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View Poll Results: What role do humans play in contributing to climate change?
Humans are the primary contributor to climate change 396 62.86%
Humans contribute to climate change, but not the main cause 165 26.19%
Not sure 37 5.87%
Climate change is a hoax 32 5.08%
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Old 01-15-2020, 12:49 PM   #2041
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Batteries are not useless in cold weather (or any) they make a major difference in supplying peak loads and make the entire system more efficient by storing wasted energy since a generator can't be shut down and restarted quickly.

But of course they generate exactly zero energy on their own.
No, my point was they are useless when your saying "use solar, and store it in batteries" when the solar can't give you any energy to put in the batteries. As a combined 1-2 solution, it still doesn't work in January around here. In a place with stable summer/winter lengths of days? Sure, it can be a solution that works. But we can't store all that summer sunlight for winter. I'd love it if we could!
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Old 01-15-2020, 12:51 PM   #2042
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Perhaps I am not understanding the "20%" number correctly. If we build solar-charging battery capacity, and let the batteries charge on sunny days with optimal efficiency, and we have a stable and high quality battery system (hosted indoors, of course), why would solar working at 20% on the coldest days be a problem? The point isn't to rely on solar during the worst days or as a full-time energy producer; it's to build reserve for cold days such as this, and then use more non-renewables to get us through colder weeks and prolonged cold snaps.

It would seem to me it comes down to battery storage and energy mix strategy; not the solar panel's efficiency at Alberta's coldest.
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Old 01-15-2020, 12:59 PM   #2043
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The 20% is because it is working at 3 MW of 15MW nameplate. But it also worked at 0% quite often, like it is currently. So if you want to charge batteries from solar, you need more solar power than that. And you apparently also need more than a night worth of battery storage to cover the days when it isn't working at all. Now, maybe you charge the battery from the rest of the grid, but we've now had several 24 hour periods where we import power from BC and Montana, currently around 1000MW. So when do you charge the batteries? Do you install 2 days worth, and hope that's enough? A week's worth, and pay a crapload of extra money for that? How do you build a reserve when you have no solar and no wind, which is our "bonus" energy pool currently? Or do you just build a gas plant that is reliable, consistent, and affordable? What makes more sense?

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Old 01-15-2020, 01:03 PM   #2044
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No, my point was they are useless when your saying "use solar, and store it in batteries" when the solar can't give you any energy to put in the batteries. As a combined 1-2 solution, it still doesn't work in January around here. In a place with stable summer/winter lengths of days? Sure, it can be a solution that works. But we can't store all that summer sunlight for winter. I'd love it if we could!
You said batteries were useless in weather like this I pointed out that is not true, Alberta should be battery buffering our power grid. I get your point they are not going to solve the problem of generating electricity that's a given. And will say it again I HATE wind turbines they are a blight on humanity.

I agree with Bill Gates we need to make modern nuclear plants, why is this not being done? Say in 40 years we replaced most coal and gas powered stations with modern nuclear systems we could power 100's of millions of electric cars with almost zero carbon footprint.
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Old 01-15-2020, 01:08 PM   #2045
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Perhaps I am not understanding the "20%" number correctly.
It's not just the instantaneous peak generation, you have to look at it for the full day. Here's Germany's solar output per day for 2019, the impact of winter is obvious:





Alberta on a cold day will use about 0.2-0.25 TWh; even with installed capacity of more than 45 GW of solar (versus Alberta peak demand of about 11.5 GW) Germany produces only a fraction of that amount in winter days.


For Alberta to implement a solar-battery strategy for winter would require a staggering amount of solar panels and batteries.
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Old 01-15-2020, 01:18 PM   #2046
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I get that solar doesn't regenerate or provide enough in a micro-usage situation, but what is wrong with having batteries powered through continuous, 24/7 charging year-round, and have them utilized only when increased demand during cold snaps? The intention wouldn't be for the batteries to be continuously used (unless we have solar and battery technology one day that can do that). Instead, we have solar-charged batteries ready to go for days such as these (and probably hot snaps in the summer).

