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Comment: Anders Bylund is not Tom Murphy (Score 1) 217

by dbIII (#47813257) Attached to: Power Grids: The Huge Battery Market You Never Knew Existed

Trust in the smart grid to automatically reduce demand by 25% for a full week?

That's making an assumption of solar capacity far beyond the wildest dreams of those that wish to supply it. I'll assume it's a simple error instead of a deliberate attempt to mislead.

Tom Murphy is a physicist, not a journalist

However the person I referred to is not Tom Murphy is it? However on the topic of the blog you linked, an assumption halfway down the page was enough capacity to supply power for a week. That really show that while interesting anything derived from such an assumption is somewhat irrelevant to what we are discussing and cannot be used as an example of there not being enough storage one way or another - it just shows it can't be done for a week. Due to the nature of grids and distributed power generation it's the wrong approach anyway since there is no requirement to provide enough storage for a single second.

His further point was that it would be much simpler to reduce demand by travelling less, eating less meat, better insulating buildings, heating them less, etc.

Quite true, and that's starting to happen a bit as electricity utilities such as my former employer indulge in price gouging. However we'll still need new generating capacity as the operating generators are being shut down faster than that rate of decline simply due to it being too expensive to patch up old equipment beyond a certain point.

As for the Slashdot article, it was essentially content free: there's a thing called grid storage, batteries used for it have different requirements, some people are doing research on that topic. Is that news? Did anyone on Slashdot not know that already? Hard to get sucked in by a journalist that has nothing to say.

It is a solution to a problem that doesn't really exist that is worse than the status quo - so most definitely misleading. The research is into better ways of filling small gaps and unexpected outages just like pump storage has been doing for a few decades and it has been misrepresented as "grid storage". I've been told by a transmission engineer in his late 70's that distributing power used to be almost as difficult as that journalist and some others here seem to think - and then transistors started getting used in control systems.
He also wished there were a lot of solar panels around back in the day since they pump out nice clean sine waves at whatever timing you wish at the control room so can be used for power factor correction, plus they are spread around a lot and can be brought online or taken offline with ease. As a bonus the capital cost was paid for by someone other than the power utility.

Forcefully reduce demand through brownouts?

I thought you Americans got used to such things when you embraced deregulation and let Enron et all in the door? With a huge east-west grid and a lot of HVDC connections to make line loss almost irrelevant there is so much stuff pumping power into that grid that it should take a massive event for such a thing to happen in a widespread manner for any reason other than gross mismanagement. For a start there are so many gas turbines sitting on coal seam gas or similar just waiting for a chance to spin up for more than an hour or two every few days. There are baseline units of hundreds of Megawatts mothballed until the base demand increases again.

Comment: Re:Indeed... (Score 3, Informative) 116

by dbIII (#47804699) Attached to: Finland's Nuclear Plant Start Delayed Again
While civilian nuclear has been in decline over the past few decades there's not likely to be any shortage of suppliers of uranium. In one large mine for example, Roxby Downs, it's really just a side product of copper, silver and gold which would be mined anyway if there wasn't uranium in that ore.

Comment: Where does this shit come from? (Score 1) 217

by dbIII (#47804367) Attached to: Power Grids: The Huge Battery Market You Never Knew Existed
This again? Where does this shit come from? Substations feed large areas. It should be obvious that a couple of hundred PV panels cannot feed entire collections of suburbs that contain shops, light industry etc. Even with a vast increase in the number of panels on roofs, maybe ten or twenty times what there is now, it's still going to fall short of powering all those things without - THERE IS NO SURPLUS TO BACKFLOW THROUGH THE SUBSTATION.
I'm curious - where the fuck are you guys getting this from? Did you make it up or did some "thinktank" intern with a political science degree make it up ans expel it into the world?

Comment: Re:Yes, we know that. (Score 1) 217

by dbIII (#47804319) Attached to: Power Grids: The Huge Battery Market You Never Knew Existed

That means the instantaneous peaks will be in the ballpark of 50% of grid energy coming from solar.

Is that EE is your username a mere unused decoration or an utter lie? Who outside of bad science fiction is suggesting 50% of grid energy coming from solar?

If you are going to push an agenda please at least be honest about it and perhaps advocate your agenda instead of trashing what you see as opposition. Solar is in the mainstream now whether we like it or not so we have to deal with it.

