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Archive for the category “storage”

How to Store Renewable Energy?


Gepubliceerd op 8 okt. 2018

Under your bed, in the attic even on your mobile phone, it seems there’s never enough storage. It turns out it’s also true of energy, particularly on sustainable energy.

Learn more about Total’s commitment to better energy :


Ahead on the program :
– Batteries, they put power in your hand help devices but could they unlock the true potential of renewable energy?
– Could air provide storage for renewable energy when you need it? It’s not just carbon dioxyde that causes environmental issues but also black carbon. We head to Berlin to look at the potential of green solutions.
– A journey to the land of Iceland, has carbon made his match?

The Next Big Opportunities in Energy Storage

Gepubliceerd op 13 dec. 2018

Global energy storage on the grid is expected to double what it is today by 2021. Countries such as Japan, India, Germany, the United Kingdom and the United States are preparing to take advantage of this shift through research, policy and integration. This webinar will discuss the rapid growth in interest, current trends in energy storage (particularly electrochemical), as well as markets involving the electricity grid.

Stanford Assistant Professor William Chueh shares:
-Emerging technologies on the horizon for energy storage
-New applications for energy storage
-Trends in the energy market (component costs, production, manufacturing)

Innolith – 1 kWh/kg Battery Breakthrough

The Swiss company Innolith claims to have developed a battery that can store 1.0 kWh per kg, that is three times as high as the Tesla-3 achieves, extending the range of a single charge to 1,000 km. Innolith expects that the innovation will hit the market in 3-5 years time. If true, the Asian and US competition would be crushed. Innolith has its HQ in Basel, Switzerland, but the innovation was developed in Bruchsal, Germany. The technology is based on Lithium-ion, but with modifications and the specs are almost too good to be true. 50,000 charge cycles, no exotic materials, no fire hazard. The innovation was enabled by using pure materials. Innolith wants to focus on reserach and development and outsource production under license.

Tellingly, Innolith has received endorsement by Microsoft’s principal battery engineer Walter van Schalkwijk.

[] – Walter van Schalkwijk
[] – Lithium Batteries: Advanced Technologies and Applications, van Schalkwijk e.a.

[] – Company site
[] – Swiss Startup Innolith Claims 1000 Wh/kg Battery Breakthrough
[] – A battery breakthrough?
[] – Electric car battery with 600 miles of range?
[] – Verhilft die deutsche Superbatterie dem E-Auto zum Durchbruch?

Energy Storage in Denmark


When it comes to renewable energy, Denmark is our favorite country. There are other countries with higher penetration of renewable energy, like Norway, Canada and Uruguay, but that doesn’t really count from a viewpoint of the transition, because these countries are blessed with low population densities and lots of hydro-power, old-school renewable energy, so to speak. Good for them but not applicable to all.

One of the prime candidates to become such a country is Denmark, the country from where the wind turbine revolution started in the 1970s. Denmark got rewarded for its farsightedness by now owning the most potent wind energy industry in the world, adding to the already considerable wealth of this Nordic nation.

[] – Wind power in Denmark

Denmark was a pioneer in developing commercial wind power during the 1970s, and today a substantial share of the wind turbines around the world are produced by Danish manufacturers such as Vestas and Siemens Wind Power along with many component suppliers. Wind power produced the equivalent of 42.1% of Denmark’s total electricity consumption in 2015, increased from 33% in 2013, and 39% in 2014. In 2012 the Danish government adopted a plan to increase the share of electricity production from wind to 50% by 2020, and to 84% in 2035. Denmark had the 6th best energy security in the world in 2014.

It can’t be stressed enough the importance of having at least one showcase of a country where the renewable energy transition has succeeded, in order to silence the numerous detractors of renewable energy, who claim that the transition can’t be done.

[] – Electricity sector in Denmark
[] – Solar power in Denmark
[] – Denmark

Denmark key stats: 5.8 million people, GDP per capita $53k (PPP), $66k (nominal), population density 135/km2, area 43k km2. Electricity consumption 2017: 33k GWh or 5.859 kWh/capita.
Share renewable electricity in 2017: 66%, consisting of 44% wind, 19% biomass and 3% solar.

Here a report about how Denmark thinks to tackle the storage problem, with the explicit aim to allow for much larger penetration of renewable electricity than the 43.4% they had from wind alone in 2017 and that is expected to rise to 50% by 2020. It tackles in a simulation study both electricital and thermal energy storage needs.

[] – Facilitating energy storage to allow high penetration of
intermittent renewable energy (pdf)

Liquified Metal Battery

[] – Donald Sadoway
[] – Molten-salt battery

More on Salt Water Batteries

Technical University of Delft – Green Village, salt water battery test facility.

