The best way to store large amounts of renewable energy in order to be able to bridge a couple of hours, for instance during the night, is still pumped hydro storage, currently covering more than 90% of the world’s electricity storage capacity. For this you don’t need a river, it suffices to have two nearby reservoirs, like lakes, at a different altitude. If you have excess renewable energy you can use it to pump water from the lower to the more elevated reservoir. If you have not enough renewable energy, you can release water from the higher reservoir into the lower and use the falling water to drive turbines and generate electricity. The round-trip efficiency is something like 80%.
Researchers from the Australian National University have identified 530,000 sites that could serve as a potential pumped hydro storage site. In reality that number will be lower, because of a lot of factors that were not considered in this study. But, the university stresses that the world only needs of fraction of that 530,000 locations to achieve a 100% renewable energy base.
Takeaway point: there is more than enough potential for pumped hydro storage.
With fluid metal as catalyst, Australian scientists from the RMIT university succeeded in turning CO2 back in coal again at room-temperature.
Available data World Solar Challenge 2017:
Nuna Solar Team TU Delft: 3021 km, 14:10:41, average speed 81.2 km/h
Solar Team TU Eindhoven: average speed 69 km/h, 6 charges, 10197 person-km, 45.7 kWh external energy, average passengers: 3.4, energy efficiency (person-km/kWh) 223.2
Note that the external energy was necessary due to the long distance of 3021 km in merely 6 days. If the available time would have been 12 days, no extra electricity would have been required. In other words, the daily range without external (grid) charging (but “24h” solar charging) under Australian conditions in October would be ca. 250 km with 5 persons.
Eindhoven btw drove with 5 persons until a major technical malfunction occurred, after which no risks were taken and a single driver-passenger completed the race alone, which pressed down the passenger average. If you offset these 250 km with a daily average distance of merely 37 km in an industrialized country like Holland, you can verify that an energy-autonomous car is not a pipe-dream at all.
[wikipedia.org] – Stuart Highway
One month to go to the Solar Challenge 2017 in Australia.
Technical University Eindhoven
Technical University Delft
Technical University Twente
Amadeus is a EU project that investigates the potential to store large amounts of energy in high-temperature molten materials, like silicon and boron.
1414 °C is the melting point of silicon. A company in Adelaide, Australia, has named itself 1414 Degrees and claims to have achieved a breakthrough in energy storage by bringing down storage cost per kWh with a factor of 10 compared with lithium-ion. Based on the latent heat in molten silicon. Energy is fed to containers with silicon in order to melt it. Due to the high latent heat capacity of silicon, much energy is stored during the phase change from solid to fluid silicon. A cube with a rib of 70 cm is said to be able to store 500 kWh. Silicon has a density of 2.33 ton/m3. One tone or 429 liter silicon would suffice to power 28 homes for a day. That would amount to 36 times the capacity of a 14-kWh Tesla Powerwall-2 lithium-ion battery. The company however doesn’t target individual households and doesn’t aim to compete with batteries but instead is aiming at “district heating, major industry, electricity producers and suburb-scale residential developments”. At a large scale the claim is that 1 MWh can be stored at the cost of $70,- or 7 cent/kWh. The number of charge/discharge cycles is said to be virtually unlimited.
[amadeus-project.eu] – EU Amadeus project
[puretemp.com] – Extremely high-temperature TES prototype development in Europe
[wikipedia.org] – Thermionic emission
[aip.scitation.org] – Hybrid thermionic-photovoltaic converter
[ec.europa.eu] – What is Horizon 2020?
[cordis.europa.eu] – Next GenerAtion MateriAls and Solid State DevicEs for Ultra High Temperature Energy Storage and Conversion
[renewableenergyworld.com] – Europe to Lead Research Project for Energy Storage in Molten Silicon
[upm.es] – Innovative molten silicon-based energy storage system
[1414degrees.com.au] – Official site
[theengineer.co.uk] – Molten silicon used for thermal energy storage
[wikipedia.org] – Latent heat
[renewableenergyworld.com] – Silicon Energy Storage Technology Scales Up for Commercial Production
[greentechmedia.com] – Startup Says Molten Silicon Will Make Lithium-Ion Storage ‘Uneconomic.’
[nextbigfuture.com] – Molten Silicon thermal energy storage system has higher energy density and ten times lower cost than lithium ion batteries for utility storage
The Australian government’s chief scientific body says there is no apparent technical impediment to reaching 100 per cent renewables for the national electricity grid, and levels of up to 30 per cent renewable energy should be considered as just “trivial” in current energy systems… Graham said the challenges could start to emerge when the penetration of wind and solar move above 40 per cent –as it has in South Australia, which explains why it is focusing on storage and is finally getting traction on its call for changes to energy market rules.