Comment: It already is enough because ... (Score 1) 217

by dbIII (#47804277) Attached to: Power Grids: The Huge Battery Market You Never Knew Existed
It already is providing sufficient storage in plenty of places. The confusion arising here is about some journalist dumbing things down to a monoculture and assuming everything should be baseload at a much higher capacity than present and storing everything that isn't being used at a given time should be stored for later. Given the losses of every single type of storage, even pump storage, that's a rather stupid and wasteful way to do things instead of generating what is needed at any given time and using storage as a occasionally used buffer. Load following with a mixture of energy sources instead of the lossy processes of store and release.

So that's dealt with the article that kicked off the discussion - now for the one you've linked. A key assumption is a point source where the electricity is coming from and not a large distributed grid which is the only sane way to model a very large number of little generators all over the place. So there's no wind - look at a weather chart - of course there's wind, plenty of wind, it's just not where you are standing, and there's more than one windmill in the country. So there's cloud - does it cover Vegas as well? It's early/late - timeszones guys? An east/west grid even means the peaks are spread over hours. Having lots of tiny wind and solar generators all over the place does not mean needing storage to back it up, especially since there are also lots of little gas turbines all over the place which are probably going to be less wasteful to spin up than a silly idea of having a higher base and storing some of it.

Stuff like this is, to be frank, is just people out of their depth railing against change and looking for a feeble excuse to keep them afloat, and it's designed to mislead. So I'm sorry to say fgouget and many others, you've been suckered by a journalist that probably knows less about the topic than yourselves but can spin a convincing enough tale for you to accept it instead of thinking for yourselves. All for the purpose of saying that change is bad. It's bad for those that pay this journalists salary, but not so bad for the rest of us.

Comment: Practicality says it has to be huge (Score 1) 217

by dbIII (#47804169) Attached to: Power Grids: The Huge Battery Market You Never Knew Existed
With thermal power you need to spin turbines and the greater the volume of steam the less the frictional losses etc matter and the more you can extract with low pressure turbines etc. Also small nuclear plants are expensive anyway due to many things, for example the high temperatures that give you the performance you want. Theoretically, and often in practice, the price per MW drops a lot with scale.
Thus building huge - at least in terms of the amount of steam if not the actual reactor/s, is the only thing that makes sense if it's a civilian plant designed to generate electricity for sale. If it's a research reactor, powering a specific thing (like a ship), or a front for a weapons program then it doesn't need to be huge.

Comment: Re:Nickel-Iron Battery -- could we make it better? (Score 1) 217

by dbIII (#47804145) Attached to: Power Grids: The Huge Battery Market You Never Knew Existed
Compressed air also works in underwater balloons along the same lines as the salt mines as a cheaper alternative to pressure vessels. It's well paired with offshore wind.
Compressed air is a very lossy energy storage method but it's well tried and convenient.

Comment: Re:Entertaining clown (Score 1) 458

by dbIII (#47798733) Attached to: Cause of Global Warming 'Hiatus' Found Deep In the Atlantic
I am fully aware that turds such as yourself attach themselves to the bottoms of other people's posts and see it as some sort of victory if they get the last word. Why should I let you have that? String this out as long as you like and continue to make yourself look stupid and all I have to do is tell people to refer to your posting history to see exactly what a piece of shit you are - you think that's stalking? GROW UP and take some responsibility for your actions and be prepared for others to rub your nose in your expelled filth.
Once again - why the lecture for me pointing out a luddite science denier using a tired old page from the luddite playbook? All these posts and nothing but evasion and stupid mistakes.

Comment: Re:Games (Score 1) 88

by dbIII (#47797737) Attached to: RAYA: Real-time Audio Engine Simulation In Quake

That would require real and strong AI. When we have the kind of npc AI you're talking about, we'll also be building real world Datas from Star Trek.

Not at all - still dumb as a toaster but just with a few more rules to match to simulate being good at one or two different things. It's a very contrived setting with very few things going on. Even, at an extreme, if something engages you in conversation there's very little to talk about so a small number of scripts covers all bases - that's your deluxe waffle setting :)

It is surely a great calamity for a human being to have no obsessions. - Robert Bly