solar energy storage

SystemSystem Posts: 2,511 admin
Hi All, Just found this site, and I'm pretty sure your the guys to point me in the right direction!

As far as I understand things, the biggest limitation with solar is the storage. Yes we can all buy batteries, but when you look at the ecological impacts of producing them, the efficiencies and the lifespan and costs things aren't quite as rosy as it would seem.

My question is are there any alternatives yet for reliable, efficient energy storage? do things like these actually work?
http://vanadiumbattery.com/
http://www.physorg.com/news155569564.html

Cheers
Ryan

Comments

  • CariboocootCariboocoot Banned Posts: 17,615 ✭✭
    Re: solar energy storage

    Welcome to the forum.

    Yes, energy storage is the number 1 problem for solar and indeed electricity in general. The standard Flooded Lead-Acid batteries aren't very efficient, as you already know. Other types such as NiCad, Lithium ion, and NiFe have advantages - and disadvantages. No doubt the vanadium battery you point to works also. The liquid one seems to be at the research-only stage.

    But the big downside to the alternative technologies is nearly always cost. In terms of $ per Amp hour, the el cheapo "golf cart" FLA's keep turning up the economic winner, despite being less than perfect in performance. In certain cases, however, the one of others may be a better choice.

    The two biggest problems with solar are the inefficiency of the panels and the inefficiency of storage. Even the utility grid has storage problems, btw.
  • russruss Solar Expert Posts: 593
    Re: solar energy storage

    Hi Ryan - From the 'Recently, researchers from MIT have designed a new kind of battery' stage to a commercial product is a big, long and expensive step.

    The bloggers that troll university tech sites and write about state of the art research as if it will soon be available are doing no one a favor.

    Russ
  • nielniel Solar Expert Posts: 10,311 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: solar energy storage

    particulars are missing from those links such as the ah capacity, shelf life, cyclic life, vibration or movement effects, costs, etc. there's more to it than just a battery.
  • System2System2 Posts: 6,290 admin
    Re: solar energy storage

    Vanadium batteries are working worldwide. They are very real and very good at what they need to do for renewable energy storage. Read some of the material here and get back to me if any questions or comments...

    http://prn.to/fitlau
    http://bit.ly/hLCTeJ
    http://bit.ly/gpllE3

    we are American Vanadium Corp. We look forward to supplying low-cost vanadium pentoxide to America's vanadium battery market starting in 2012.
  • CariboocootCariboocoot Banned Posts: 17,615 ✭✭
    Re: solar energy storage

    By all means let us know when you have a viable and affordable commercial product. Storage is one of the biggest problems in RE.

    BTW, of the three links to promotional news items the third didn't go anywhere.
  • nielniel Solar Expert Posts: 10,311 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: solar energy storage
    niel wrote: »
    particulars are missing from those links such as the ah capacity, shelf life, cyclic life, vibration or movement effects, costs, etc. there's more to it than just a battery.


    try addressing some of the questions i already mentioned, but don't stop there as you can also address any info on maintenance and warranty. i already posed questions that aren't really being answered that those on this forum would like answered straight up front. pep talks and hype we don't want. i'm sure everybody here is open to possibilities and if you like and are willing to stand up for and behind the product then maybe you can offer some here the chance to utilize these batteries as beta testers. if they fly here they'll fly anywhere as these guys are a tough crowd and as such will not pull any punches.
  • PhotowhitPhotowhit Solar Expert Posts: 4,254 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: solar energy storage

    Lithium Iron seams to be one of the current trends for electric car batteries, I believe at least one manufacturer is offering a 10 year waranty. I will hunt for them if you like, I think I've added to a post here about them.

    I think the best storage for solar electric is in coal and oil, that is push back the need by grid connect and store the reserves to be used later.
    Home system 4000 watt (Evergreen) array standing, with 2 Midnite Classic Lites,  Midnite E-panel, Prosine 1800 and Exeltech 1100, ForkLift battery. Off grid for @13 of last 14 years. 1000 watts being added to current CC, @2700 watts to be added with an additional CC.
  • mike95490mike95490 Solar Expert Posts: 7,288 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: solar energy storage

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vanadium_redox_battery

    "The main disadvantages with vanadium redox technology are a relatively poor energy-to-volume ratio, and the system complexity in comparison with standard storage batteries. "
    Powerfab top of pole PV mount | Listeroid 6/1 w/st5 gen head | XW6048 inverter/chgr | Iota 48V/15A charger | Morningstar 60A MPPT | 48V, 800A NiFe Battery (in series)| 15, Evergreen 205w "12V" PV array on pole | Midnight ePanel | Grundfos 10 SO5-9 with 3 wire Franklin Electric motor (1/2hp 240V 1ph ) on a timer for 3 hr noontime run - Runs off PV ||
    || Midnight Classic 200 | 10, Evergreen 200w in a 160VOC array ||
    || VEC1093 12V Charger | Maha C401 aa/aaa Charger | SureSine | Sunsaver MPPT 15A

    solar: http://tinyurl.com/LMR-Solar
    gen: http://tinyurl.com/LMR-Lister ,

  • System2System2 Posts: 6,290 admin
    Re: solar energy storage

    That's right, the only negative thing one can say about the Vanadium Redox Battery (VRB) is that they are big and have a few lines and pumps. But footprint doesn't matter that much for stationary mass storage uses, and nor does operating a few pumps and lines. Meanwhile here's the good things about VRB's:

    Over 20-year battery life
    It's the only battery that rapidly charges and discharges with little effect on battery life
    There is no limit on size = energy storage capacity
    Greater than 10,000 cycles per battery
    No heating up so no cooling system required
    Lowest environmental footprint
    Batteries do not degrade or get "consumed" over time
    They are the cheapest solution available today

    http://bit.ly/ResInvVan


    http://www.americanvanadium.com/disclaimer.html
  • russruss Solar Expert Posts: 593
    Re: solar energy storage

    Surely you could come up with a better (more informative) link than one of the president making a silly statement.

    You are looking for investors/suckers? That seems to be the only thing on the company site.
  • CariboocootCariboocoot Banned Posts: 17,615 ✭✭
    Re: solar energy storage

    Size and complexity do matter for off-grid applications. Probably a better choice for commercial emergency back-up power than for prime power miles from the grid.

    As has been mentioned before, some actual data on the batteries would be nice. We're very product oriented around here and would like to see info such as:
    Dimensions
    Voltage & Amp hour capacity
    Discharge/recharge specifications
    Warranty
    Cost
    Retail availability

    No one here much cares what business deals your company has made with other businesses or how our stock is doing. :roll:
  • techntrektechntrek Solar Expert Posts: 1,366 ✭✭✭
    Re: solar energy storage
    Over 20-year battery life
    It's the only battery that rapidly charges and discharges with little effect on battery life
    There is no limit on size = energy storage capacity
    Greater than 10,000 cycles per battery

    NiCad has these advantages, too. It doesn't have quite that many cycles but still far more than lead-acid. It also has 20+ year life span and high charge/discharge capability.
    4.5 kw APC UPS powered by a Prius, 12 kw Generac, Honda EU3000is
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