“When we do modelling where we increase the renewable penetration above around 40 per cent of the energy delivered (where South Australia is now) that starts to force out some of that existing dispatchable generation, and then we find that you need to add other technologies to support renewables,’ Graham said.
[reneweconomy.com.au] – CSIRO says Australia can get to 100 per cent renewable energy
[people.csiro.au] – Paul Graham, CSIRO
[wikipedia.org] – CSIRO (Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation)
[theconversation.com] – Paul Graham, Australians can have zero-emission electricity, without blowing the bill
[reneweconomy.com.au] – Baseload power is a myth: even intermittent renewables will work
The students have presented their new solar car called “Red Shift” at the Twente Airbase in the presence of the Australian ambassador, who returned home with a bottle of “Twent’s bier” [0:57]. In 2015 Twente ended second. Twente is confident that they will win this year.
Weight 139 kg and achieves 90 kmh with the energy of a small water-cooker.
For the global renewable energy transition to work, hundreds of thousands of steel wind towers, monopiles and nacelle’s need to be built. The good news is, the iron is there and currently relatively cheap.
Weight of a large offshore wind turbine:
Rule of thumb 5 MW offshore wind turbine steel requirements: 300 + 2200 + 400 = 2900 ton
One million 5 MW offshore wind turbines require 2.9 billion ton or 88% annual global steel production.
Total world electricity consumption was 19,504 TWh in 2013. [source]
Annual electricity production 5 MW offshore ind turbine: 15 million kWh or 15 GWh
In other words: with 1.3 million offshore 5 MW wind turbines you have your global 2013 electricity consumption covered, if you ignore for a moment aspects like storage. And this time entirely fossil free, which was the purpose of the operation. But this ‘back-of-an-envelope’ exercise should give you an idea of the scale of the challenge.
Offshore wind turbine monopile production from steel plate.
[wikipedia.org] – World Solar Challenge
[worldsolarchallenge.org] – Results “Challenger Class”:
[worldsolarchallenge.org] – Results “Cruiser Class”
What we love about the project are the video and music, but that’s about it.
Last year we reported about an Australian company promoting the design of a solar downdraft wind tower and expressed our skepticism regarding the energy efficiency of the project:
[deepresource] – Solar Downdraft Wind Tower Planned in Arizona
To our amazement, Environmission reported that Texas agreed to invest 1 million $ in the undertaking.
[enviromission.com.au] – Texas Solar Tower Development Agreement US$ Banked
Furthermore, India seems to be interested as well:
[cleantechnica.com] – EnviroMission Reports Progress On The First Solar Chimney In India
[wiki2.org] – Solar updraft tower
Gepubliceerd op 24 mrt. 2015
This 1 MW hybrid solar-diesel plant was delivered, unpacked and fully operational in one week. The Australian Renewable Energy Agency supported Laing O’Rourke to develop this innovative new approach to off-grid power. [more]
Editor: interesting to note what a relatively small area (ca. 15 m * 70 m) you need to generate 1 MW (peak), sufficient to power a few hundred-thousand households. There are absolutely no physical constraints that will stop villages world-wide from having these kind of arrays installed next to them.
Today, even in the least developed areas in Africa, most people use a mobile phone, a development that took 20 years. It is not a big stretch to image that someday, every person will have a few solar panels per capita installed, to cover the most ‘basic’ power needs (lights, WiFi and tablets replacing radio/television, mobile phones, fridge, water pump).
A solution could be that once the US empire is dismantled, Paris-Berlin-Moscow and China craft a global development plan, where both ‘divide the underdeveloped world’ between them and Europe and China ‘adopt’ countries on a voluntary basis (colonialism ultra-lite), where Europe and China can exploit local resources and implement a population limitation program, in exchange for real goods (bicycles, building materials, pumps, solar panels, consumer IT), not money that ends up in the wrong hands anyway.
Map from 1818 of ‘New Holland‘ as it was known at the time, even to the British, until at least 1824. Nobody was really that much interested in this vast empty continent, witnessed by the fact that the British deemed it just good enough to make a penal colony out of it. Australia (7.7 m km2) is comparable in size to China (9.5 m km2), but inhabited by merely 23 million people (China 1300 million), facts that likely did not escape the attention of Chinese geostrategists.
John Malcolm Fraser (84) is one of the most senior people Australia can come up with. This distinguished gentleman has just published a long ground-breaking article, in which he advises Australia to distance itself from the United States.
Malcolm Fraser (born 21 May 1930) is a former Australian Liberal Party politician who was the 22nd Prime Minister of Australia. He came to power in 1975 through the dismissal of the Whitlam Labor government, in which he played a key role. After three election victories, he was defeated by Bob Hawke in the 1983 election and ended his career alienated from his own party.
