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Compressed Air Storage Smooths Wind Power Availability
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Mark



Joined: 13 Dec 2007
Posts: 894
Location: NW England

PostPosted: Tue Oct 06, 2009 9:44 am    Post subject: Compressed Air Storage Smooths Wind Power Availability Reply with quote

Any thoughts on this development for Wind Power from our friends across the pond ?
http://www.energystorageandpower.com/home.html

Compressed Air Energy Storage Its time has come.

As both wind and solar power are intermittent , there is a need for an effective way to store these energy sources until they are needed.
The ability to smooth the supply with the demand is becoming more important as solar and wind start to power the grid.

Compressed Air Energy Storage - CAES:
" ... stores off-peak energy, in the form of compressed air in an underground reservoir, and releases this energy during peak hours. ... used for load management of intermittent renewable energy resources or as a stand-alone intermediate generation source for capturing energy arbitrage, capacity payments and ancillary services. ..."

Renewable power sources are critical to addressing climate change.
CAES greatly enhances the value of renewable power sources by:
(1) storing energy produced by renewables when demand is low and releasing it when it is needed, and
(2) rapidly providing power in the event of a sudden loss of renewables generation.
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adam2
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PostPosted: Tue Oct 06, 2009 6:36 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Whilst the idea has some merit, there are substantial unavoidable losses.
When air is compresed, a significant proportion of the input energy is lost as heat.
If this heat can not be used, for example for space or water heating, then it is rather wastfull.
When the air is expanded through an engine, it becomes cold, and this represents additional loss, again unless the cooling can be utilised for air conditioning or chilled food storeage.

The cost of large enough manufactured high pressure air tanks is likely to be prohibitive, the compressed air would be stored underground in natural or man made caverns, including depleted oil or gas fields.

Demand side control, and meeting peek loads from gas burning plant are likely to be more economic.

The main advantage of the system is that no rare or costly materials are required, unlike exotic batteries.
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Vortex



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PostPosted: Tue Oct 06, 2009 7:39 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Our smallholding has a hill crest which could be good for a big wind turbine.

The nearby village is full of nimbies who moan about EVERYTHING and who try to block all planning rqsts, eco or evil, good or bad.

Now .... I have had this naughty idea of word processing a realistic design document for a HUGE wind turbine compressing air into a HUGE cylinder buried in the hill.

The document would include a safety study of what might happen if the gas cylinder failed ... maybe with a chapter entitled:

A computer simulation of the probable effects on the local community of 150,000 tons of clay falling from a height of 2km.

It would be quite fun if someone accidentally leaked this 'secret' document ... the protest machine would swing into action ...

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adam2
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PostPosted: Tue Oct 06, 2009 7:57 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

None will believe it you use round figures.
The study should refer to the effects of "148, 572 tons of topsoil, subsoil, surface vegetation, structures and organic remains, falling from a weighted average height of 1,972 M"
The report should reassure people that no radiation would be released, and that long term effects would be limited.
Any concerns about the hill expolding due to the air pressure within, should be addresed by building a tesco on top!
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RenewableCandy



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PostPosted: Thu Oct 08, 2009 5:01 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Laughing Laughing Laughing House prices would go into the Stratosphere! (shurely "houses" _ed)
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fifthcolumn



Joined: 22 Nov 2007
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PostPosted: Thu Oct 08, 2009 5:30 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

There are quite a few methods coming into play to store energy
* Pumped storage
* Molten salt storage
* Refrigerated inertial storage
* Supercapacitors
* Flow batteries
* Advanced Air batteries

Right now there are commercial applications of megawatt hour class batteries running in Japan. There are commercial applications of megawatt hour class batteries running in Ireland. There are hundred megawatt class commercial applications of pumped storage and tens of megawatt class of molten salt storage running. The Refrigerated inertial storage is in testing in the Netherlands and Supercapacitors are as yet vapourware.

All of these solutions are a little bit expensive, but costs are coming down and breakthroughs have been made, especially in air based batteries.

Like electric cars, however, the issue is not that the tech won't work and that's it's not scalable (it is). The issue is that we have limited time to ramp up production capacity before we get kicked in the teeth by depletion.

