Siemens Gamesa Renewable Energy (SGRE) has commissioned a pilot electric thermal energy storage system (ETES) in Hamburg-Altenwerder, Germany.
– Storage capacity: 130 MWh for a week. Scaling into the GWh range is possible.
– Storage material: 1,000 ton volcanic rock.
– Storage temperature: 750°C/1382 °F.
– Efficiency: up to 50% (25% total cycle efficiency Hamburg pilot).
– Capital expenditure is up to ten times lower than batteries.
Efficiency is lower than with pumped hydro-storage, the trade-off is lower installation cost.
[siemensgamesa.com] – World first: Siemens Gamesa begins operation of its innovative electrothermal energy storage system
[windenergietage.de] – Electric Thermal Energy Storage (ETES)
[ec.europa.eu] – ETES Energy storage to the next level
[cleantechnica.com] – Siemens Gamesa Unveils World First Electrothermal Energy Storage System
Air-conditioning, how it all began in 1833 in Florida with John Gorrie.
Ca. 20% of the world’s energy budget is used for cooling, tendency upwards. Today most refrigerators use flammable hydro-fluorocarbons and hydrocarbons as a working fluid, not exactly environmentally friendly. On top of that, cooling efficiency is not stellar either.
Researchers from Spanish and British universities propose to swap the working fluids mentioned above, with inexpensive neopentyl-glycol (NPG), a material that has a crystal structure, that places it between solids and liquids, due to weak bonds between the atoms of the compound. The material can be compressed, almost as if it were a gas, like with conventional refrigerators. Achievable cooling temperatures are comparable with conventional cooling machines.
[sciencedaily.com] – Green material for refrigeration identified
[nature.com] – Colossal barocaloric effects near room temperature in plastic crystals of neopentylglycol
[wikipedia.org] – Refrigeration
[wikipedia.org] – Neopentyl-glycol
It has been reported that plastic crystals of neopentyl glycol exhibit a colossal barocaloric effect (CBCEs), which is a cooling effect caused by pressure-induced phase transitions. The obtained entropy changes are about 389 joules per kilogram per kelvin near room temperature. This CBCE phenomenon is likely to be very useful in future solid-state refrigeration technologies.
A Spanish company called Zero2Infinity prepares to revolutionize the way satellites can be brought into orbit, in a very low-cost and environmentally friendly way: rocket + balloon = rockoon.
Bloostar is a launch vehicle currently in development, intended to compete in the small satellite launch market. It is based on the rockoon concept: the first stage of the ascent is conducted by the use of a high-altitude balloon up to 30 km (19 mi), where the rocket platform is ignited and detached from the balloon to insert the payload into orbit. The design is intended to be capable of delivering a 140 kg payload to a 200-km low Earth orbit, or a 75 kg payload to a 600-km sun-synchronous orbit
In a thinly veiled swipe against Jeff Bezos, the Spanish assert:
From the public to the gurus of aerospace, most people still think that Space will remain the realm of a few superpowers, large defense contractors and the odd billionaire…
It could get very crowded up in the skies.
[zero2infinity] – Company site
[wikipedia.org] – Zero 2 Infinity
[twitter.com] – Bloostar
[vimeo.com] – Bloostar, the New Space revolution
[zero2infinity] – Bloostar, the physics
[space.com] – Zero 2 Infinity Gets 3D-Printed Engine Part for Bloostar Launch Vehicle
[spacenews.com] – Zero 2 Infinity conducts first flight test of Bloostar balloon-assisted launcher
First test March 2017
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
[source] La Mancha, Don Quixote and Windmills. Nobody fighting the Spanish wind mills this time around.
The wind is blowing in the right direction for the European wind industry these days. 3 giant 1.2 GW wind projects have been given the green light, one Spanish onshore in North-East Aragon and two offshore in the North Sea off the coast of England: Hornsea I and East Anglia III, the first with 7MW Siemens wind turbines. The British projects are supposed to be completed by 2020 and 2025 respectively.
[wikipedia.org] – Hornsea Wind Farm
[wikipedia.org] – East Anglia Array
[reuters.com] – ScottishPower Renewables gets planning approval for 1.2 GW offshore windfarm
[genewsroom.com] – Forestalia Selects GE Renewable Energy to Provide 1.2 GW Wind Power in the Largest European Auction to Date
[renewablesnow.com] – Dong makes final investment decision on 1.2-GW wind project off UK
[ge.com] – Generation Next: Wind Already More Powerful Than All Nuclear Plants Combined
For the first time in history, Spanish windturbines over a period of three months produced more electricity than any other source.
EU wind power ranking (EU = 100%):
Germany – 31%, or 29.1 GW
Spain – 23%, or 21.7 GW
France, Italy and the UK — 7% each
Spain in absolute terms is the fourth ‘wind power’ in the world.
2020 objective for Spain: 35 GW.
2020: 100 GW
2030: 150 GW
[www.ewea.org] – EWEA wind power statistics (pdf)
Youtube text: A unique thermosolar power station in southern Spain can shrug off cloudy days: energy stored when the sun shines lets it produce electricity even during the night. The Gemasolar station, up and running since last May, stands out in the plains of Andalusia.
Tower 140 m high, power 19.9 MW, uses molten salt as heat transfer and storage medium. 2650 heliostats, each 120 m2. Gemasolar is the first commercial solar plant with central tower receiver and molten salt heat storage technology. Due to its storage system it allows to produce electricity for 15 hours without sunlight (at night or on cloudy days).
“Spain is probably set to have Europe’s first utility- scale solar parks without subsidies“, according to Jenny Chase, the Zurich-based head of solar energy analysis at Bloomberg New Energy Finance. Main reason: Solar-cell prices came down 67% during the past two years, not in the least due to Chinese overproduction. Spain has been winding down subsidies on solar. Currently there are application for plants with 150 megawatts to 500 megawatts in capacity and all would be larger than any in Europe. Developers: local companies Solaria and Gestamp Renewables, as well as Germany’s Gehrlicher Solar AG, S.A.G. Solarstrom AG and Wuerth Solar GmbH & Co. Installed solar capacity to date: Germany 30 GW, Italy 15 GW, Spain 5 GW and the US 4 GW.
Compare this graph with a post from May this year to see that Germany is making progress with breakneck-speed. And clearly, if a country can cover 50% of its electricity needs from solar during peak hours, it also can cover 100%, provided sufficient storage facilities are available. The big difference between Germany and the US probably largely has to do with cost.
Here is an article with a lot of solar data, like cost.
The Financial Times yesterday published an article “Euro crisis fuels Spanish separatism” and is discussed in the economicpolicyjournal, nationalreview and many other places. As a general rule, political entities are likely to face major upheavels and/or disintegration or other restructuring, once the ruling center has screwed up. Think of the Czar in Russia after the lost war against Germany in 1917, likewise the Ottoman empire, the abdication of the German emperor, the disintegration of Yugoslavia after the communist ideology evaporated, the breakaway of several Arab countries, like Egypt, from Pax Americana (Arab Spring), etc., etc.
The Andasol solar power station is Europe’s first commercial parabolic trough solar thermal power plant, located near Guadix in Andalusia, Spain. Because of the high altitude (1,100 m) and the semi-arid climate, the site has exceptionally high annual direct insolation of 2,200 kWh/m² per year. Read more…