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Archive for the category “storage”

Storage Breakthrough – $100/kWh has been achieved

Cheap storage to counter the intermittent supply of renewable electricity is the missing link en route towards the desired renewable energy base of the future, but that problem could now have been solved. Technology has developed so rapidly in recent years that cost of electricity storage has been brought down from $1000 to $100 per kWh.

City College NY has improved an old concept of mangandioxide-zinc batteries. Result: 6000 charge-cycles for less than $100/kwh.
Price storage of a single kWh: 1.67 dollar cent or say 8 cent per day per 5 kWh/day household. Peanuts.
Can also be used for cars: 40 kWh battery for $4000. Bye-bye gasoline.

Mangan-Oxid is abundant and non-toxic.
This NYC startup is going to produce the batteries first:


[] – Sustainable, high energy density battery created
[] – Regenerable Cu-intercalated MnO2 layered cathode for highly cyclable energy dense batteries
[] – Unexpected discovery leads to a better battery
[] – Power dense zinc-manganese power unit as cheap as a car battery
[] – Manganese
[] – Zinc
[] – Batterijdoorbraak: magische grens van 100 dollar is geslecht

Power to Gas

Storage of intermittent renewable energy is one of the core challenges that needs to be addressed to make the energy transition away from fossil fuel work. Pumped hydro is a reliable method, but this requires the presence of mountains and valleys and these are in overpopulated Europe in short supply. Another approach is the conversion of renewable electricity into gas, like H2, CH4, CO, etc. “Power-to-gas”.

Read more…

New Renewable Power Storage Method


Tests have been completed in the German Bodensee with a 20 ton, 3 meter concrete hollow sphere, sunk to the bottom of the lake. When water flows into the sphere, electricity can be generated. Alternatively, wind power can be used to empty the sphere again and as such (virtually) load the battery again. Future dimensions are thought to be 20 meter or lager (4,200 m3 volume). Assuming 100 meter of water above the sphere, that’s an amount of storage energy 1167 kWh or 86 Tesla Powerwall 2.

[] – Riesige Betonkugel speichert Energie


Hamburg Considers Large Scale Storage of Heat


The key challenge with setting up a 100% renewable energy base is providing storage facilities. This applies to intermittent supply of electricity via wind and PV-solar, that needs to be matched with equally intermittent demand. The same consideration applies to space heating, the demand of which currently is mostly covered via fossil fuel. If you want to phase out fossil fuel for space heating, you will need to get serious about seasonal storage of heat: trapping solar heat in the summer, use it to heat large bodies of soil and withdraw these Joules in the Winter.

The city of Hamburg is considering a large scale heat storage that should cover 25% of Hamburgs needs. For the moment the buffer would be charged with industrial waste heat from fossil sources. But once realized the storage bugger could be fed with thermal solar as well.

Estimated cost: 4 cent/kwh, half of the price customers currently pay for district heating.

[] – Hamburg considers innovative heat storage scheme

MERITS Seasonal Heat Storage Breakthrough

Everybody prefers to talk about wind and PV-solar when it comes to renewable energy. The reality is that electricity is only a relatively small part of the energy consumption of private households. Take the Netherlands:

[] – Energieverbruik door huishoudens, 1990-2013

Natural gas: 3/4 (space heating, cooking, bath)
Electricity: 1/4 (lights, TV, fridge, freezer, router, etc)

In other words: the greater challenge is to replace fossil fuel for heating purposes with renewable sources. Two major renewable sources for heating are
1) thermal solar
2) geothermal

The problem with thermal solar is the mismatch between supply and demand. You need heat in the Winter but the sun shines mostly in the Summer. Apparently a major breakthrough has been achieved in storing large amounts of solar heat in molten salts.

