Modelling wind turbines and pumped-storage hydro for renewables-only 24/7 electrical power

Discussion in 'Architecture & Engineering' started by Scottish Scientist, Apr 9, 2015.

  1. Kittamaru Now nearly 40 pounds lighter. Staff Member

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    So your issue isn't with Musk or Tesla, but rather the media for not knowing what they were talking about. Musk has said, repeatedly, that this is meant as a test bed and as something to help with peak load demand and power leveling; he has no more control over people misunderstanding him than your or I do over the moon rising.

    ... by the media. Don't attribute things to Tesla that were never said - it just makes you look foolish and gets peoples hackles up.

    Again, you are blaming Tesla for something they didn't do. Their explanation was pretty thorough... if you want to go after a snake oil salesmen, well, I gave you a few examples, yet you have been oddly silent on them.
     
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  3. Baldeee Valued Senior Member

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    So too small to do a job it hasn't been designed to do.
    Fair enough.

    I must remember to castigate all projects for not solving problems they were never envisaged to solve.

    Do your designs solve world hunger?

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  5. Kittamaru Now nearly 40 pounds lighter. Staff Member

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    It feels like he thinks this battery bank is meant to be able to take the place of the Wind Farm entirely in times of peak load... which it isn't. I think that's the big disconnect here.
     
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  7. Scottish Scientist Registered Member

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    Great minds think alike. Here's my proposal for California's pumped-storage needs.

    Edmonston Pumped Storage Hydro Scheme (Energy storage 500GWh, power anything from the modest power Edmonston Pumped Plant uses now (835MW) up to all the power California can generate - 45GW or more) .

    This is my proposal to upgrade the Edmonston Pumping Plant to dual-use as a pumped-storage hydro scheme.

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    Such a scheme requires a new dam to create an upper reservoir (an example location is shown in the map above) and a new lower reservoir (not shown) at the same elevation as the Edmonston Pumping Plant.

    An intake tower with intake pump sited at Pastoria Siphon allows for a greater reservoir working depth and a working volume percentage of over 60%.

    The Upper Reservoir

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    A much smaller reservoir than the one shown here would suit Edmonston's existing power and tunnel flow capacities in better proportion, but I have suggested such a large reservoir here for use with the possible much bigger pumped hydro scheme projects, to increase power by multiple factors, installing new pumps and turbines and increasing the flow capacity between Edmonston and the upper reservoir, whether by making new tunnels or by using surface pipes.

    Such a large reservoir as that shown here would require a fill time of 48 days at Edmonston's current full pumping rate, or 4 months 23 days at 1/3 of flow for filling, 2/3 of flow for water customers.

    So the minimum project would be with a much smaller reservoir than the one shown, that would fill up and empty much more quickly - in days rather than months -using the same pumps and tunnels as now and installing generating turbines to suit.

    The site appears to be suitable for modest or very ambitious schemes.

    For the future needs of California to transition to 100% renewable energy, ambitious energy storage schemes will be required and that's why I am thinking big here.

    What should be clear to us all - is that pumped storage hydro is the method of choice to store large quantities of electrical energy from the electricity grid. So if this is not done here at Edmonston then California may have to consider similar plans to do something similar at Lake Elsinore and other places that are suitable for large capacity energy storage. Electric batteries simply don't have the energy storage capacity needed to store all the solar and wind energy that we will need to store.

    _____
    In case you are wondering why a Scottish Scientist has taken such an interest in California's electricity needs, I'm simply following the lead of Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon and California's governor Jerry Brown who have made an agreement that California and Scotland should cooperate with such matters.

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    BBC:Sturgeon signs climate agreement with California

    Before leaving the topic I wish to note that California ought to harvest wood for biomass fuel in power stations to use as back-up power for intermittent solar and wind power.

    In one fell swoop, wood for biomass fuel, would solve the wild-fire problem and enable a rapid transition to 100% renewable energy grid, meeting climate change targets.

    While the sun goes down and the wind is becalmed, the biomass furnaces are firing up and getting steam up from cold, which is when the system needs some increased energy storage to keep the lights on, from
    * pumped-storage hydroelectricity
    * power to gas (hydrogen)

    But batteries can't cut it - they don't have enough energy storage capacity at low cost.
     
  8. Kittamaru Now nearly 40 pounds lighter. Staff Member

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    You keep insisting batteries can't cut it (and it feels like you are saying they never will). Here's a question though; as land acreage continues to increase in value due to development et al, what is the residual cost of cordoning off such a huge swatch of land for an artificial reservoir? Are there better ways to store this water for a pumped-hydro plant, or perhaps better ways to store the energy overall?

    As for 'harvesting the wood' for biomass and the like - that's a great idea, but a non-starter currently due to the issues with getting into the regions in question. Most heavy equipment simply can't get in there, and manhandling the logs out would be quite the endeavor, and one that simply wouldn't be profitable. I don't think you could convince most companies that it would be a worthwhile endeavor, sadly, even with the 1-2 punch of reducing wildfire fuel and providing biomass for wood-gas or other types of plants.
     
  9. billvon Valued Senior Member

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    That's fine.

    Maybe someday pumped hydro will get off the ground and serve as a good buffer for unreliable generation. In the meantime, we will continue to install those batteries that "can't cut it" to do the same.
     

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