Monday, 12 September 2016

The World's Largest Storage Battery

By 2021, electricity use in the west Los Angeles area may be in for a climate change-fighting evolution.

For many years, the tradition has been that on midsummer afternoons, engineers will turn on what they call a “peaker,” a natural gas-burning power plant In Long Beach. It is needed to help the area’s other power plants meet the day’s peak electricity consumption. Thus, as air conditioners max out and people arriving home from work turn on their televisions and other appliances, the juice will be there.

Five years from now, if current plans work out, the “peaker” will be gone, replaced by the world’s largest storage battery, capable of holding and delivering over 100 megawatts of power an hour for four hours. The customary afternoon peak will still be there, but the battery will be able to handle it without the need for more fossil fuels. It will have spent the morning charging up with cheap solar power that might have otherwise been wasted.
Early the next morning, the battery will be ready for a second peak that happens when people want hot water and, again, turn on their appliances. It has spent the night sucking up cheap power, most of it from wind turbines.

The politics for this to happen are now in place because California’s Public Utilities Commission set a target requiring utilities to build their capacity to store energy, to use more renewable energy and to cut the state’s greenhouse gas emissions 80 percent by 2050. The economics are there, too, because the local utility, Southern California Edison Co., picked the designer of the battery, AES Corp., an Arlington, Va., company, against 1,800 other offers to replace the peaker.

It was the first time an energy storage device had won a competition against a conventional power plant.

And the technology seems mature. AES has spent nine years working with manufacturers of electric-car batteries. It has learned how to assemble and control ever-bigger constellations of these lithium-ion batteries. The Long Beach facility, when it is completed, will have 18,000 battery modules, each the size of the power plant of the Nissan Leaf.

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Friday, 9 September 2016

Rockhampton Man Leads Solar Technology Charge

Eager to cut back on his quarterly $1700 bill, the Millroy St resident is now leading the pack as the first in Rockhampton to have installed and registered the Tesla Powerwall home battery - designed by the entrepreneurs behind Tesla vehicles and privately owned satellite launch company Space-X, which works for NASA.

Solahart manager and design engineer Grant Bond installed the system about one month ago, and explained the system was a "scaled down" version of the batteries used in Tesla's solar-powered cars, and worked with solar panels to potentially cut back your usage from the grid to zero.

"In essence the solar panels produce power through the day, that power initially is going into Peter's house so any power he is using during the day he is using through the solar panels," Grant explained.

"And any leftover is then going into the battery, charging the battery, and then in the afternoon and evening he is drawing power back out of the battery."

Peter explained he invested in the technology after he took a voluntary redundancy last year from BMA's Blackwater mine on the advice of his accountant, and said while he now works one week on, one week off at Yarrabee, there was still plenty of power being used in his two-storey home.

"I live with my wife and two teenage children, so we use the air-conditioning, the stereo, fridges a lot."

Peter is still awaiting his first bill, but said he would be happy to install another battery if needed as the way he views it, they will eventually pay for themselves.

"Our current bill, I think it's about $1,700, so even if we reduce it, that's going to be a benefit.

Since the system was installed it has already dramatically reduced Peter's usage from the grid from an average of 30-40kw to 8kw.

Grant said a good, hybrid system would set you back about $10,000 on top of the cost of your solar panels.

He said Tesla was taking huge strides in sustainable energy, and he believed within the next five to ten years batteries would become standard to homes.

"The world's heading that way, we are following as what they are doing in the western world which is basically becoming more self-sufficient in your power use," he said.

"Generate it on your roof, store it in the batteries and use it yourself and that's where the world is heading, and the governments have recognised that that's what's going on as well."

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The Tesla And Solar City Merger

Elon Musk, CEO of Tesla [NASDAQ:TSLA], plans to buy his cousin’s company, Solar City [NASDAQ:SCTY]. That has generated a lot of head-scratching in financial circles about how it will work out. Some facts commonly cited: Tesla is the most successful and biggest electric car company the world has ever seen. Solar City is America’s biggest residential solar company. Both companies lose money. Both are deeply dependent on billions of dollars in taxpayer subsidies, and both are at the epicenter of dreams to ‘green’ the highways and the grid.

