Observing the renewable energy transition from a European perspective

Archive for the month “April, 2022”

First Electric Container Ship Picks Up Service

An 80 m, 120 TEU container ship, powered by batteries, has started service in a Norwegian fjord. Eventually, the ship will be operating autonomously.

[] – MV Yara Birkeland

Wie Klimafreundlich Sind E-Autos Wirklich? – Harald Lesch

All-German Post.

Wie klimafreundlich sind E-Autos? Dieser Frage geht Harald Lesch in einer neuen Folge von Terra X auf den Grund – mit teilweise verblüffenden Erkenntnissen. Er korrigiert sich damit selbst, hatte er vor drei Jahren im selben Format doch noch ein Plädoyer für Wasserstoff gehalten.

[] – TV-Professor rechnet alles durch: Darum ändert Lesch seine Meinung zu E-Autos

Heat Battery Based on Salt and Water – TU-Eindhoven

The 200 kWh thermal storage prototype with the “lockers” that each form a separate module of the thermal battery. Photo: Vincent van den Hoogen.

My alma mater at it again, by presenting a solution for the problem of seasonal storage of heat:

The need to take homes off gas has increased ever since the conflict in Ukraine. A heat battery with salt and water as simple components could provide a quick and large-scale solution for over three million households in the Netherlands – twice the target set by the Dutch government. This heat battery, being developed by a consortium of Eindhoven University of Technology, TNO, spin-off Cellcius and industrial partners, is cheap, compact, loss-free and now ready for the first real-world tests.

Key aim: recovering and storing waste heat from industrial processes and other sources.
Salt used: K2CO3 (potassium carbonate)
Storage cycle: moistening and drying salt with thermochemical heat exchange to the environment. Thermochemical details here:

The initial 2019 demonstration device can store 7 kWh. On that basis the TUE project received an EU grant of 7 million euro to develop a follow-up prototype and that 200 kWh storage facility has now been realized. Later in 2022, 4 homes will be equipped with 70 kWh storage devices.

To give an idea of the potential of this technology:

In the Netherlands we have about 150 PetaJoule of residual heat from industry per year. That would enable you to take almost 3.5 million homes off the gas.”

There are currently 7.9 million homes in the Netherlands. What this new technology solves is the problem of how to get industrial waste heat into homes.

To sum it up: heat storage can now take place, using a mountain of cheap salt, solve it in water that generates heat and next dry it again with industrial heat. Repeat cycle. During the storage period, there are zero losses.

Note that heat can be transported without pipelines and a medium like water. Just put the salt on a truck and deliver to location, where it can be used when needed, accommodating supply of industrial heat, even if that supply is highly intermittent. Conventional heat grids in the Netherlands, would need to bridge an average 30 km between source and consumer with pipelines and would come with heat losses in between, not a very attractive proposition.

After the coming test run in 4 homes, a consortium will source heat from the Chemelot chemical plant in Sittard-Geleen and the resulting dry salt will be transported by truck to 50 homes nearby and mixed with water to generate heat in a central transformer station, from where the heat will be distributed over the connected homes.

Just throw salt in the water to get warm.

[] – How the Eindhoven heat battery can quickly make millions of homes gas-free
[] – Heat battery Cellcius makes the world more sustainable from Eindhoven

[] – Performance analysis of a K2CO3-based thermochemical energy storage system using a honeycomb structured heat exchanger

The price of K2CO3 in bulk is currently less than $2000/ton.

Gaeini et al. [22] summed up the advantages of a K2CO3 − K2CO3⋅ 1.5H2O system with a storage capacity up to 96.015 kJ/mol (reaction enthalpy of ΔHr = 64.01 kJ/mol of water) corresponding to a maximum energy density of 1.30 GJ/m3

1 GJ = 278 kWh, which matches with the device at the top of this post.

Let’s assume that a 24.3 ton e-truck consumes 1.5 kWh/km. Over 2 x 30 km, that would be 90 kWh. Specific weight K2CO2 is 2430 kg/m3. 24.3 ton K2CO3 has a volume of 10 m3 and has an energy content of 24.3 x 278 x 1.3 = 8782 kWh. Energy cost for transport is slightly more than 1% of the heat content of the salt. The numbers are a bit arbitrary, but the order of magnitude should be something like this.

Earlier posts:

[deepresource] – TNO & TUE Heat Battery (10-2019)
[deepresource] – Heat Battery (8-2020)
[deepresource] – TNO-TUE gets 7 Million from the EU to Develop Heat Battery (10-2021)

Read more…

12 MW Electricity is 700 m3/s Gas

Today, the Dutch electricity system is once again heavily dependent on gas. Hardly any wind, only sun in the south. Partly because NL also exports significant electricity, approximately 12000 MW of electricity is currently produced in NL using natural gas. That requires 700 m3 of natural gas per second!

The renewable electricity euphoria of the past few days is over, and the dependence on natural gas becomes painfully clear again. In the coming years, the weather forecast will get a dramatic quality.

[] – Martien Visser
[] – Real time total Dutch renewable electricity generation

McKinsey – Peak Oil Might Be Just Three Years Away

In hindsight, peak-oil-2010 was too pessimistic, fracking disturbed that picture. But now peak-oil is again in sight, probably for real.

The energy transition continues to gain steam, with oil demand projected to peak in this decade – perhaps as soon as 2025, according to new research by leading global consultancy McKinsey & Company.

