State tries to save power by storage
Energy storage has the potential to make the grid more efficient and reliable. A micro-grid demonstration in Borrego Springs uses trailer-sized batteries based on lithium-ion technology.
Join the discussion below, or Read more at The San Diego Union-Tribune.
#1 Sep 7, 2013
"His company has developed a modular zinc-flow battery, with support from the Department of Energy, that can be stacked together to mimic the output of a power plant. Miramar Marine Corps Air Station is adding the batteries to achieve greater independence from the grid in the wake of the September 2011 blackout."
Flow batteries have been around since about 1988, when it was discovered different ionizations of an element could be used to generate power. Vanadium III and Vanadium V. Iron, and now Zinc. What's interesting about flow batteries are their scalability. You could have two tanks large enough to power one's vehicle for several hundred miles, to tanks the size of a football field. They can be drained and refilled just like a gas tank on a car, or they can be recharged just like a battery. If the technology becomes common place one could actually have their very own flow battery storage for their homes and businesses. The V2G society would be born.
#2 Sep 17, 2013
The surefire thing: Coal
#3 Sep 25, 2013
You're wasting you time with these Cakkaforinee tree huggers.
#4 Sep 26, 2013
Yeah, black lung, cough it like it is.
#5 Oct 5, 2013
California's landscapes are ideally suited to building tens of thousands of small ponds with dirt dams less than 15 feet high that need no special permitting, mostly paid for by federal programs.
These would trap most of the 60 trillion gallons of water that fall on our highlands yearly, producing a major portion of theelectricity at a rate roughtly 1/3 our present cost.
During the summer, after stormwater they save is diverted to underground reservoirs, these ponds would function as huge batteries to store energy from wind-solar sources by using reversible microhydroturbines to refill them for peak usage periods.
The Chief Engineers of our public works departments and water districts know all of this, of course, but their careers depend upon keeping voters from discovering that we could end water importation and shortages while eliminating flooding and pollution by building these small dams.
The clique of individuals who profit from working with these public servants to keep us ignorant of this simplest, cheapest planning option have done their job well, buying up our major newspapers and fooling-coercing our politicians and educators so that voters do not discover the enormous fraud in progress and throw out foolish or crooked polticians who won't correct it.
Forums like this one could expose this network of deceit if most members and browsers become concerned enough to add their input.
#6 Oct 6, 2013
James, don't get me wrong, I applaud your take on taking on several problems at once. San Diego is only one small area of California that needs some kind of energy storage. There are more desert landscapes in California, Places like Boron, Baker, Victorville, Zyzyx. Not a lot of annual rainfall. For these arid places some kind of energy storage is needed. Either very large flow batteries or some kind of chemical battery, like NaS or Lithium Ion. As far as water quality goes if the California Department of Health Services and the EPA have their way, the new Chromium-6 requirement will cost water ratepayers MUCH more money to treat the Domestic water supply to remove it. When this happens, it will be right around the break even point to take sea water, desalinate, treat it to a potable standard. Now you have an Ocean of water to use.
#7 Oct 27, 2013
Yes, a few communities might be better served by onsite storage systems. But the vast majority are well-suited to catching enough rainwater to meet their needs while extracting a major portion of their energy from it.
A steady supply of water is not needed for a pumped system 'battery' to store +energy captured by solar and wind. One rainstorm can provide all that is needed when community leaders are wise enough to work with their County Resource Conservation District to catch it.
A comprehensive watershed management plan like the one CRWM formulated for the Santa Margarita River basin diverts most stormwater flow from creeks and rivers to off-stream basins. These need only micro hydropower turbines and pipelines to complete a pumped storage system at relatively insignificant cost. Huge, expensive facilities like San Diego's Olivenhain Dam enrich the private sector but defy common sense.
But this is only part of these Comp Plans. Where voters select wise politicians with good personal integrity most stormwaters are 'captured' where they fall by micro catchments that guide them into the soil, as directed by wise California Legislators 68 years ago. This keeps the immense groundwater reservoir full so that seepage keeps creeks flowing year-round to keep surface reservoirs full to generate electricity and serve all water needs.
Just half the 300 million gallons that runs off Barstow streets yearly could be captured to become a medium for pumped storage. It would be guided to storage in a multitude of small ponds like those scattered throughout Fresno, lined and covered with thick plastic sheets to eliminate evaporative losses. Once stored it would be pumped by renewable energy sources to much higher small ponds similarly lined and covered, to flow down through turbines at peak use periods. All ponds would collect rain during the eight wet winter months, storing away more than the city uses.
The 5" rainfall of high desert communities provides about 135,000 gallons of rainfall per acre yearly, enough to meet the needs of two families, so collecting all runoff from the 4,000 acres in and around Barstow would meet its water needs.
A civil engineer would make this all seem complex to create work for himself but a USDA field tech or high school science class could provide the needed planning with advice from the federal experts who advocate It.
So yes, chemical, thermal, flywheel and compressed air storage systems can be useful devices in a few California locations as their efficiencies improve. But to date none come anywhere near the cost-effectiveness of cycling water between low and high tanks with reversible micro hydro turbines.
#8 Jan 10, 2014
An email suggested that I elaborate on the storage I've referred to.
The core of US Dept of Agriculture "Best Management Practices" is
catching rainwater wherever it falls. That central feature inspired the
California Legislature of 1945 to create the California Water Code that
explicitly instructs all public servants dealing with land/water resources
to "guide all or any stormwaters to storage in soils of their District".
These wise politicians recognized that if this is done then flooding, water contamination, rainwater loss would be progressively eliminated as land is developed and farmers-ranchers modify their croplands, so that our 1.5 trillion gallon of annual precipitation would meet all needs.
Senior civil engineers hired by politicians since 1945 also recognized
the invitable result of catching most stormwater and guiding it to storage. They knew they would work themselves out of a job by doing
this and would not earn the rich rewards offered by land developers
and water/energy profiteers to professionals who cooperate in fooling
policians and the public into not saving rainwater to meet all needs.
So they have collaborated informally with MWD to deny voters and politicians knowledge of this simplest, cheapest planning option.
Todays Professional Engineers know that modern microturbines could
extract the enomous volume of latent energy in water intercepted hign
on mountainsides. But they convince politicians that the USDA BMPs that would make this work are not "practicable" or not cost-effective.
As long as we keep on electing candidates who cannot see they are being lied to by agents of Chief Engineers and water district managers we will not see the simple, virtually free BMPs applied to landscapes througout the County. We will not have the thousands of small ponds that would cumulatively store all stormwaters and the pewer generated
by wind turbines - solar systems while also being sources for the
generation of 'new' power from a trillion gallons of runoff.
We voters are collectively our own worst enemy because a majority
of us prefer candidates who promise to steal for us, instead of the
ones who would put our bountiful natural resources to good use.
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