We need a crash program and we need it last year.
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emordnilap



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PostPosted: Thu Oct 08, 2009 5:39 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

And it may be a chicken-and-egg, that is, it may take that very kick in the teeth for the majority to realise something needs to change. There doesn't seem to be that much awareness of any real problem.
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fifthcolumn



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PostPosted: Thu Oct 08, 2009 7:38 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

emordnilap wrote:
And it may be a chicken-and-egg, that is, it may take that very kick in the teeth for the majority to realise something needs to change. There doesn't seem to be that much awareness of any real problem.


I would guess a case in point might be Dublin.
When I was last there (the tail end of the boom in late 2007) the mood in the place was ebullient. I noticed, however, that (apart from it being a port) it's not very well placed to ride out expensive oil. The public transport system is shite with the exception of the Luas.

What's the mood there now that things have collapsed?

Have they clued in to the fact that even though the current problems are not peak oil related, that if they don't mitigate for peak oil ASAP they're well and truly shafted?

My guess is: probably not.
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emordnilap



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PostPosted: Fri Oct 09, 2009 11:33 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

fifthcolumn wrote:
emordnilap wrote:
And it may be a chicken-and-egg, that is, it may take that very kick in the teeth for the majority to realise something needs to change. There doesn't seem to be that much awareness of any real problem.


I would guess a case in point might be Dublin.
When I was last there (the tail end of the boom in late 2007) the mood in the place was ebullient. I noticed, however, that (apart from it being a port) it's not very well placed to ride out expensive oil. The public transport system is shite with the exception of the Luas.


Agreed. The public transport system is good in parts (Luas, some railway, some national coach routes) but mainly doesn't serve quite high numbers of isolated people. The western rail corridor should help - Limerick through Ennis, Galway and possibly through to Sligo - though that's diesel, of course. I'll be using it, it will save me using a car for several journeys. If only they'd put in more local stops: the technology is there, the will isn't.

There's still a huge amount of private cash sloshing around which people are keeping quiet about and not spending overtly. Food inflation has just about stopped (I think it's gone down about a per cent in the last twelve months).

In the west there's still huge volumes of traffic and the streets seem pretty busy but a lot of empty retail premises coupled with 2 shops and Lidls. Vehicle fuel is still ridiculously cheap, giving people a false sense of security. Most people have good vehicles too and I'm constantly surprised at the number of '09 cars around.

fifthcolumn wrote:
What's the mood there now that things have collapsed?


Things haven't really 'collapsed'. I've no great experience of Dublin; Silverharp is over there, maybe he'll chip in.

Things are still settling down after the disastrous Lisbon result and the main news is all about (heh heh) a government official's expenses. Familiar? He did nothing illegal, AFAICS, but claimed legitimate expenses, which in these changed times are quite rightly seen as extravagant and unnecessary. Anyway, anything to divert attention from the bigger picture.

So 'collapsed', no, there's too much inertia, I think, even in a small country like this. Things are sliding slowly downwards alright, at a pace most people won't notice if they keep their jobs. I'd rather be here than California, anyway!

Lots of smaller building projects going on. The estates have stopped, I'm glad to say. See someone onto a good thing and they all jump on the bandwagon, ruining it for all. Acres of unfinished concrete boxes blighting the country. Too many (way too many) retail parks, all apparently struggling.

fifthcolumn wrote:
Have they clued in to the fact that even though the current problems are not peak oil related, that if they don't mitigate for peak oil ASAP they're well and truly shafted?

My guess is: probably not.


You'd be right. They haven't cottoned on to future energy supply problems, probably because there aren't any yet affecting them. Such blind faith.

Many say that a turnaround is coming and it'll be back to normal within a couple of years, maybe even months. The public is being talked up. Of course, Fianna Fail are hoping to hang on - they're going to have to pull some rabbits out of the hat to win the next election (but the opposition don't look too inspiring either). I think it might be a kind of hung parliament, with no clear leaders, so we'll just bumble around for an eternity.

The coalition partners, the Greens, say they can make hard decisions and suffer the unpopularity - they've never been popular anyway, so they don't have a lot to lose - but I suspect they won't be allowed to make those decisions. Who wants a CO2 tax when we're already highly taxed and losing jobs? Who cares about an endangered snail when Aer Lingus are cutting jobs at Shannon? Who wants more cycle lanes when what they want is a subsidy to get a new car?

No, it's all about jobs (and the total lack of irony at the type of jobs they want) and cheap flights and - for heavens' sake - having to pay rates on second/third/fourth homes.

