Modelling wind turbines and pumped-storage hydro for renewables-only 24/7 electrical power

Discussion in 'Architecture & Engineering' started by Scottish Scientist, Apr 9, 2015.

  1. Kittamaru Ashes to ashes, dust to dust. Adieu, Sciforums. Valued Senior Member

    *shakes head* Scott, Scott, Scott... your formula is a bunch of horseapples. Your entire argument is built upon a false premise.

    I think, at this point, you see that and know it... you just refuse to accept it because it takes any perceived legitimacy away from your rage...
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  3. Baldeee Valued Senior Member

    Sorry, I thought stating something being 80 times smaller than required for the whole is "pointing out".
    My mistake,
    But just to clarify, you're not "pointing out" that Musks battery farm is too small for this purpose?
    But again just to clarify, you're not "pointing out" that Musks battery farm is too small for this purpose either?
    But, once again for clarification, you're not saying that the battery farm is too small for its purpose?
    Maybe in some sections of the pop-science media, but not by Musk and not by S.Australia it hasn't.
    Musk has promoted it as a solution to the energy problems that left the area in blackouts, and reasoned that a battery farm of the size he is building would suffice to resolve those issues.
    I think it's on the lower end of what he thought might be needed, but still, it's in the region.
    He also sold it as a means to be able to test whether wind power could be used as a base-load.
    If, through that testing, it is established that the storage capacity of his batteries will allow a baseload of 20MW from wind power then surely that is a successful test?
    If it is only 10MW then it is also a successful test.
    What it then allow, because of that testing, is not only a more accurate calculation of what storage would be required to provide a certain baseload from wind power, but also the demonstration that it is even practically possible.
    Both are what will likely be part of the test.
    And it is this testing capability that is being promoted, not the batteries being built as the solution to overall problem,
    He's not being paid anything for a battery to allow baseload from wind power.
    He is being paid for two things that I can see:
    1. The primary thing is the load balancing that the batteries will provide to their existing grid, to help solve the short term need to prevent further blackouts.
    2. It enables the testing as to what extent wind power can provide baseload energy requirements, and the storage requirement for that to happen.

    That's what he is being paid for.
    Sure, he's a businessman and is paid to publicise.
    But he's not lying.
    Do journalists possibly misunderstand to try to sensationalise the story?
    It wouldn't be the first time such has happened, would it.
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  5. Kittamaru Ashes to ashes, dust to dust. Adieu, Sciforums. Valued Senior Member

    I think your claim that Musk is purely in it "for da money" is patently false... why else would he through a quarter million of his personal funds into relief efforts in PR?

    If you want to point fingers about greed...
    How is a two person company going to handle rebuilding Puerto Rico's infrastructure...
    Oh, right, because Joe Colonnetta (the equity firm that finances Whitefish Energy) donated heavily to a certain presidents campaign... and the CEO of Whitefish Andy Techmanski is a close friend with the Interior Secretary...

    You want corruption and greed? Why not go after actual corruption and greed... such as soaking a ravaged island for $300 Million...
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  7. Baldeee Valued Senior Member

    indeed - a short term solution while the longer term solution is put in place.
  8. billvon Valued Senior Member

    Agreed. She's just doing her job.
    I don't think that battery storage has been hyped any more than any other form of storage has.

    For example, here in Southern California we've been hearing a lot of hype about the LEAPS (Lake Elsinore Pumped Storage) project over the past ten years. It would generate 500 megawatts! Create a new lake! Be environmentally friendly! Generate jobs!

