Solar Power Is Finally Getting Closer To Battery Storage Technology

Steven LakeSteven Lake Solar Expert Posts: 395 ✭✭
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/09/27/solar-power-battery-storage_n_4004125.html

Ran across this the other day and thought you guys might find this quite interesting. If true it might prove to be quite the solar revolution that could really kickstart the acceptance of it in an important and major way. On a side note, I'd like to see solar companies move away from silicon to newer, better, cheaper materials with a higher conversion rate. I know some work has been made in that area, but not enough IMHO.

Comments

  • nielniel Solar Expert Posts: 10,311 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: Solar Power Is Finally Getting Closer To Battery Storage Technology

    sounds like the utility there is blowing a bit of smoke and i'm sick to death of their claims of possible harm to utility workers, but i acknowledge there is a point where suddenly switching on or off many megawatts of solar power could affect regulation there. sounds like they want battery power to continue the feeding of the power to the grid to smooth things out during cloudy times, but if one has a good enough capacity in the battery bank then who needs the utility?

    i agree we could use better battery technology.
  • Steven LakeSteven Lake Solar Expert Posts: 395 ✭✭
    Re: Solar Power Is Finally Getting Closer To Battery Storage Technology

    Well, TBH that's the problem with the Hawaiian power company. It's not that they can't do what they claim is impossible, as there's other utilities that do that just fine without a single problem, but rather that they don't want solar power on the island because it threatens their monopoly of power distribution. If people are smart they'll switch to solar and wind, then ditch the power company completely. I can't do that on my end yet, but we're working on ways to do that. We're even looking into ways in which to put to use a nearby stream so that we can be totally off the grid. Especially given how hopelessly unreliable it's proven lately. I can't tell you how many times our in home UPS has had to save our butts because of issues with the grid.
  • bmetbmet Solar Expert Posts: 630 ✭✭
    Re: Solar Power Is Finally Getting Closer To Battery Storage Technology

    With respect, I don't know if it is possible to utilize wind on a volcanic island chain. The expense of infrastructure against turbulent wind, sea, and storm would bankrupt a small country in no time.
  • westbranchwestbranch Solar Expert Posts: 5,141 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: Solar Power Is Finally Getting Closer To Battery Storage Technology

    Well they talk BIG about alt energy but when you follow the links, the roadblocks start to pop up, particularly wind... great sales pitch on page 1...http://www.heco.com/heco/Clean-Energy
     
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  • nielniel Solar Expert Posts: 10,311 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: Solar Power Is Finally Getting Closer To Battery Storage Technology

    like i said they are blowing a bit of smoke. 40% renewable will be tough to do being it would feed the grid at particular times. if they expect those with solar to expend more energy from batteries because the sun went away then the batteries will die after expending more energy to the grid than the customer received from solar just to buffer their grid system. if the utility comes up with this battery breakthrough then the utility can store the power from straight gt systems. if they expect this from solar supplying customers then they can go off grid and save a bundle over using the grid.
  • SolarPoweredSolarPowered Solar Expert Posts: 626 ✭✭✭
    Re: Solar Power Is Finally Getting Closer To Battery Storage Technology

    The problem with the Hawaiian Islands is importation of solar via shipping costs. Once its all installed those that live on the island pay on average $1.20 more per watt for a system than those that live on the main land. So what it does is put a squeeze hold on those that can afford solar. 80% of Hawaii's economy is poor, and ghetto. While the 20% that remains is tourist and rich only, there is no middle class economy on the islands.
    Been to Hawaii a few times, you can get the vibe the islands have no money accept what comes from tourists.

    That article should of done more research on the standard of living and how it impacts the investment of renewable energy for the islands. Renewable energy demand has slowed down because the demand from the economy and infrastructure isn't there. Those that could afford it already own it while the rest of the population cannot. Its that simple.
  • NorthGuyNorthGuy Solar Expert Posts: 1,925 ✭✭
    Re: Solar Power Is Finally Getting Closer To Battery Storage Technology
    The problem with the Hawaiian Islands is importation of solar via shipping costs.