Strip away debate about operational synergies and the sustainability of subsidies and you find a single technological article-of-faith animating believers in the companies’ conjoined vision: the idea that fantastically better batteries are in the imminent future. The battery pack is by far the most expensive component in a Tesla. In a conventional car, there is no equivalent component so expensive and dominant. Fantastically better batteries are key to a future in which electric vehicles (EVs) can make a serious dent in displacing oil in transportation systems.

Similarly, the utopian vision of distributed rooftop solar is fundamentally dependent on the belief that fantastically better and cheaper batteries will soon be available to do the obvious: keep the lights, TVs and PCs lit when the sun goes down in order to dispense with the ‘old’ utility grid wherein 70 percent of the electrons derive from burning shale gas and coal. Batteries — far better than anything that exists today — are vital if rooftop solar is to make a serious dent in displacing hydrocarbons and grids used in today’s electrical systems.

Thursday, 8 September 2016

Residential Battery Storage Not Yet

Australian homeowners may be flocking to energy storage in droves. But one of the country’s biggest engineering consultancies doesn’t see the financial sense in it.

Victoria-based Aurecon, which has operations across Africa, Asia, Australasia and the Middle East, and which has been associated with major renewable energy projects such as the Kogan Creek Solar Boost plant, says the financial impact of adding batteries to residential PV is “negative."

“Aurecon has modeled multiple scenarios with a Tesla Powerwall lithium-ion battery coupled with a 4-kilowatt rooftop PV system,” said Victor Young, the company’s market director for energy, oil and gas. “Adding batteries increases the cost of power even in the most favorable circumstance of a zero feed-in tariff from the network provider.”

As it happens, the Powerwall might not be the best battery on the Australian market, on a cost per total warranted kilowatt-hours basis. That honor currently goes to the Redflow ZCell zinc-bromide residential flow battery, according to SolarQuotes.

However, said Young: “The advertised higher cost of current-generation flow batteries does not encourage us to expect that the return on investment for this type of battery would be better.”

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LiFePo4 Batteries Will Enhance Energy Density

Recently, new energy vehicle power battery materials Summit held in Hefei, Huazhong University of Science and Technology [microblogging] Dean of Materials Science and Engineering, made a speech and said that Huang Yunhui, lithium iron phosphate and lithium-rich nanotechnology and application of technical and other means which will greatly enhance the practical energy density, lithium iron phosphate and implementation costs 2 yuan / watts no problem. Undoubtedly, this view if provoked uproar uniform gathered people in the industry's attention.

Huang Yunhui keynote address at the forum, said, currently made of lifePo4 batteries is about 100Wh / kg. Now to develop reach 250,260Wh / kg the next generation, the next step it will have an energy density of more than 300Wh / kg. To achieve such high specific energy of lithium iron phosphate batteries, on the one hand to consider the issue from the material itself, on the other hand, should be considered from the technical preparation of the battery.

Materials Science and Materials Engineering Dean Huazhong University of Science Huang Yunhui, said lithium iron phosphate lithium enriched by nanotechnology and other means and technical applications, which will greatly enhance the practical energy density, lithium iron phosphate and implement two yuan / watt the following costs when there is no problem.

Huang Yunhui said lifePo4 batteries system is currently made about 100Wh / kg. Now we want to develop reach 250,260Wh / kg the next generation, the next step it will have an energy density of more than 300Wh / kg. To achieve such high specific energy of lithium iron phosphate batteries, on the one hand to consider the issue from the material itself, on the other hand, should be considered from the technical preparation of the battery.

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Power Battery Safety: PACK and BMS Is Sticking Point

Benefit from the domestic policies of new energy vehicles and power lifePo4 batteries industry's strong support, in 2015 the new energy automobile production and sales surge, battery power shortage, dividend policy to benefit the whole industry chain. Industry insiders estimate that 2016 will usher in the first year of battery development. Battery long-term trend is no doubt, but safety is the primary criterion for consumer choice of products. Recently the Ministry of Industry "halt" Three lithium battery, a series of pure electric VW Golf 5561 due to "battery management system problems," recalls other incidents occurred, once again sparked public concern about the safety performance of the battery.