    Ten years later, no LEAPS. But during that time, very quietly, we've installed over 100 megawatts of battery storage - and that storage prevented blackouts after we had a massive natural gas leak from a storage reservoir in Eliso Canyon. One of the benefits of those "plasters" is that you can add as much as you want, when you want.
    Given that he just donated a quarter million in cash to Puerto Rico - and built a battery-backed solar power system for a children's hospital there - at least he's putting disaster relief before profits.
  9. Kittamaru Ashes to ashes, dust to dust. Adieu, Sciforums. Valued Senior Member


    It sounds like this project was done as a humanitarian effort, at cost to Tesla. So... yeah. Sorry Scott, but you best have some damn good evidence to support your claim that he's purely "in it for the money"...
  10. Write4U Valued Senior Member

    Has anyone developed vertical "turbo sails" to generate electric power? They provide "thrust" for sailboats, which might be convertible into electrical power?
  11. Baldeee Valued Senior Member

    Turbosails merely convert wind power into thrust, with the benefit of being able to operate at large angles of attack without the need to change the direction of the sail.
    Like sails they merely create a constant thrust in a given direction.
    If the turbo sail is static then you're looking at converting a constant pressure into electricity.
    It is not straightforward, but I wouldn't think impossible, but not sure of how efficient it would end up being.
    Thinking off the top of my head, you would need some way of cycling the thrust...
    If you could turn the pressure generated by the turbo sail on and off then you could use the pressure to create a piston, which in turn could be used to drive a turbine.
    But the turbo sail would effectively be switched off 50% of the time (if possible) as it cycles on/off/on/off etc.
    So the efficiency would drop considerably, I'd think.

    But really just guesswork on my part.
  12. Write4U Valued Senior Member

    Not necessarily, a simple wind vane would be able to keep the sail at a correct angle.
    How does a steam engine convert a steady steam pressure into rotating wheels? Is that not achieved by the use of "flywheels"?

    The thought occurred to me after watching acres of windmills spaced far apart, which seemed to me a waste of space, even as the windmills themselves work great, but require a large area from the size of the rotating blades.

    It occurred to me that turbo sails would require much less space as they function vertically instead of horizontally, and actually have a larger surface area than bladed mills, and perhaps have an added advantage of less distortion in airflow?
    Last edited: Oct 26, 2017
  13. Baldeee Valued Senior Member

    I simply meant that the turbo sail is designed to give forward thrust from a wider range of wind directions than a standard sail.
    The direction that the sail points can of course be changed, but then you may as well just use a normal sail.
    All the sail does is create a pressure in a certain direction.
    Well, more accurately, it creates a force from a pressure differential caused by wind flow along the aerofoil shape, so apologies if that has confused.
    When pushing against whatever is restricting its motion, a pressure is created.
    It may be a constant force at that point, but no work can be done, as work requires movement.
    The only time such a set-up would do work is if the mast was allowed some ability to move.
    During such a movement it could push in a piston, but then, as said previously, it would need to reset to its previous position.
    The only object that would do work in your set up is the mast.

    With a steam engine there is a working fluid that does the work.
    The system can thus do work for as long as there is fluid to do so.

    So it is not the pressure person ex it the ability to do work that is important.
    Yes, this is an issue, as well as the noise.
    There are new variants being developed and tested, relying on vortices created when an object is in a wind flow.
    These would be bladeless and quieter, but testing so far suggests they produce power far less reliably, and damage quite easily.
    But the two work in very different ways.
    The windmills convert wind flow into a rotation.
    The blades are capable of doing work (I.e. moving) unhindered for as long as there is a wind to flow against the blades.
    A turbo sail converts the same wind flow into a lateral (forward relative to the sail) motion, but because they are stuck in the ground it ends up as just a pressure between the sail and the earth/supporting structure, with no further capability of doing work.

    Imagine if you could hold the blades of the windmill still in your hand so that it didn't rotate.
    You would feel a pressure against your hand as it wanted to move, right.
    This is what the turbo sail would be like, simply pushing against the ground as it wanted to move forward.
    You can't generate energy from that.
    You must be able to do work.
  14. Scottish Scientist Registered Member

    A wind-powered system to provide baseload requires to rely on an energy store to provide most of the power during wind calms, or low wind availability.

    That's the sticking plaster to a mostly fossil fuel gas-powered system with a side-order of wind.

    The snake oil is when you sell someone a sticking plaster to fossil fuel but represent it as a wind-powered baseload system.

    The battery has been fraudulently misrepresented as a method for which to transform South Australia to renewable energy.

    I would be "pissed off" at someone who fraudulently misrepresented Honda Civics as suitable for pulling freight trains.

