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Old 01-07-2010, 05:04 PM
popcorn_karate popcorn_karate is offline
Join Date: May 2007
Posts: 1,644
Default Re: The Next Rare Earth Crisis

Originally Posted by cragger View Post
You miss the point of the "x 30 days" in the calculation.
or perhaps you missed that you would need a 180,000 gallon tank to run it for 1.5 hours each day of the month as you suggested?

Originally Posted by cragger View Post
Using the example of solar generation, you would re-fill the upper water store every day using solar power. You need to store enough energy to get you through to the next generation period, not build up a month's-long store at once. Looking at things on a month long scale just seemed to be useful since we typically get electric bills on a monthly basis, so there is a little "feel" to that sort of timescale.

This neglects extended periods of bad weather/no wind or whatever of course, just back-of-the-envelope stuff that shows theoretical potential, though not necessarily at a $/kWh cost that is attractive. On the other hand, a large energy store using current deep discharge batteries isn't what you would call cheap either.

This leads to the point Osmium was alluding to in looking at this as a grid-level question. Like many things, a cooperative approach is likely the most efficient. I favor a hybrid system, with millions of small points of power generation going down to the home level, combined with large generation sources on the grid as well - dams, wind farms, wave power, etc. once the inevitable transition to renawables happens. I would envision the majority of storage for load leveling would be at scales above the home.

Afterthought: one readily sees that combining the functions of conventional dams with the addition of recycling of water as energy stores provides obvious synergy as a very efficient partial solution.
agree with this stuff. distributed energy generation and storage is where we need to be going.
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