It is no surprise that salt water batteries are attracting a lot of attention in Holland, a country famously lacking altitude differences and hence no possibilities for pumped hydro storage, although exotic work-arounds do exist.

[deepresource] – Green Village Taking Shape in Delft

Here a comparative battery storage price indication, from a German producer of salt water batteries.
Salt water batteries win with domestic battery storage cost of 11 euro cent/kWh, set off against a storage volume of a few kWh’s.

[] – A cost comparison of battery storage at a glance

[] – AIB Saltwater Battery – Aqueous Ion Exchange Battery

[] – Beyond lithium — the search for a better battery

Read more…

Delft University Green Village Initiative

Energy Vault

Gravity battery.

[] – Energie op te slaan in een blokkentoren

Saltwater Battery Key Figures

Efficiency with pure water: 80%, potentially 85-90%
Energy density: 12-24 kWh/m3
Discharge-power: 10 Watt/m2
Lifespan: 20-25 year

[] – Zoet-Zout Waterbatterij Wint Innovatieprijs

Energiespeicherung in Stationaeren und Mobilen Systemen

[] – Elektrochemische Speicher: Superkondensatoren, Batterien, Elektrolyse-Wasserstoff, Rechtliche Rahmenbedingungen

Energy Island in Zeeland with AquaBattery

New hydro storage plan, not pumped hydro storage but electro-chemical. An entire lake as one giant battery. A ring dike surrounds an inner lake at the same level as the surrounding sea. Under water there are large compartmentalized bags that contain acidic and basic water, separated by sea water. The separation between acidic and basic is brought about by renewable electricity that operates on the seawater and creates the separated acidic and basic water. If electricity is required the process is reversed. Size: 5 km diameter, 10 m deep. Total storage capacity: 300 GWh. That’s enough to cover all households in Zeeland for five days. With three energy islands all electricity needs of the Dutch province can be covered.

[] – Zeeuws energie-eiland houdt met enorme zeewaterbatterij licht aan in het hele land
[] – Corporate site
[deepresource] – Salt Water Battery
[] – Jiajun Cen, Cofounder, AquaBattery
[] – Energie-eiland in de Westerschelde

Up to 530,000 Potential Pumped Hydro Storage Locations


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.

[] – ANU finds 530,000 potential pumped-hydro sites worldwide
[] – Geographic information system algorithms to locate prospective sites for pumped hydro energy storage

Salt Water Batteries DIY

Salt Water Battery that Charges in Seconds and Changes Color

Charge and discharge in seconds. Note how the anode (left) turns from blue to transparent to blue again. The cathode (right) turn from green to brown to steel grey.

Development from the Imperial College in London: salt water battery that charges and discharges in a matter of seconds and changes color to indicate the charge status of the battery. No toxic or flammable materials used whatsoever, only polymers (plastic) and salt water.

[] – Nontoxic, Salt Water Battery Prototype Could Revolutionize Recyclable Batteries
[] – Design and evaluation of conjugated polymers with polar side chains as electrode materials for electrochemical energy storage in aqueous electrolytes

Salt Water Battery

Salt water batteries:

Low energy density: 12-24 kWh/m3 (not suitable for mobile applications).
Potentially 30% cheaper than Lithium-ion batteries.
Very environmental-friendly.
Easy to build.
Easy full recycling.
Not sensitive for large temperature changes.
Best suitable for low currents over a long duration.
Not much capacity installed yet, but they generate much interest.

[] – Sodium-ion battery
[] – Salt water battery
[] – Corporate site
[] – Ein Kostenvergleich von Batteriespeichern im Überblick
[] – Salzwasser, sonst (fast) nix
[] – Viel Sonne, wenig graue Energie
[] – Swedish school installs 24 kWh saltwater battery

Height 93 cm, width 31 cm, depth 33 cm, weight 140 kg

Corporate Off-Grid With HBr Flow Battery Storage

HBr batteries cost 5% of standard Lithium batteries.

A second option is sea salt batteries.

Ecovat – What’s new?

(Dutch language)

When talking about renewable energy, most people have associations with solar panels and wind turbines. The reality in Europe is though that 50% of the fossil energy budget is spent on space heating. Seasonal storage of heat offer perhaps the largest potential to really save on fossil fuel consumption. The Dutch startup Ecovat provides seasonal storage of heat solutions at a scale of a few hundred households. One 1,000 MWh Ecovat is the storage equivalent of 70,000 Tesla Ppowerwall 2. Ecovat estimates the market potential in the Netherlands of 2,000 vessels or more.