    If this was an art forum, you'd make a great critic. In a science forum, however ...

    It's 5 HOURS x wind power capacity.
    I come to that here where I have published my research findings.

    Scottish Scientist blog - Modelling of wind and pumped-storage power

    It is stated clearly here in bold -

    "Horndale already exports its excess energy production into the national grid, and is part of an AEMO trial into demonstrating that wind power can supply a baseload level of energy, known as frequency control and ancillary services or FCAS, to compete with traditional baseload sources like coal and gas."​
  15. Scottish Scientist Registered Member

    You've given no source for "Cost USD = 25 Million".

    This source suggests at least double that maybe triple or quadruple even.

    Reuters - Tesla's big battery races to keep South Australia's lights on

    Analysts have estimated the battery should cost around $750 to $950 per kilowatt, or up to $95 million. Musk said in July the cost to Tesla would be “$50 million or more” if it failed to deliver the project on time.
  16. Scottish Scientist Registered Member

    Ludington can generate its 1,872MW for 8 hours for an energy storage capacity of 14,976MWh.

    List of energy storage projects

    So Ludington's cost of energy storage, per MWh, "adjusted for inflation" would be $2.1 Billion / 14,976 MWh = $140,000 per MWh

    Whereas if Musk's 129 MWh battery costs $50 million then the cost of energy storage, per MWh is $50 million / 129MWh = $387,000 per MWh.

    If Musk's battery only actual offers 100 MWh but actually costs $95 million then cost of energy storage, per MWh is $95 million / 100 MWh = $950,000 per MWh

    And that's just the cost to build it. Spread that cost out over the years it lasts.

    Ludington lasted from 1973 so that's 44 years.

    So Ludington's cost per MWh-year is $140,000 per MWh / 44 years = $3,200 per (MWh-year)

    Whereas Musk's battery will be lucky to last 5 years

    So that's a cost per MWh-year of somewhere between
    $387,000 per MWh / 5 = $77,000 per (MWh-year)
    $950,000 per MWh / 5 = $190,000 per (MWh-year)

    So Musk's battery is maybe somewhere between
    77,000 / 3,200 = 24
    190,000 / 3,200 = 59

    24 to 59 times more expensive for energy-storage per MWh-year.
    Last edited: Oct 26, 2017
  17. Kittamaru Ashes to ashes, dust to dust. Adieu, Sciforums. Valued Senior Member

    My apologies, I may have misread somewhere - I'll have to see if I can find where I originally sourced the $25 Million figure from. That said - ok, lets assume a five fold increase in cost (Musk has said it'd cost tesla $50 Million is they miss the deadline, for what its worth) - so $250 million then. That's still fully 1/8th the cost of the Ludington Pumped Storage Power Plant, for something that can get set up in less than 1/10th the time, and is also a brand new technology that doesn't rely on the availability of fresh water, tall hills, or natural reservoirs.
  18. Baldeee Valued Senior Member

    And allows for the testing of wind power as a baseload supply.
  19. Kittamaru Ashes to ashes, dust to dust. Adieu, Sciforums. Valued Senior Member

    Okay, I guess I'd like sources for your "lucky to last five years" figure, as well as whether or not you are factoring in the costs of maintenance and maintenance workers, etc needed for the pumped storage plant.

    Also, again, you are dancing around a potential issue - does Australia have anywhere to build one of these that has the requisite reservoirs, terrain, etc near where it is needed?

    If this technology was the magic bullet you seem to claim it to be, I can't imagine why it isn't more popular. Maybe people don't like having several hundreds of thousands of tons of water sitting on a hill above their town, waiting for the first fault to send it rushing down?
  20. Kittamaru Ashes to ashes, dust to dust. Adieu, Sciforums. Valued Senior Member

    Indeed, it does. So since the wind station is already up and available, the issue at hand is that there have been times where it couldn't keep up with demand, resulting in brownouts and blackouts. This battery system can be quickly stood up to solve that problem in the intermediate time while a more permanent solution is found. What's your major malfunction with that?