[] – Developing a compact rechargable heat battery
[] – Merits in slides
[] – Thermal energy storage

Breakthrough Battery Technology: $65/kWh


US researchers at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology have developed a liquid metal battery that could fulfil that role. Such a battery would lower the overall costs of energy storage, and have the advantages that they are mechanically simple and don’t take up much space… Indeed, the team’s experiments with this novel storage system carried out at 450°C displayed a current density of 275mA/cm2, with a cycling efficiency of 98% on charging and 73% ‘round-trip’ energy efficiency… The team’s experiments completely charging and discharging their battery over 450 cycles over 75 days suggests that the battery will still have 85% of its initial storage capacity after 10 years active service… The team adds that at today’s prices, the electrode materials costs are approximately $65/kWh.

Editor: is this is true and no serious (environmental) disadvantages come with this technology, this could mean the final breakthrough for wind and solar.

[] – Molten metal batteries set to store grid power

[deepresource] – Tesla Storage for $350/kWh
[deepresource] – 160$/kwh Storage in 2016
[deepresource] – Storage For Less Than $100/kWh

Belgian Offshore Storage Solution

Die Energie-Insel aus der Luft.

Die Energie-Insel aus der Luft.

Vom Strand aus gesehenView from the Belgian beach

The idea is not new: build a circular dike in the sea and pump water out of it with energy from wind turbines for storage purposes if there is no actual demand for energy, like during the night. Let water flow back in again, propelling turbines to generate energy on the moment that you need it.

In 1981 the Dutch engineer Lievense presented the plan for this type of storage, but that was 1981 (when we heard him present his plans at our university) and now is 2015, where the energy problem has become acute. Decision for a go ahead: this summer.

Key data:

Discharge capacity: 500 MW for four hours
Max. difference water levels: 30 meter

In Europe, the on-land hydro storage capacity has been largely exhausted. Exception: Norway and Iceland.

[] – Belgien plant “iLand” in der Nordsee
[] – Wo unser Strom in Zukunft herkommen wird
[] – Grid energy storage

plan-lievense[source] Original Plan Lievense

lievenseLuc Lievense

Read more…

Samsung 8 kWh Storage


Residential energy storage systems of 8.0 kWh and 5.5 kWh were recently introduced by Samsung SDI at Intersolar Europe 2015 in Munich, Germany. The two new systems were designed to work well with electricity generated by solar PV power, and they use lithium-ion batteries. There is a product warranty for 5 years and a performance guarantee for 10.



Now You’re Talking: Tesla Storage for $350/kWh

teslaTesla storage home wall (sort of king-size Apple computer mouse; we reluctantly picked a photo with a car to give you an idea of the size)

Tesla’s selling price to installers is $3500 for 10kWh and $3000 for 7kWh. (Price excludes inverter and installation.) Deliveries begin in late Summer.

[] – The killer feature of Tesla’s Powerwall is the price
[] – Tesla’s Home Battery Offering In Context
[] – Energy Storage for a Sustainable Home
[] – Batterie für Selbstversorger

Energy equivalent is one liter gasoline

JuiceBox 8.6 kWh Storage


The US company JuiceBoxSolar brought a 8.6 kWh energy storage system to the market, specifically designed to support a domestic solar system. This kind of storage provides for the missing link between electricity production during the day and electricity consumption at night, when people return home from work. The system is advertised as maintenance free for a minimum of ten years and can be installed outdoors, against a wall.

Editor: the price is still a mystery and for that reason probably high.

[data sheet]

160$/kwh Storage in 2016

In October last year we reported that storage of less than 100$/kwh was in the cards, now EOS announces that a 160$/kwh milestone could be reached next year, for large scale storage.

In comparison, your average $135 fully charged car battery has a capacity of something like 0.6 kwh, that’s $225/kwh. Energy efficiency battery storage: better than 90%.

[] – Eos Energy Storage’s Aurora Battery System Commercially Available In 2016, At $160/kWh

EOS Aurora 1000 | 4000 [source]

Compressed Air Energy Storage

Storing electricity safely, efficiently and in large amounts that is one of the greatest challenges for the power supply of the future. RWE Power, General Electric, Züblin and DLR are facing this task in the ADELE project.