No obvious public concern or anger about climate change, energy constraints, indebtedness, biodiversity loss, lack of self-sufficiency, our huge reliance upon import of practically anything, not in the west anyway. Just get the number of people flying up, up, up and bring in jobs - any jobs, no matter how demeaning or low paid or how climate-kicking. Oh, and don't tax my other properties or I won't vote for you. Rolling Eyes

edit: some people over here get it.
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snow hope



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PostPosted: Fri Oct 09, 2009 1:08 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I was in Dublin on Wednesday and Thursday this week. It was thronging as much as ever. The weather was good, Grafton Street was bunged, St Stephen's Green was busy and beautiful in the sunshine. Shops were still pretty busy although lots of Sale stickers - gone are the days of everything selling at full list price! Pennys still exists in O'Connell Street beside Cleaopatra's Needle - the prices are reasonable in there.

Even in the hotel we got a good rate for an overnight stay. There was a nightclub from 2300 to 0300 and the youngsters were queued outsides for 25 yards. Beer was 4.90 a pint, but special offers on various drinks, such as 3.00 for a pint of Heinekin. Haven't seen those kinds of offers in Dublin for decades. We got "pimped" to go into about three different restaurants - business is being hit hard here. Got offers of buy 1 main course get the second free. Went for an Indian in the end - special price of 15 per head for Poppadoms, any starter and any main course with a drink! The printed menu prices were out the window. Not surprised as only 25% of the table were in use while we were there.

So Dublin still seems to be thriving, but below the surface, lots seem to be struggling..... but life is continuing and at worst it seems more like a downturn than a collapse. TPTB are just about managing to hold it together for a while yet.....

edit - Oops - sorry to be so off topic - maybe a moderator can take out the last few posts re Dublin?
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emordnilap



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PostPosted: Fri Oct 09, 2009 1:20 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Over this side, restaurant and caf prices are pretty outrageous still - there's not a lot of signs of prices being squeezed, though places are rarely busy (with exceptions).

Considering the huge mark-ups generally in the catering industry (I remember years ago a friend being told "Add up every single cost of a menu item including wages, then double that figure and you're getting somewhere near"), it seems like most places are quite happy to continue with high listed prices and can thus manage on fewer customers.

As an example, I put together a presentation for a hotel chef recently; he detailed costs for starters ingredients at less than 2, with menu prices being 7.95.

Having said that, the busiest places seem to be those serving large portions of plain food; the price appears to be far less relevant.
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monster



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PostPosted: Fri Oct 09, 2009 9:03 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The more wind we have on the grid the more economically viable storage will become. In Germany there are rare periods when elecricity is free when the wind blows fast, any storage system could then charge up on free leccy. The more often this happens the cheaper storage will become.
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RenewableCandy



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PostPosted: Fri Oct 09, 2009 10:11 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Good point but will it make Irish restaurants any cheaper?

Actually UKERC (iirc) have done a study about the amount of storage needed and it's quite surprising how much wind capacity you can have before it becomes an issue. A figure of 42% of total electric grid was recently quoted by a study in Ireland, but they may have just done their sums on a napkin in a trendy gastro-pub in Sligo... (ah and it's less than that 42% for the UK because we have nukes, which you can't turn up and down to follow demand, and Ireland has no nukes).
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emordnilap



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PostPosted: Tue Oct 13, 2009 3:06 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

emordnilap wrote:
Over this side, restaurant and caf prices are pretty outrageous still - there's not a lot of signs of prices being squeezed, though places are rarely busy (with exceptions).


Just updating a restaurant menu. The prices were already at 'drawing of breath' level for what is just fancy pub grub; I simply wouldn't go there because the prices are already too much for me.

In these days of supposedly low inflation, the average increase across the menu is just under 5%. The average taking out those items not increasing is nearer 8%. Quite a jump, especially going into winter, with fewer tourists about.

There ends my survey of 1.
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JohnB



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PostPosted: Tue Oct 13, 2009 3:39 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

emordnilap wrote:
In these days of supposedly low inflation, the average increase across the menu is just under 5%. The average taking out those items not increasing is nearer 8%. Quite a jump, especially going into winter, with fewer tourists about.

There ends my survey of 1.

It must be difficult for the owner/manager. If sales are falling and costs rising, what choice do they have but to put the prices up. I understand all about supply and demand, but could they afford to lower the price to the point where enough people stop eating at other places, and eat there instead? Supermarkets may be able to afford that sort of thing, but small businesses can't. Of course that doesn't mean it's not profiteering, but maybe they're trying to bring in enough income to survive longer than their competitors.
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