McKinsey’s Global Energy Perspective research was launched at a time when global energy markets are facing an unprecedented array of uncertainties, including the conflict in Ukraine. Nonetheless, the long-term transition to low-carbon energy systems continues to see strong momentum and, in several respects, acceleration.

KcKinsey is basically saying the same as Rystad Energy earlier did.

[] – Peak Oil Might Be Just Three Years Away, McKinsey Says
[] – Global oil demand to peak in 2026 – Rystad Energy

How the Ocean Could be the Future of Energy Storage?

YouTube text:

Batteries are the key to our renewable energy future. For intermittent renewables like solar power and wind turbines to be useful, we need energy storage to make them work over long periods of time. Lithium ion batteries come to mind, but they’re still too expensive for long-term energy storage. Pumped hydro energy storage makes up the largest battery systems in the world, but they’re limited to geography. Over 96% of the earth’s water is contained in the oceans, so what if we could turn oceans or lakes themselves into a battery? There’s some compelling technologies here, but let’s see if we can come to a decision on this.

Is There a Point in Carbon Capturing?

YouTube text:

Can we solve our atmospheric carbon problem AND get something useful from it at the same time? Sounds better than just shoving it underground like Carbon Capture and Storage (CCS) projects are planning, doesn’t it?

Carbon – in the form of carbon dioxide – is something that we have way too much of in the atmosphere at the moment. And carbon is also in a whole bunch of useful products ranging from diamonds to plastics to fuels. People are starting to figure out how we can make all kinds of products from captured carbon… but should we?

In this video I talk with Dr Jessica Allen about all the things you can make out of captured carbon, and assess each one in terms of their potential to be cheap, valuable, scalable and permanent.

0:00 Intro
0:23 What is Carbon Capture and Utilisation (CCU)?
1:26 What makes for the perfect CO2 uses?
2:19 Introduction to Dr Jessica Allen
2:54 “Trendy” uses of CO2: Beer, Carbonation, Diamonds, Graphene, etc
5:22 Fuels: Synthetic Fuels, Syngas, etc
7:46 Methanol and Plastics
9:43 Mineral Carbonation, Carbonated Materials, Building Materials, etc
11:21 Biochar – Slow Pyrolysis Process, Possibility of Being Carbon Negative?
14:20 CCU’s Current Progress and Jess’ Thoughts
15:24 Summary and Rosie’s Thoughts on CCU
16:27 Outro

Liquified Hydrogen Shipping Ready for Prime Time

This was the test model Suiso Frontier, now liquified hydrogen shipping is ready for some major upscaling.

Japanese shipbuilder Kawasaki Heavy Industries (KHI) has developed a 160,000m³ liquefied hydrogen carrier, targeting for it to be commissioned in the latter half of the 2020s.

[] – Japan’s KHI develops liquefied hydrogen carrier
[] – KHI’s Activity for International Liquefied Hydrogen Supply Chain
[] – World’s first hydrogen tanker to ship test cargo to Japan from Australia

Droht ein Energie-Blackout? Ex-Eon-Chef Klärt Auf.

German language video.

Spoiler: total black-out in Germany, no, but rationing is very well possible.

You can thank the US for that situation and their insatiable drive to try to subdue countries, until they own the entire world.

[0:45] No total blackout, but energy rationing is possible.
[2:30] Large industrial clients will be rationed first, private households last.
[3:30] It is not just energy, but oil and gas are an essential part as a chemical resource in production chains.
[7:00] Gas and oil from Russia are irreplaceable, not in the short term.
[10:00] Nobody believes in new nuclear power stations in Germany. No skills, no public support.
[10:50] In case of an energy supply emergency and if politics requests it, life extension of old nuclear power stations should be possible for a few years.
[13:00] Switching off nuclear power went too quick in Germany.
[18:00] Yes, the transition is possible, but the public will need to be taken to the task and be told the truth about expansion of the grid, of massive interference of renewable sources in the landscape, etc. With the current prevailing mentality of not in my backyard, it is not going to succeed.
[18:45] Germany will never be able to cover all its primary energy needs locally. Imports will be necessary (H2, NH3, etc.)
[19:50] Fairly optimistic about affordable price levels for imported hydrogen from countries like Australia or Saudi-Arabia.
[21:20] Gas prices for non-Russian gas could easily double.
[25:40] The bad news is that the energy crisis is only happening in Europe, which will have bad repercussions for Europe’s competitiveness.
[26:00] The energy crisis already began in Q4-2021, but Ukraine made it worse.
[26:40] Germany and Europe will have to live with less wealth and could last for a generation.

The Netherlands Needs Storage

[source] Annual hours with negative electricity prices due to renewable electricity overcapacity.

This year so far, for 29 hours, electricity prices were negative, because there was too much electricity, more than 100% Dutch consumption plus exports, so turbines needed to be switched off, where this electricity could have been used to produce hydrogen or charge batteries.

NL is powerhouse for NW Europe this afternoon (April 24, DR).
Current (12.30) export to:
Belgium: 1918 MW
Germany: 79 MW
Denmark: 679 MW
UK: 1086 MW
Norway: 433 MW
Nevertheless, there is still more than enough electricity from wind and sun available for the Netherlands. Prices are negative and turbines are shut down.

[] – Martien Visser

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