I feel like it's still an option when we have AESO energy alerts at level 2 and/or 3, especially when temporary power loss to customers is looming.

Anyways, I feel like nuclear fusion could be our best renewable, non carbon-output energy source in the future.
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Old 01-15-2020, 01:21 PM   #2047
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If every home has a Tesla Powerwall then solar starts to make sense. Same applies if everyone has a BEV the cars store energy when available.
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Old 01-15-2020, 01:31 PM   #2048
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No, my point was they are useless when your saying "use solar, and store it in batteries" when the solar can't give you any energy to put in the batteries. As a combined 1-2 solution, it still doesn't work in January around here. In a place with stable summer/winter lengths of days? Sure, it can be a solution that works. But we can't store all that summer sunlight for winter. I'd love it if we could!
Is solar even feasible with the Canadian prices for power?

Not sure what the price of power is in Alberta these days, but my understanding is that it needs to be at least $.16 to .$20 per kWh in order for solar/battery to start making sense.

Its hard to keep track though as the cost of solar is continually dropping, plus you have government rebates which often clock in at 50% of project cost.

I know Manitoba Hydro was offering up to 50% of your money back on solar installation up to 200kW. I know a lot of people who took advantage of it, but even with those numbers the return is still at least 10-14 years in our climate and location.

The bigger question is taking advantage of peak costs. The 200kW systems all just feed back into the system to make the meter run backwards, and at peak hours (4PM to 10PM) they shave your peak, or at least attempt to shave. Not sure exactly what peak costs are, but from what I understand you pay what your peak is, not what your average usage is.

A battery system that can take power from solar & the grid during non-peak hours, and store it to use during peak hours, something the Powerwall 2 is easily setup to do, the ROI might be greater. But, from what I understand even there it only works if you pay over a certain amount for electricity.

Definitely would be interesting to read other people's experience with solar & batteries in Canada.
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Old 01-15-2020, 01:43 PM   #2049
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I get that solar doesn't regenerate or provide enough in a micro-usage situation, but what is wrong with having batteries powered through continuous, 24/7 charging year-round, and have them utilized only when increased demand during cold snaps? The intention wouldn't be for the batteries to be continuously used (unless we have solar and battery technology one day that can do that). Instead, we have solar-charged batteries ready to go for days such as these (and probably hot snaps in the summer).

I feel like it's still an option when we have AESO energy alerts at level 2 and/or 3, especially when temporary power loss to customers is looming.

Anyways, I feel like nuclear fusion could be our best renewable, non carbon-output energy source in the future.
But like I mentioned, there has been several days of drawing more than we generate, and to have batteries for that, well 1000MW for 24 hours is a 24 000MWh battery. Note that the big one installed in Australia is 129MWh.


That costed about $80 million, so 24GWh would cost about $15 billion. Shepard Energy plant cost $1.4 billion and produces 860MW, all day, every day. So for ~1/10 the cost you get something that produces energy, not just stores it. And probably has twice the lifespan. And again, that gets you one 24 hour period like we have had.

Now sure, you can do smaller scale, but you get smaller benefits. This is just to illustrate the scale of the challenge.

I'm mostly suggesting we need to be cautious about how we transition, and not getting fooled into thinking building solar+battery at the same capacity of a gas plant that it plans to replace is a smart thing to do. Because once the battery is dead, it's dead, and it doesn't care that David Philips said it would warm up in a week, even if it doesn't. So we need to maintain old fashioned(or nuclear) generating capacity to cover that worst case scenario when the sun isn't shining, the wind isn't blowing, and the batteries are empty.
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Old 01-15-2020, 02:11 PM   #2050
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Entire annual battery production from Telsa's gigafactory, the largest battery factory in the world, can store 3 mins of US electrical demand.
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Old 01-15-2020, 03:24 PM   #2051
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Note that the big one installed in Australia is 129MWh.
An Australian website that commentates on its country's electricity system had an article that discussed the operations of the battery. One interesting finding was that the round-trip efficiency is relatively poor. Based on their numbers, it appears that you only get about 67% of the electricity back (HPRG1 is when the battery was outputting, HPRL1 is when the battery is charging).