Located in McIntosh, Ala., PowerSouth’s McIntosh Power Plant currently includes four natural-gas fired combustion turbines and the United States’ only Compressed Air Energy Storage (CAES) unit. The Plant’s first two natural-gas units went commercial in 1998, with a capacity of 240 megawatts. The second set of two natural-gas units went commercial in 2010, with a capacity of 360 megawatts. The CAES facility has a capacity of 110 megawatts. Total plant capacity is 710 megawatts — enough electricity to power approximately 710,000 homes. The natural-gas fired, simple-cycle units are classified as peaking units. They are designed to provide additional electricity to the PowerSouth system during “peak” usage periods — usually short periods of time during early morning or evening hours. The McIntosh Plant’s turbines and generators offer simple-cycle technology with short start-up time, making them suitable for continuous, peaking and emergency operation.

[] – Compressed air energy storage
[] – Compressed Air Energy Storage

The principle: demonstration of a small compressed air battery. The bottle stores compressed air. The high speed air from the bottle moves a turbine connected to a DC motor who acts as a dynamo. This turbine-motor comes from a home hairdryer.

Younicos Storage

Younicos combines storage and software, resulting in very fast response times to changes in supply and demand.


Read more…

Short Term Battery Storage Could Eliminate Need Fossil-Based Backup Capacity

Battersea power station in London

Earlier we reported about considerable progress being made in bringing down the price of storage of electrical energy. This could greatly reduce the need for maintaining fossil fuel based backup capacity. In the modern grid there is always spare capacity standing by, that can be switched on quickly to meet varying demand patterns. If indeed the cost of storage could be brought down to ca. 100-200$/kwh, than the need for the spare capacity mentioned above could be considerable reduced and backup power stations can be closed.

And it is not just batteries that will replace the need for backup generation capacity, there is also the option of pumped hydro storage, that could cover both short and medium term storage capacity.

[] – Energy Storage Will Soon Replace Simple Cycle Combustion Turbine Peaker Plants

Storage For Less Than $100/kWh


Large investment banks keep reporting about technological progress made in the realm of batteries. That large institutions like UBS, HSBC and Citigroup are paying attention to developments in this field should be an indication that something real is going on; after all, these folks consider themselves as too expensive to waste time on topics that does not promise revenue.

Last week, Citigroup claimed a threshold of $230/kWh would be sufficient to put fossil fuel out of business (in combination with renewable energy generation, like wind and solar). Now UBS has produced a report, stating that $230/kWh could actually be achieved within two to three years and that $100/kWh could be possible in the long term.

As a consequence, the market for storage is expected to grow rapidly in the coming years. UBS: between 2014-2020 with a factor 50. These batteries could be used to bridge the gap between renewable energy production from solar panels during the day and consumption in the evening, lessening the dependency on the grid.

Potential applications:

  • Transportation (electric vehicles)
  • Utilities (swift response to sudden changes in demand)
  • Distributed storage (households with solar panels)

[] – original article (download problems)

Editor: news like this shows that the world does not really have an energy problem in the very long term; the solar economy is not an utopia. The real problem is how to arrive at the renewable energy Nirvana on time. All the indications are that we are simply too late for a smooth transition and that financial and subsequent economic collapse, armed conflicts and geopolitical upheavals will stand in the way. Brace yourself for a bumpy ride.

Pumped Hydro Storage

Large energy storage facilities are an essential ingredient of future renewable energy systems to filter out unpredictable supply of renewable energy. Here a few videos about pumped hydro storage systems.

[] – List of existing and planned pumped hydro power stations

Read more…

Solar Fuels

It won’t be long before so many solar panels will have been installed that the intermittent character of solar supply is going to be a real problem. Solution: storage. Which storage? Batteries are cumbersome, have limited capacity and often contain poisonous materials. The alternative is to convert solar electricity into chemicals, either direct or indirect via electricity or biomass.