[deepresource] – Ecovat Update
[deepresource] – Ecovat Seasonal Heat Storage
[] – Duurzame Doeners – Het verhaal van Ecovat
[] – Na aardgas komt Ecovat

Ecovat system, suitable for projects in the order of 500 households

Ecovat data sheet: relationship size and storage capacity

XL Ecovat 800 apartments project (realization 2018). Diameter 45m. Concrete elements shipped by boat over adjacent canal.

Molten Salt Storage

Ammonia as the Fuel of the Future

The hydrogen economy may experience a revival, the old problems still exist. Hydrogen is, to put it mildly, not easy to handle. Fortunately there are derivatives from hydrogen as an energy storage medium, that solve some of the hydrogen problems. Ammonia is one of them. A new impetus in that direction comes from the university of Aarhus in Denmark. The progress made entails improved methods of producing N2 and H2 without fossil fuel. Ammonia (NH3) is subsequently produced in the conventional way and is to be burned as a liquid fuel in a fuel cell. Ammonia is to be produced solely with the ingredients electricity, water and air. The projects is concentrating on heavy traffic (ships, trains).

The German company MAN is planning to have an ammonia-fueled marine engine operational by 2022.

Challenges that remain: low flammability and incomplete combustion of ammonia, resulting in undesirable NOx emissions. Ammonia is toxic for humans

[] – AU researchers develop the carbon-free fuel of the future from air, water and electricity
[] – the “perps”
[] – The Potential Of Ammonia As Carbon-Free Fuel — Major New Research Project At The University Of Aarhus
[] – Ship Operation Using LPG and Ammonia As Fuel on MAN B&W Dual Fuel ME-LGIP Engines
[] – MAN Energy Solutions: an ammonia engine for the maritime sector
[] – MAN corporate site

[deepresource] – Ammonia (NH3) as Storage Medium for Renewable Energy
[deepresource] – First Climate Neutral Power Station in The Netherlands
[deepresource] – The Netherlands is Placing its Bets on the Hydrogen Economy

Regeneration of Spent NaBH4 From Renewable Electricity

7 steps in the traditional Brown-Schlesinger process for industrial production of NaBH4. (Borax = Na2B4O5(OH)4 · 8 H2O)

Taiwanese research from 2015 regarding the recycling of spent NaBH4, i.e. after this reaction has occurred and the hydrogen has been released:

NaBH4 + 2H2O → [catalyst] NaBO2 + 4H2 + 217kJ

The question is: how do we get NaBH4 back in the most energy-efficient manner and close the fuel cycle?. The traditional answer is: via the Brown-Schlesinger process. The electrolysis of molten NaCl in order to obtain metallic Na (Sodium) is an important step in that process. An alternative approach is presented here, namely producing metallic sodium through electrolysis of seawater.

Candidate metal borohydrides for hydrogen storage: LiBH4, NaBH4, KBH4, LiH, NaH, and MgH2. Of these NaBH4 is the prime candidate because of its higher hydrogen content (i.e., 10.8 wt%).

Traditional industrial method of producing NaBH4 according to the Brown-Schlesinger process (see picture above):

Step 1. Hydrogen produced from steam reforming of methane.
Step 2. Metallic sodium obtained through the electrolysis of sodium chloride.
Step 3. Boric acid converted from borax.
Step 4. Trimethyl borate synthesized from esterification of boric acid in methanol.
Step 5. Sodium hydride produced from metallic sodium reacting with hydrogen.
Step 6. Synthesis of NaBH4 via the reaction of trimethyl borate with sodium hydride.
Step 7. Methanol recycled from the hydrolysis of sodium methoxide.

The original fuel cycle, based on sodium borohydride (NaBH4) and ammonia borane (NH3BH3).

The revision in the concept combining the regeneration of the spent borohydrides and the used catalysts with the green electricity is reflected in(1) that metallic sodium could be produced from NaCl of high purity obtained from the conversion of the byproduct in the synthesis of NH3BH3 to devoid the complicated purification procedures if produced from seawater; and (2) that the recycling and the regeneration processes of the spent NaBH4 and NH3BH3 as well as the used catalysts could be simultaneously carried out and combined with the proposed life cycle of borohydrides.

[] – The Concept about the Regeneration of Spent Borohydrides and Used Catalysts from Green Electricity

Note that this research was published before H2-Fuel came out in the open about their method of extracting as much hydrogen as possible from NaBH4, namely via ultra-pure water and limited amounts of HCL.

[deepresource] – Production of NaBH4
[deepresource] – NaBH4 – The Vice-Admiral Has a Message for Dutch Parliament
[deepresource] – H2Fuel – Hydrogen Powder NaBH4

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