    So because it's a step in the right direction, but not a total solution, we should abandon it entirely. Got it.

    So that makes you the snake oil salesman, as you seem to be the only one representing the battery system as the baseload system, rather than the load balancer it is.

    You have yet to substantiate this claim at all.

    Then why are you doing so?

    And you'd make a great artist - however, your behavior and utterly abysmal attitude has given me no reason to believe your claim that you are a "world respected" renewable energy scientist - without proof, why should I take your word for it?

    Yes, we already clarified that about a dozen posts ago... the problem is, you keep using 5 x generation capacity interchangeably with 5 hours worth of generation capacity. Those aren't the same thing... as anyone familiar with how batteries work could readily tell you.

    So, then, I ask you yet again - what is your problem with a stopgap solution being sold as a stopgap solution? You would rather they have no solution for the several years it would take to build a hydro plant...?
  21. Scottish Scientist Registered Member

    Oh I am all in favour of people testing my designs. That's why I have provided an on-line system designer.

    Rubbish. One only Bath County power station would be nearly 4 times South Australia's present needs.

    I am saying the South Australia needs an energy storage of 8,000MWh, not "power generation of 8000MW"

    Bath County has an energy storage of 30,931 MWh, (it can supply 3,003 MW for 10.3 hours) which is 3.8 times more than I suggested was needed.

    (I have not specified the power output of the pumped-storage hydro scheme but it wouldn't need to be the wind power capacity of Australia's 1600 MW of wind turbines because the average power supplied has to be multiplied by a capacity factor, which say is 30% would mean an average power of 0.3 x 1600 MW = 480MW might suffice for present wind power 24-7 baseload needs.)

    So rather than the "8000MW" power generation you thought I said was needed, something more like 480MW is all that is needed, for now.

    Okinawa Yanbaru Seawater Pumped Storage Power Station

    South Australia has a proposal for a seawater pumped-storage scheme.

    Cultana pumped hydro project: Knowledge sharing report
  22. Scottish Scientist Registered Member

    Your mistake was in using the words "the full farm" when you said

    "Do you not think that if you are capable of pointing out that it is 80 times too small to handle the full farm"

    I am indeed pointing out that Musk's battery farm is too small to serve as a wind-powered baseload system by these factors -
    * 80 times too small for South Australia's 1600MW of wind power
    * 15 times too small for Hornsdale's 315MW
    * 5 times too small for Hornsdale's third stage of 109MW
    The pop-science media were misled by what was represented to them in the news conference attended by SA Premier Weatherill and Elon Musk on Friday 7 July 2017, Adelaide, South Australia.

    It was the duty of those in the know to state clearly that this was a temporary fix for a mostly fossil-fuel powered system that did not and could not offer any way forward to 100% renewable energy grid in South Australia.

    A sticking plaster to fossil fuel back-up to wind. I know that, you know that but that's not the impression that was given.

    It wouldn't be the first time a snake oil salesman has fooled the customer, no.
  23. Kittamaru Ashes to ashes, dust to dust. Adieu, Sciforums. Valued Senior Member

    Designed by you, no doubt?

    Glad you cleared this up (thought it was already clear but okay)

    So we would need 10 of these Tesla stations to do that. I am curious as to the footprint of the battery farm compared to a pumped-hydro farm (I would also imagine the battery farm can be stacked vertically to some extent, should the need arise, or be put underground if desired). Still seems like this is a pretty good test-bed case for the worlds first large-scale battery farm.

    It is my understanding this only provided about 30MW and was dismantled less than two decades after construction began. I am curious to know what materials they used to resist corrosion and the charge carrying abilities of salt water, and how that would affect pricing when scaled up.

    South Australia has a proposal for a seawater pumped-storage scheme.

    Cultana pumped hydro project: Knowledge sharing report[/QUOTE]

    Looks to be about 225MW for 8 hours, costing about half a billion to build and wouldn't be completed until 2023 - that leaves them vulnerable for six years if they started construction today and everything goes exactly as planned.

    Sounds like a good idea - get the power pack station up and running, and have this project in motion as well.

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