Read more…

Gravity Power Energy Storage

Youtube text: Published on Mar 11, 2013. The next few decades will herald a global change in energy production. The age of renewables requires more than just photovoltaics and windmills: it needs storage systems in an unprecedented volume. However, conventional techniques of storage fail due to the high investments or the low efficiency. This appears to be a stumbling block for the desired change to renewable energy.

His proposed hydraulic hydro storage system gives us a chance to store thousands of GWh at low cost and low environmental impact. The simple yet riveting idea is to lift a rock the size of a soccer stadium using established technologies thereby storing energy. Due to the fact that underground rocks are practically unlimited, the global change to solar power can continue.

[slides lecture]
[Lenz Blog]

Youtube text: Gravity Power will discuss its energy storage power plants in comparison to combustion turbine plants and other storage for peaking and ancillary services power. The “Gravity Power Module” (GPM) hydraulically lifts a massive piston inside a deep vertical shaft to store energy, and releases the piston on demand to force water through a hydro turbine. Early units will supply 40-150 MW for 4 hours or more. The Company plans to sell turnkey plants, operate and maintain and joint venture or license technology in strategic markets. It is working with developers in Texas, California, New York, the Mid-East, South Africa, India, China, Turkey, France, Germany and Mexico to progress demonstration projects and commercial installations, the first to be completed in 2013.

European Supergrid Submarine Cables – Inventory & Plans

An essential part of the solution to Europe’s energy problems is the European Supergrid. It means that all European countries will be interconnected to even out demand and supply patterns. Most countries in continental Europe are already strongly interconnected. A missing link though are connections to the country that could serve as ‘Europe’s battery pack‘: Norway.

purple – existing connections
yellow – planned connections

The first subsea connection was between Norway and The Netherlands: NorNed. Others followed like BritNed.

The Germans also have plans to link Germany with Norway: NorGer and NORD.LINK. NorGer plans got concrete by December 2012.

Siemens to increase power transmission capacity between England[source]
Siemens has won a 1.1 billion euro contract to connect England and Scotland (420 km, 2200 megawatts bi-directional, late 2015).

SSE’S Norway Interconnector Project. Meanwhile, SSE has withdrawn from the project. NorthConnect‘s other partners, Sweden’s Vattenfall and Norwegian companies E-CO Energi, Agder Energi and Lyse, said it would not affect their plans. NorthConnect has the support of Alex Salmond, the First Minister of Scotland, the man pushing for Scottish independence.

[] – NorthConnect Won’t Cancel Plan for U.K.-Norway Electricity Cable.

Iceland is considering building the world’s longest subsea power cable by around 2020 to take advantage of its abundant geothermal energy to supply Britain with green power, the head of the state-run electricity producer said. “We can serve as a green battery for the U.K.,” Hordur Arnarson, the chief executive of Landsvirkjun said in an interview… Landsvirkjun expects to make a final investment decision on the 1,000 kilometre subsea cable by 2015-2016… McKinsey & Co. estimates it (Iceland) is harnessing only 20 to 25 per cent of its hydro and geothermal energy potential… Mr. Arnarson declined to cite a figure for the costs of construction, which would take five years and would entail laying cable 3,000 metres underwater in some areas. The longest subsea cable currently in operation is the 580-kilometre NorNed link from Norway to the Netherlands, which was completed in 2008 and cost €600-million ($784-million U.S.).

[] – Iceland revives plans for world’s longest subsea power cable, Jan 9, 2013.

Now even Israel wants to get connected to Europe (Greece), to start with Cyprus.
The cable’s total length measures 870km (540 miles) and its depth is over 2,000 meters (656 feet). Between Israel and Cyprus, the cable will be 270km long. Electricity will flow in both directions at a capacity of up to 2,000MW. Another cable will connect Cyprus and Crete which forms part of the Greek electricity grid. As a result, Israel will be connected to the European electricity grid.


