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Lots of whiz bang technology, but what can mortal man use?  RSS feed

 
r john
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Marcos Buenijo wrote:
David Williams wrote:People are already making steps to do this , personally i think using waste gasses from breweries would be the answer , a more pure source. All Batteries have an inherent issue that to charge a battery to 100% requires 147% power input... let alone any losses discharging it... so a mini hydro setup loosing 35% (estimate) isn't so wasteful once compared to other storage means, Thermal mass and other storage means you mention would well exceed a batteries efficiency...
yes current laws seem at odds with the "goals" they like to pretend they wish to reach .... Put simply , saving you money, costs them taxes ... being self reliant relinquishes there control...


Actually, there is battery technology out there that is more efficient. Consider lithium iron phosphate for one example. The problem with hydro storage is primarily that one requires access to an appropriate site. The vast majority of people cannot participate. This is a primary reason that I am optimistic about photovoltaics as most people have access to sufficient solar insolation. The main problem is energy storage. Well, actually, the main problem is every thing is designed for a different paradigm. I truly believe that the power plant of the future is NO power plant, and photovoltaics will be the primary energy source.


Hydro storage was solved over a century ago with hydraulic accumulators. In UK we still have working examples of hydraulic accumulators the most famous of which is Tower bridge on the river Thames.
 
David Williams
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David Williams wrote:For the set-up you describe Vanadium Redox Batteries would be the best
Explaination and Environmental Impact


Various types of accumulators are common , nearly every farm has an "overhead tank", most hydraulic systems on machinery use hydraulic accumulators filled with nitrogen gas, In the spirit of the start of this thread is "what can a common man do?" since most of us don't have access to large volumes of running water, nor have a large budget, and every conversion of energy creates a loss, i don't believe any "one shoe fits all" approach can work , each situation will be taken on it's merits, PV is one of the best that we currently have, cheaper than most to install , maintain and get returns on, and as Marcos rightly points out , for the vast populous would be in a position to utilize it, as would be the case with Algae... where as Hydro, Geo-thermal and the like would be out of most peoples reach... Small scale versions of This Link could also be used not requiring PV but using thermal mass... or something like This Link. Both these systems can be scaled according to use , incorporated with other systems, and the latter made from cheap easily sourced materials , with either the generator turbine mounted at top or bottom ...
 
r john
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David

In UK we have power accumulators where a mass is lifted to obtain the hydraulic pressure. Again unlike America we have high mass built into our houses normally a concrete raft to sit the house on and then either brick or stone to make the walls and slate or concrete tiles for the roof. There is no reason why this weight cannot be utilised in a hydraulic system as you see loads of house moves on tv where the house is hydraulically jacked up onto trucks. Small hydraulic generators are already available off the shelf so it seems capturing excess solar and wind into a hydraulic system could be an effective alternative to batteries.
 
David Williams
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@ r John
I understand that , and in Australia we do have similar, yet neither of us have earthquake / hurricane prone area's, or land-masses likely to move or sink ... In your situation hydraulic accumulators and thermal mass might be more suited to your local environment and building practices, but could be detrimental in a place like Japan or New Zealand , places like Japan and NZ might be better suited to a trompe with air accumulators running an air motor and generator setup, or geothermal since they are both close to tectonic plate edges, or even a hydraulic ram (water hammer) pump moving water mass to a height for later use .... I'm not discrediting your line of thought, seems a winner in a space short high mass area, as long as hydraulic failure doesn't split your house in two , Guess i am saying it's "horses for courses" with application of alternate energies
Peace and Love Dave OXOXOX
 
Marcos Buenijo
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r john wrote:David

In UK we have power accumulators where a mass is lifted to obtain the hydraulic pressure. Again unlike America we have high mass built into our houses normally a concrete raft to sit the house on and then either brick or stone to make the walls and slate or concrete tiles for the roof. There is no reason why this weight cannot be utilised in a hydraulic system as you see loads of house moves on tv where the house is hydraulically jacked up onto trucks. Small hydraulic generators are already available off the shelf so it seems capturing excess solar and wind into a hydraulic system could be an effective alternative to batteries.


Maybe I don't understand this properly, but it seems you're suggesting one might jack up their home and store gravitational potential energy using a hydraulic system? If so, then, unfortunately, this has no hope whatever of being practical (read: cost effective). Do the math. Something like this can deliver energy at a high rate for a short period (i.e. high power), but it will not store appreciable energy. One kilowatt hour of energy is equal to 1000 watts maintained for 3600 seconds (i.e. one hour). 1000 watts is also 1.34 horsepower, which is also (1.34)(550 foot pounds per second) = 737 foot pounds per second. Since we're considering 3600 seconds, then we need (737)(3600) = 2.65 x 10^6 foot pounds. When we consider conversion losses on the order of 1/3, then we have to inflate this figure to about 4.0 X 10^6 foot pounds. In other words, we need to raise four million pounds by one foot, or four hundred thousand pounds by ten feet, or forty thousand pounds by 100 feet, etc., to store one KWh of electricity. Now consider the required components (actuators, pump, motor, generator, etc.). Basically, it's not a practical possibility. Storing the required weight in the form of water can be practical where the terrain happens to be ideal (i.e. hydro dam). However, very few individuals have access to such sites, and virtually all large sites are currently being exploited. Today, the only practical alternatives for appreciable energy storage I can think of (beyond hydro) are batteries, fuel sources, thermal masses, desiccants (might be considered as a "battery"), and there is some potential in flywheels.
 
