Britain's largest battery

sato's picture

Britain's Largest Battery Is Actually A Lake

This is how you fix all problems with renewable energy and also with coal and nuclear plants in one hit.

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daftcunt's picture

I don't think you fix all the problems but it definitely makes life easier. The idea is old, though, I saw a powerstation like this back in the 70'ies in germany. 

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sato's picture

i thought the same thing after i typed "all problems" but before saving, though after thinking about it for at least 10 minutes i couldn't think of any it didn't solve so i left it.

you have any ideas?

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daftcunt's picture

Well, the energy still must be produced for starters. Depending on how this is done there will be more or less pollution, either immediate or in the longer term (like nuclear waste). 

 

In southern spain there is a solar installation that heats a container of saline fluid, I think, this is a similar principle but depends entirely on solar and does not consume any electricity when charged. The downside is because of the design birds are fried in mid air, and of course this is of no use in Wales.

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GKhan's picture

It's probably more accurate to refer to the non-combustion renewable energy sources. So non-combustion renewable removes nuclear, coal, gas, oil and refers to solar, wind, hydro primarily and geothermal to a lesser extent. Then we ignore biomass, wood and the like.

 

So then yes, biggest issue with non-combustion renewable energy sources like wind and solar is that they do not run all the time and it's typically coal/gas/oil/other that need to make up the varying demand. Using lake batteries to even out the lows and highs of demand does solve the problem with renewable sources.

 

So maybe not *all problems* but what other significant problems exist with non-combustible renewable energy sources?

 

 

 

 

 

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sato's picture

great point, the pollution certainly is a problem it doesn't solve. at least it contributes to pollution reduction though, by making up for the shortfalls of renewable energy and thus making it easier to install and reduce the need for fossil fuel generators.

 

the hot salts batteries i agree are great, and have an added bonus that they're produced at source so you don't get as much transmission loss. the only down side is they can't be "charged" with grid power, so when supply is too high, wind turbines and fossil fuel generators need to be shut down which is inefficient and also expensive. with the lake battery they can be left running constantly because extra power can be stored. still make a ton of sense for large scale solar installations though.

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daftcunt's picture

They can't be charged but AFAIK they have a backup generator that starts production when required. They could also be built on an existing "fossil" site and use the existing turbines (they are simply powered by steam anyway) keeping power up costs to a minimum. Many places do not qualify for a water battery unfortunately. Others don't qualify for solar...

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danmanjones's picture

It's not a battery until it's stored electrical energy. Potential energy is everywhere.

The largest dam is in China. It's so big it changed the Earth's rotation.

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sato's picture

not true, a battery is any store of any kind of energy. batteries can be either electrical or mechanical, and a gravity battery is one kind of mechanical battery.

also everything (including every dam) changes the earth's rotation, it's just a matter of by how much. changes in the wind cause the rotation to vary on a daily basis, though this effect is less than a millisecond.

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GKhan's picture

Fuel-cell too. The hydrogen stores the energy and the energy is not considered electrical until the chemical reaction occurs.

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danmanjones's picture

Going by your definition "any store of any kind of energy", all matter is a battery. The generally accepted definition for "battery" though is an electrical battery...

 

A container consisting of one or more cells, in which chemical energy is converted into electricity and used as a source of power.

https://en.oxforddictionaries.com/definition/battery

 

You're right about the Earth rotation thing. That's just hype that for some reason is attached to the 3 Gorges Dam. It sped up the day by 0.06 microseconds. The earthquake in Japan in 2011 changed the day by ~11 microseconds.... so the dam thing is insignificant really.

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sato's picture

sorry no, because not all matter contains energy that can be readily converted to electric power. a battery is something that has been constructed for the purpose of providing power, as in chemical batteries, mechanical batteries, and even nuclear batteries. nuclear batteries are a bit different themselves though because power cannot be stored in them, and so these days they're usually called nuclear generators, not nuclear batteries.

the oxford definition is correct in terms of common understanding but not in terms of science. there are now many kinds of battery, not just chemical batteries. dictionaries and most chemistry departments still mean chemical batteries when they say "battery", but in physics and electronics "battery" means any kind of energy storage, either mechanical or chemical.

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GKhan's picture

And let's not forget mother nature's battery - the potato. We just need to grow bigger potatoes to solve the world's energy problems.

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