Norway Europe’s Green Battery

Youtube text – Uploaded October 12, 2011 – Olav Hohmeyer is a professor in energy and natural resource sciences at the University of Flensburg. He is a member of the German Advisory Council on the Environment. They have recently given recommendations to the German government on pathways towards a 100 per cent renewable energy system by 2050. He will explain the key findings of this work and emphasize how Norwegian hydropower may play an important role to help Germany become 100 per cent renewable.

The big advantage of hydro storage is that it can be regulated on short notice. The total storage capacity in the Norwegian hydro system is about 84 TWh. The current German yearly electricity consumption is in the order of 500 TWh. The strictly theoretical maximum amount of Norwegian mainland hydropower production is 600 TWh. A more realistic figure is 200 TWh.
[source] – Hydro Electricity and Storage Capabilities in Norway – can they be useful for Europe? [pdf, 15p]


[] – Ulla-Førre, largest reservoir in Norway, capacity 7.8 TWh.

Norway subsea power connections (purple = existing cables)

More videos with prof. Olav Hohmeyer:

Uploaded 8 nov 2012 – „Die Showcity Flensburg ist ein Baustein, der den öffentlichen Nahverkehr attraktiver macht.” — Nobelpreisträger Prof. Dr. Olav Hohmeyer kommentiert das Projekt vor dem Hintergrund des Klimaschutzes.

Uploaded 3 nov 2010 – Nach der beschlossenen Verlängerung der Laufzeiten für Kernkraftwerke befürchten Kritiker, dass der Ausbau Erneuerbarer Energien ins Stocken geraten könnte. Olav Hohmeyer, Professor für Energie- und Ressourcenwirtschaft an der Universität Flensburg und Mitglied des Weltklimarats IPCC, beschreibt die Hintergründe der von ihm beobachteten Verzögerung beim Ausbau der Offshore-Windparks.

Uploaded 21 aug 2011 nano: Bericht 14.03.2011 Die Brücke stand schon “Brückentechnologie Atomkraft nicht notwendig” “Die Brücke zu erneuerbaren Energien stand bereits”, so Prof. Olav Hohmeyer vom Sachverständigenrat für Umweltfragen in Deutschland.

Geupload op 11 jun 2011 – Mittwoch, 08.06.2011 um 23:35 im Ersten So viel Energie steckte noch nie in der Diskussion um die Zukunft. Die Frage ist nicht mehr, ob wir die Atomkraftwerke abschalten können, sondern wie und wie schnell. 2022, 2020? Oder gar 2015, wie Gutachten renommierter Experten nahelegen. Prof. Olav Hohmeyer vom Zentrum für nachhaltige Energiesysteme in Flensburg ist sicher, dass bereits ab Anfang 2015 Deutschland zu jedem Zeitpunkt ohne Atomstrom versorgt werden kann, auch ohne Zukäufe aus dem Ausland. Es gebe keine regionalen Versorgungsengpässe und auch zu Zeiten der Jahreshöchstlast – meist einem Abend im Dezember – ist Strom für jeden Verbraucher in Deutschland gewährleistet. Die Kosten? Das Abschalten aller Atomkraftwerke in Deutschland wird den Durchschnittshaushalt allenfalls um einige Euro im Monat belasten. Für einen Zeitraum werden wir Kohle- und Gaskraftwerke vermehrt nutzen müssen, mit erhöhtem CO2-Ausstoß für einige Jahre. Danach wird die Klimabilanz aber wesentlich besser aussehen, als die Politik sie bisher geplant hat. Deutschland könnte spätestens 2050 seinen Strom komplett regenerativ herstellen. Mit politischer und gesellschaftlicher Bereitschaft ist dieses Ziel aber schon wesentlich früher zu erreichen.

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