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Old 12-18-2009, 01:12 PM
osmium osmium is offline
Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: new yorkistan
Posts: 708
Default Re: How a giant battery may save the world (osmium & irw)

Originally Posted by Whatfur View Post

I may have mentioned that I exist off the grid for much of the winter months. Now I happen to do so in a tent, but that tent is set up a couple hundred yards from a buddy's log cabin. His cabin is what falls right into this discussion. Also off the grid, he has a system that utilizes wind power( 1, 6ft? turbine), solar power (4 3'x6' panels) , and a gas or diesel (dependant on which one is working) generator and a rack (a 12-20?) of lead/acid batteries.

I have not done a study of it but from him I know that although things are working, he is disappointed in much of it and the generators are running quite a bit. Personal observation has me being disappointed also as his needs are seemingly small yet he seems to have to be on constant vigilant watch...and I see that rack of batteries in the basement and it just seems like one should be able to run off them for a few days without any kind of regeneration...and that is just not the case. I will do a closer study this winter...usually I am already there by now, but although its been cold, they are lacking the snow that is my draw.

He is in the midst of building a larger log cabin next to the original as his wife is expecting and while I assume he is going to hook into much of the existing I also assume he is doing some rethinking about what he has and how it could be better.

Suggestions? Should he wait a bit before investing in a bunch of new lead/acids.

Are there other materials, over and above the Zinc/Alluminum/Lithium that have promise? How available is shortage scenerio like you allude with lithium? (When Bolivia was mentioned, I saw scenes of Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid run through IRW's head)

A side note...I worked in a coal burning power plant a couple decades ago and I remember they had a huge battery room...I can't remember the exact purpose but I would guess now it was purely for backup for lighting needs in case they themselves lost power.

Instead of preventing, can the Zinc fingers be effectively scrubbed?
That's all really cool. I think a lead-acid rack is your buddy's only option right now (someone might prove me wrong, I dunno). But that's just proof that there would be a market for such things, not only from utilities, but also from people living off the grid in logs cabins and skiing.

The zinc dendrites could be sort of scrubbed with a burst of fast, turbulent flow of the electrolyte. But then you lose them, and they're part of your stored energy. I think the only option is to figure out how to discourage their formation in the first place.
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