r john
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Marcos

It seems you dont understand the technology. I suggest you have a look at the London Hydraulic company which at its peak had 180 miles of Hydraulic pipelines feeding the industry of London with peek power output of 5.2MW
 
Marcos Buenijo
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r john wrote:Marcos

It seems you dont understand the technology. I suggest you have a look at the London Hydraulic company which at its peak had 180 miles of Hydraulic pipelines feeding the industry of London with peek power output of 5.2MW


John, respectfully, perhaps it is you who should have a look at the London Hydraulic Company: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/London_Hydraulic_Power_Company

I quote: "...a hydraulic power network of high-pressure cast iron water mains under London..... The pressure was maintained at a nominal 800 pounds per square inch (5.5 MPa) by five hydraulic power stations, originally driven by coal-fired steam engines."

This is quite different than the configuration you suggested earlier. It seems to me that this was done in order to more centralize the burning of coal and thereby lessen pollution. The hydraulic system in that case was used primarily as an energy transfer medium and not energy storage.

 
r john
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Marcos Buenijo wrote:
r john wrote:Marcos

It seems you dont understand the technology. I suggest you have a look at the London Hydraulic company which at its peak had 180 miles of Hydraulic pipelines feeding the industry of London with peek power output of 5.2MW


John, respectfully, perhaps it is you who should have a look at the London Hydraulic Company: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/London_Hydraulic_Power_Company

I quote: "...a hydraulic power network of high-pressure cast iron water mains under London..... The pressure was maintained at a nominal 800 pounds per square inch (5.5 MPa) by five hydraulic power stations, originally driven by coal-fired steam engines."

This is quite different than the configuration you suggested earlier. It seems to me that this was done in order to more centralize the burning of coal and thereby lessen pollution. The hydraulic system in that case was used primarily as an energy transfer medium and not energy storage.



I know full well how the London Hydraulic company system worked and it had nothing to do with centralization of burning coal. As with any coal fired station it is more economic to run 24/7 to this end a means of storing energy had to be found hence the use of hydraulic accumulators. If you look at the work of the British engineer Armstrong you will see the development of the weighted accumulator which I believe could be a very efficient and effective energy storage system for storing excess solar and wind energy.
 
Marcos Buenijo
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r john wrote:I know full well how the London Hydraulic company system worked and it had nothing to do with centralization of burning coal. As with any coal fired station it is more economic to run 24/7 to this end a means of storing energy had to be found hence the use of hydraulic accumulators. If you look at the work of the British engineer Armstrong you will see the development of the weighted accumulator which I believe could be a very efficient and effective energy storage system for storing excess solar and wind energy.


The purpose of the weighted accumulators in the system is to buffer the hydraulic pressure. If you imagine the system without these accumulators, then you'll see their purpose. Any sharp increase in hydraulic fluid demand would cause a sharp drop in fluid pressure, and this would affect all the motors in the system. It's just like adding a capacitor to a DC electric system. They don't store much energy, but they are good at smoothing out a voltage transient. It's also like using a flywheel on an engine that helps smooth the torque profile of the engine over each cycle, and works with the speed governor to keep engine speed within a narrow range. Again, engine flywheels do not store much energy, but they do provide a tighter control system.

I don't quite understand how a 24/7 system requires a large store of energy. Now, wind and solar certainly requires it. Unfortunately, this system of accumulators will not store enough energy to be effective for a system based on wind and solar.
 
David Williams
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The purpose of the weighted accumulators in the system is to buffer the hydraulic pressure

This is the purpose of the accumulators on tractor hydraulic systems they are only small , 1/2 the size of a soccer ball but can withstand 4000 PSI
Or Air accumulators in trucks for there breaking system, used only to eliminate vast pressure fluctuations
Peace and Love Dave oxoxxoxo

Either way . lets get thread back on track , rather than debating
 
David Williams
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While we are in the right forum section , and a lot of great minds watching this post i have a question i haven't found an answer to.... When one makes bio-diesel is it necessary to refine the alcohol into methanol or ethanol ? or could one wash the mix with a wash after the lye process ? ie make a 20% turbo wash and scrub the oil/bio-diesel without distillation? allowing it to trans-estify and scrub the salts / acidity in one process... would use a lot less energy for a completed product .. Just thinking aloud
 
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