    It must be cheaper to ship from China to Hawaii than from China to the US mainland. So, using Chinese products may help.
  • SolarPoweredSolarPowered Solar Expert Posts: 626 ✭✭✭
    Re: Solar Power Is Finally Getting Closer To Battery Storage Technology
    NorthGuy wrote: »
    It must be cheaper to ship from China to Hawaii than from China to the US mainland. So, using Chinese products may help.

    Unfortunately Hawaii doesn't have a central distribution hub for customs and importation. Everything gets checked at the Los Angeles, Seattle, or Oakland shipping ports, prior to getting shipped to Hawaii.

    The majority of the bulk comes on 1 boat and we are talking about a load of half a million to a million panels by different manufacturers. Hawaii's population and demand doesn't even make a 1% dent in consumer RE goods compared to mainland distribution. It makes no sense to drop off in Hawaii no matter the load because the fuel it would take to load 1% of those goods in Hawaii would be a distribution loss.

    This is why when people buy things online most shipping excludes Hawaii, and Alaska.There is special pricing involved to ship to Hawaii or Alaska.
  • simon87simon87 Registered Users Posts: 6
    Re: Solar Power Is Finally Getting Closer To Battery Storage Technology

    That's a really interesting article, thanks. Looks like a solar revolution may indeed be on the horizon...
  • Steven LakeSteven Lake Solar Expert Posts: 395 ✭✭
    Re: Solar Power Is Finally Getting Closer To Battery Storage Technology

    I really hope one is. It'd be great to see solar become more mainstream. On a side note though, I read an article somewhere that they've started researching how to access something called "Zero Point Energy", ie background energy that's native to the environment, as a new power source. What'd be cool would be if solar cells could be somehow modified to take advantage of that too. :) Or if not, it may become a new off grid power source. But certainly not in my lifetime. :(
  • ggunnggunn Solar Expert Posts: 1,973 ✭✭✭
    Re: Solar Power Is Finally Getting Closer To Battery Storage Technology
    I really hope one is. It'd be great to see solar become more mainstream. On a side note though, I read an article somewhere that they've started researching how to access something called "Zero Point Energy", ie background energy that's native to the environment, as a new power source. What'd be cool would be if solar cells could be somehow modified to take advantage of that too. :) Or if not, it may become a new off grid power source. But certainly not in my lifetime. :(
    Zero Point Energy looks like snake oil to me. I mean, the effect seems to be real enough, but extracting any usable energy from it is akin to perpetual motion, IMO. The Laws of Thermodynamics are still in force and are not likely to be repealed.
  • CariboocootCariboocoot Banned Posts: 17,615 ✭✭
    Re: Solar Power Is Finally Getting Closer To Battery Storage Technology
    ggunn wrote: »
    Zero Point Energy looks like snake oil to me. I mean, the effect seems to be real enough, but extracting any usable energy from it is akin to perpetual motion, IMO. The Laws of Thermodynamics are still in force and are not likely to be repealed.

    I'm glad you said that. If I had it would have started an argument. ;)
  • ShadowcatcherShadowcatcher Solar Expert Posts: 228 ✭✭✭
    Re: Solar Power Is Finally Getting Closer To Battery Storage Technology

    One of the problems will be political, There is a bill in the Ohio house to repeal much of the renewable energy efforts, this in Ohio and other states i.e. Arizona and North Carolina as well as other states is a result of the American Legislative Exchange Council. Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA) recently cut its ties to ALEC.
  • Steven LakeSteven Lake Solar Expert Posts: 395 ✭✭
    Re: Solar Power Is Finally Getting Closer To Battery Storage Technology

    Well, they once said that power from the sun was impossible too. So I'm holding out hope that someone really smart will figure out an economical way to use it. Will it be in my lifetime? Probably not. But hey, we put men on the moon, and created the nuke, and nuclear energy. So why not? One can hope, can't they? :D
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