Wikipedia: “Fraser… was educated at Glamorgan and Melbourne Grammar School, before completing a degree in Philosophy, Politics and Economics at Magdalen College, Oxford, in 1952. At Oxford, Fraser was a classmate and friend of future Canadian cabinet minister and Prime Minister John Turner.” Editor: Fraser (and Turner) were the Australian resp. Canadian servants of the British empire, before Australia and Canada morphed into staunch satellites of the US empire, Anglosphere, the embryonic NWO, the Judaic State or whatever you want to call it.
A few quotes from Fraser’s article:
IT IS time for Australia to end its strategic dependence on the United States. The relationship with America, which has long been regarded as beneficial, has now become dangerous to Australia’s future. We have effectively ceded to America the ability to decide when Australia goes to war…
The idea of American exceptionalism is contrary to Australia’s sense of egalitarianism…
… at the moment, because of U.S. military installations in Australia, if America goes to war in the Pacific, it will take us to war as well—without an independent decision by Australia. Finally, under current circumstances, in any major contest in the Pacific, our relationship with America would make us a strategic target for America’s enemies…
The idea of American exceptionalism, which has always been present in the United States, has gone far beyond all comprehension in the years of America’s absolute supremacy…
Our task is not to embrace America, but to preserve ourselves from its reckless overreach…
Wow, what a candid admission, typical made by very senior politicians, with one leg in the grave. The sort of admission secret service expert and former Italian president Francesco Cossiga made when he said in 2007 in the largest Italian newspaper that 9/11 had been carried out by the Mossad and CIA, when he was 79 and was suffering from terminal cancer. Or US congressman Paul Findley, who in 2007 at the age of 86, claimed that the US was basically an Israeli colony. Courageous people are few, but do exist.
The article is a long read. But the essence is that Fraser accuses the US to be not interested in world peace and as such is a threat to all others. Fraser hints that the West is at least as guilty for the Ukrainian mess as is Russia and blames NATO of breaking its promise to Russia not to expand eastwards. Fraser says that basically Russia had no choice but to merge with Crimea, because of the Russian military facilities there. But Fraser is a little naive if he thinks that the current mess in Ukraine is the result of ‘failure of US diplomacy’, instead of what it really is: a naked, raw US power grab.
Fraser does not believe in a western defeat of the Islamic State nor that the West has any chance of long term success in Afghanistan. Furthermore, Fraser is afraid that an assertive nationalist and militarist Japan, possibly armed with long-range nuclear weapons in the near future, could become a catalyst for war between the US and China, now that the US has sided with Japan in the Chinese-Japanese dispute over the Senkaku/Diaoyu islands.
Fraser concludes that since the US could not win the conflict with Vietnam, it almost certainly can’t win a military conflict with China. And since Australia is allied to the US, Australia would become the defeated ally of a defeated superpower, without any friends in the region. In 1991, Australia was not as tightly integrated with the US as it is now, a development that Fraser deplores and was supported by both major Australian political parties.
Editor: as always, you need to read between the lines of what this Australian old political fox is saying. Fraser is clearly afraid of China. He does not believe in a second American Century. He fears that the United States will likely loose a military confrontation with China, if push comes to shove. And that by implication, the Australian Lebensraum automatically would become a tasty prey for the victorious Chinese superpower. And that Euro-Siberia, if that were to happen, won’t lift a finger to protect Australia (he is correct, they won’t).
Australia’s cards are very weak. Fraser admits that Australia has no friends, apart from the United States and yet pleads for Australia to distance itself from the only friend Australia has. And Euro-Siberia will be relieved to see Australia as a safety valve for Chinese expansionism, if any. Better Australia than Siberia, you hear them think.
[nationalinterest.org] – America: Australia’s Dangerous Ally
Published on Jul 12, 2013. The press presentation of Nuon Solar Team’s seventh solar car. The first four-wheeled Nuna, Nuna7.
The ‘Nuna7’ completed the 3000 km in 33 hours, that is an average speed of 90.7 kmh! The maximum speed recorded btw was 185 kmh. So far the Nuon Solar team participated seven times, won five times and became second twice.
First day: 566 km.
Key figures: 3000 km, ca. 50 hours driving, solar peak power ca 1000 Watt, 5 kWh storage (5 hours driving), max. speed 100 km/h, 4 passengers. Who needs fossil fuel (in Australia or Africa)!?
Entire day driven with 4 people. Average speed 97 km/h.
All updates here.
The Stella uses Marand in-wheel motors because of their superior efficiency. Weight of Stella is 380 kg, and battery capacity is 15 kWh.
Brisbane company Linc Energy recently released two reports, based on drilling and seismic exploration, estimating the amount of oil in the as yet untapped Arckaringa Basin surrounding Coober Pedy ranging from 3.5 billion to 233 billion barrels of oil.