Interesting link to a PDF that might be useful to some people.
Installation Resilience in Cold Regions Using Energy Storage Systems It's a report from the U.S. Army Engineer Research and Development Center (ERDC)
and Cold Regions Research and Engineering Laboratory (CRREL) about how to make different types of electricity generating and storage systems withstand cold conditions.
I haven't read the whole thing yet, but I'm finding it quite fascinating reading. If you are in a cold area and do power generating of any sort, it might be worth your time to look at this.
It was a wonderful read.
On a nation-wide scale I think that concentrating solar with thermal storage is the best way to go. I knew that using capacitors was expensive but seeing the number was still very shocking.
Looked through it all, and my take on it was ... too commercial, big-system oriented ... good info at a theoretical level perhaps, but with little application to the homestead/permaculture site who is or will be dealing with power. Very little within technical reach and cost.
I'd guess that, out of permies readership, 95% of everyone is on-grid (drawing power from a public utility), and maybe 5% or so is off-grid (generating their own power), as we are.
On-grid: consider isolating yourself from public utility outages with RE batteries (buffer), standby generators (power generation); possibly add lots of solar panels, if feasible. Without these, no protection from grid brown-outs or blackouts; no protection from "the big one", like a TX-style outage, which isn't supposed to happen, but does.
Off-grid: No issue with power outages of any size (brownout, blackout, "the big one"), by definition. We use LiFePO4 batteries for energy storage, solar panels and propane generators for energy production. We have backups to the backups, and buffers (capacity) in each element, so hopefully no supply-chain issues, either. Our "thermal management" is a heated/insulated shed.
Long-term, we do want to investigate adding a closed-loop "pumped hydro storage" demonstration system (bits and bobs demo), but only because we have 100' of elevation difference on our 40 acres, and can build this out of at-hand spare parts; everything is within technical reach and cost, and we are about 25% there already. If the demo system shows promise, then swap out parts to get more capacity, stack functions (water also available for firefighting), and fold it into the master plan.
As I read thru the pdf, I tried to compare what else might make a project demo cut on the site ... only pumped-hydro jumped out at me, as we already use LiFePO4 battery tech, thermally protected.
If you open the box, you will find Heisenberg strangling Shrodenger's cat. And waving this tiny ad:
paul's patreon stuff got his videos and podcasts running again!