and the power lines from the wind farms need only be big enough to match average output. This makes getting the power to where it is needed cheaper.

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PostPosted: May 02, 2017 4:25 am 
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Kurt Sellner wrote:
BSFusion wrote:
Quote:
If we get utility scale energy storage then this means a lot of the problems of coal, nuclear, and natural gas go away. This would make wind and solar look even worse...

Please explain how our lack of utility scale storage (1) holds back the expansion of natural gas power plants and (2) helps renewables.

A lack of utility scale storage does not hold back expansion of natural gas, it holds back some of the efficiency of natural gas. Combined cycle natural gas plants have double the efficiency of gas turbines used to cover peak power demands, if we can replace these turbines with a combination of combined cycle natural gas and electric storage devices then we can see our reduction of CO2 output from energy be reduced further. Much of the recent reductions in US CO2 production comes from natural gas use (replacing coal) and an economic downturn (reducing consumption of many high energy luxuries). Further reductions can be seen with affordable electric storage systems and low carbon (relative to coal) natural gas combined cycle generation.

A lack of utility scale electricity storage does not help renewables. As it is now we need to see a one for one addition of a watt of natural gas turbine capacity for every watt of additional wind and solar capacity. I recall that this is such an important aspect of wind (having ready backup for when the wind not blowing) that siting for wind farms is based largely on availability of natural gas for the backup power. In other words, no one is going to run expensive power lines for wind power unless they know the lines will have a high capacity factor on that line, meaning that there must be another source of electricity on that same line to make up for the 70% of the time the wind is not blowing. If we have affordable electricity storage then the storage systems can be sited with the turbines and the power lines from the wind farms need only be big enough to match average output. This makes getting the power to where it is needed cheaper.

Although battery can store energy from any source, the production process may make a different storage beneficial.
Electronic production like photovoltaic may be best stored in a battery.
Hydro production is best stored in a reservoir.
Nuclear may be best stored as heat in a molten salt.
Intermittent wind energy is best converted to compressed air at a low cost for storage. It could be used via pneumatic route or converted to electric at scale of useage.


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PostPosted: May 06, 2017 1:00 am 
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jagdish wrote:
Although battery can store energy from any source, the production process may make a different storage beneficial.
Electronic production like photovoltaic may be best stored in a battery.
Hydro production is best stored in a reservoir.
Nuclear may be best stored as heat in a molten salt.
Intermittent wind energy is best converted to compressed air at a low cost for storage. It could be used via pneumatic route or converted to electric at scale of useage.


The only reason we are discussing electric storage is because wind and solar energy must be harvested as it is produced. Nuclear, hydro, coal, geothermal, and so on is already "stored" by not converting it to electricity in the first place. If we don't burn coal then it's not lost to us like if we don't allow a windmill to spin in the wind.

This problem of intermittency of wind and solar power is not near as trivial as many would imply it to be. This is on top of the current costs of these energy sources. Producing a viable electricity storage system is required for wind and solar to meet more than a small fraction of our energy needs. If we also do not see a massive drop in the cost of wind and solar energy then not even a free battery can make it work, and nothing is free.

If we simply ignore wind and solar energy, which I believe we should, and move to next generation nuclear then we won't need these utility scale batteries. These batteries might still be useful for things like keeping data centers running in emergencies or something but that is much smaller scale than what we'd need for wind and solar to make a dent in our energy needs.

Lacking next generation nuclear and adding some sort of utility scale storage then wind and solar look kind of pointless as an energy source. They look rather pointless now. Again, wind and solar require storage but that is insufficient, they also need to come down in costs. I've seen Prof. Sadoway on a TED Talk video and he certainly makes a good case but this all evaporates once the costs of wind and solar are taken into account. Nuclear, coal, hydro, etc. do not require batteries by their very nature. If we can get these batteries produced then they can possibly make these already cheap energy sources cheaper still. That makes for an even higher bar for wind and solar to clear.

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Disclaimer: I am an engineer but not a nuclear engineer, mechanical engineer, chemical engineer, or industrial engineer. My education included electrical, computer, and software engineering.


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