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Comment: Re:Nature NEEDS batteries everywhere! (Score 1) 329

by Neil Boekend (#49576531) Attached to: Why Our Antiquated Power Grid Needs Battery Storage

Indeed. However, when we increase the use of batteries the price of lithium will go up as a result. That almost inevitably causes investment in lithium battery recycling.
No need to put the used batteries in landfills. Soon we'll be digging the ones already in there out to make new batteries.

Comment: Re:Talk about creating a demand (Score 1) 329

by Neil Boekend (#49576217) Attached to: Why Our Antiquated Power Grid Needs Battery Storage

Granted it takes a while. but over time electric cables wear out.
Nope.

Then you have the insulation materials which ear out faster, when those break you get shorts.

Nope. Long distance high voltage lines are not even insulated. They last for ever unless they corrode.

Long distance cables are insulated. Insulated by air.
A cable that was designed to be insulated by PVC is not going to be useful once the PVC degrades. And PVC degrades. Granted it degrades extremely slowly but if you fast forward a couple of centuries air exposed PVC insulation will be mostly gone. Quicker if it is also exposed to sunlight or temperature swings.
Much quicker if it is exposed to wind with some particulate in it (sand is always fun).

Comment: Re:Talk about creating a demand (Score 1) 329

by Neil Boekend (#49575937) Attached to: Why Our Antiquated Power Grid Needs Battery Storage

BTW Lithium processing is particularly environmentally nasty

Do you mean that particular large dead area around the lithium mines? Yeah, that's there because the ground in that area has high levels of lithium in it. The levels are so high that plants can't grow.
It is the reason the lithium mines are built there. Not the consequence.
Now the process isn't particularly nice and in any other environment the current extraction method would be heavily polluting but since the areas were dead already I can't really care less.

Comment: Re:Talk about creating a demand (Score 1) 329

by Neil Boekend (#49575773) Attached to: Why Our Antiquated Power Grid Needs Battery Storage

That grid would need a really large diameter and length HVDC line. The cabling cost alone would be a fortune.
2008 electricity global usage total: 143.851 TWh. It has probably gone up since then but that is the number I could quickly find.
That means an average of 16 TW.
Half of that needs to be transported to the other side of the planet. 8 TW.
Let's assume the HVDC cable can handle 1 million volts, based on the Pacific DC intertie
That means a current of about 8 Mega amps is running through that cable.
Such currents require massive cables. Think big. Think 30 cm (a foot) across.
Since I don't have the time to do the proper estimations I'll assume it is 30 cm.
Volume of a 30 cm diameter cable around the equator is 19,793,200,000 m3
An m3 of copper weighs approximately 9000 kg.
That cable weighs approximately 0.178*10^15 kg. Single cable, we'll need 2, for a total of 0.356*10^15 kg.
Buying that amount of copper is bound to get you into trouble. You see, the problem is that the world yearly production currently is around 17*10^12 kg. You need 21 years of our current production to build your cable. And current copper production is not because it's fun. It's because we need that copper.

The network in the link you provided is even longer than that 40000 km.

And I haven't even touched insulating, supporting or laying the cable. That Pacific DC intertie is over land, with air as insulation. Air is cheap, but much of the grid will have to be across oceans. Water doesn't easily support the steel constructions to carry the cable. Nor does water insulate.

And there are the political issues. Not every country will allow laying your cable across their country for free.

Global grid seems interesting for the uninformed, but calculate for it and you quite quickly see why it isn't done yet.

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