For the safety of the battery, in addition to battery materials technology road dispute, the industry generally believe that the role PACK battery and BMS in safeguarding security irreplaceable. Power Battery PACK product consists of three parts, namely the battery pack, BMS and holder shell (covering thermal management, structural design, high pressure control, security management, etc.). Wherein, BMS is known as electric vehicle power battery system "brain", and motive power batteries, vehicle control system together constitute the three core technology of electric vehicles.

No battery management battery pack is a bomb. BMS, ie, the battery management system is the core power battery pack, balanced load power, service life, safety, etc., are required BMS to control and optimization in the new energy automotive industry chain, industry value BMS is very important. Public information, BMS prevent over charge, avoid over discharge, temperature control and maintain the battery pack voltage and temperature balance, remaining battery capacity and predict the remaining mileage and other features. Meanwhile, BMS also has real-time monitoring and adjustment of the battery state management capacity, ability to work synchronized with a plurality of parallel subsystems. Through BMS can accurately measure the condition of the battery pack for solar powered portable generator, the battery will not overcharge and discharge protection, balancing a battery pack each battery charge, as well as analysis and calculation The battery pack and convert endurance understandable information to ensure battery safe operation.

The power of storage battery pack and battery management system was listed as key research tasks, "BMS charging infrastructure protection needs for the response rate of 100%" is listed as one of the operational safety ,and technical aspects of interconnection of electric vehicle infrastructure assessment indicators. Although BMS is very important for electric cars, but because of the relatively low proportion of the cost of the vehicle, the vehicle for a long time without the attention of enterprises, the lack of design and production experience,portable solar power generator  product BMS should do fine and stronger domestic business journey in the field of power battery BMS is still a long way to go, but because of the sudden outbreak of new energy automobile production and sales, the rapid expansion of downstream applications market is not growing enough to BMS industry time.Until 2020 years, the market of vehicle battery power will reach 120 billion yuan. Wherein, BMS system used by passenger cars account for about 10% -16%, commercial vehicles accounted for about 3% -5%, when the domestic electric vehicle market will reach 17 billion yuan BMS.

Solar Car Far Away From Us ?

How Solar Car Work?

Solar vehicle is solar energy into electricity to drive the car.The whole car like a big portable solar power generator. GaAs thin film solar battery technology conversion rate of 31.6%, this is the world's highest level, which also made a solar car provided technical backing. Gallium arsenide thin film solar cell technology will continue to improve the conversion rate. According to reports, in good sunlight conditions where annual solar energy can reach tens of thousands of kilometers; and in poor sunlight conditions where the amount of sun throughout the year to be driven about 20,000 kilometers.

Sun a Few Hours Is Enough?

Solar car appeared to be mainly rely on natural sunlight to provide energy, if a sunny day, don't worry about lack of energy. In SolarA computing models, vehicle weight of 1.2 tons and a maximum of 7.5 m2 body surface area stretched after laying; sunny day in the light for 5-6 hours, can generate approximately 8-10 degrees.

No Sunshine How To Work?

When solar power is insufficient, you can still take advantage of charging pile charged. In addition, under conditions of sunshine, the solar car will side with while charging by storage lifePo4 batteries pack, continue to add capacity, increase mileage, maximum mileage up to 350 kilometers, an increase of 10% -15% higher than conventional electric vehicles.

Intelligent management system relies on large data analysis and calculation - "Solar radiation cloud computing" to provide information. In such a "cloud computing", supported by mobile phones and dashboard will inform the user how many days in charge, in addition to the vehicle can be obtained in the course of its own energy through solar energy generator, so if there is no rain for a long time, in theory, can not enable legacy electric vehicle charging.

You Can Buy in Three Years?

Electric cars many years ago as a "future technology", to be honest, it can not be considered to achieve the degree of popularity. Easy of use, safety of the vehicle, are the focus of consumer concerns. At more realistic plug-in hybrid car was started, solar car looks more distant, more like the next achievable "sci-fi future" because of the cost of solar cars from the perspective of consumers and positioning considerations, the first solar car price is not low.

In addition, with the increasingly widespread application of portable solar power generator storage technology, not just the car, from the satellite has been applied to the spacecraft altitude long-endurance unmanned aerial vehicles, as well as common clothing, backpacks, electronics, and mobile devices such as the need for local power as long as there is sun shadow Hina, the mass production and use of such thin-film solar chip assembly will also have to reduce costs.

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