http://www.wattclarity.com.au/articl...about-storage/

So that would further increase the costs because your generation capacity needs to be higher, and your battery has to be bigger to account for those losses. While Alberta doesn't get the heat of Australia, extreme cold is as detrimental to li-ion batteries as extreme heat so energy would be needed to maintain an optimal temperature for the batteries, which ironically would probably be cheap NG during winter.
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Old 01-15-2020, 03:27 PM   #2052
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Batteries are their own problem. They aren't some magical bullet as some would lead you to believe. Battery storage is also extremely expensive.

https://www.wired.co.uk/article/lith...ronment-impact

https://www.nsenergybusiness.com/fea...mental-impact/

Batteries don't just magically appear out of thin air, they are made of metals that are toxic to the environment, and uses extreme amounts of water and a destructive process to mine / extract.

The amount of lithium, cobalt and and nickel needed to build a grid level battery system and cost would be immense.

https://www.utilitydive.com/news/tra...45t-wo/557832/

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Last month, the energy research firm Wood Mackenzie estimated the cost to decarbonize the U.S. grid alone would be $4.5 trillion, about half of which would go to installing 900 billion watts, or 900 gigawatts (GW), of batteries and other energy storage technologies. (Today, the world's battery storage capacity is just 5.5 GW.)
No problem, just multiply the world's current battery storage capacity by 180 to meet one country's demands. Boom solar grid!
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Old 01-15-2020, 03:29 PM   #2053
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You said batteries were useless in weather like this I pointed out that is not true, Alberta should be battery buffering our power grid. I get your point they are not going to solve the problem of generating electricity that's a given. And will say it again I HATE wind turbines they are a blight on humanity.

I agree with Bill Gates we need to make modern nuclear plants, why is this not being done? Say in 40 years we replaced most coal and gas powered stations with modern nuclear systems we could power 100's of millions of electric cars with almost zero carbon footprint.
I used to think that nuclear was the future, but a combination of wind, solar & storage is much simpler, more efficient and cheaper to build.

Fission is the next step I suppose.
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Old 01-15-2020, 03:33 PM   #2054
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I used to think that nuclear was the future, but a combination of wind, solar & storage is much simpler, more efficient and cheaper to build.

Fission is the next step I suppose.
Is it? We are in the middle if discussing how this is not the case at all. OK, maybe simpler. I'll give you that. I've yet to be convinced it's cheaper, and "more efficient" is a dubious qualifier. As was shown by Accord1999, battery efficiency has it's issues.
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Old 01-15-2020, 03:37 PM   #2055
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Entire annual battery production from Telsa's gigafactory, the largest battery factory in the world, can store 3 mins of US electrical demand.
It is not about storing energy for the entire grid, but about small-scale solutions to provide demand at times where generation is not happening.

There are a variety of examples where solar + battery are the most efficient and economical solution. To think otherwise is a bit naive at this point.

A 100 mile x 100 mile solar farm in the Mojave Desert would provide enough power for the entire US grid. Yes I know it isn't possible to transport the power all over the US, but it just goes to show that we are fast on the way to figuring out how to create cheap, renewable energy.
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Old 01-15-2020, 03:38 PM   #2056
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Batteries are their own problem. They aren't some magical bullet as some would lead you to believe. Battery storage is also extremely expensive.

https://www.wired.co.uk/article/lith...ronment-impact

https://www.nsenergybusiness.com/fea...mental-impact/

Batteries don't just magically appear out of thin air, they are made of metals that are toxic to the environment, and uses extreme amounts of water and a destructive process to mine / extract.

The amount of lithium, cobalt and and nickel needed to build a grid level battery system and cost would be immense.

https://www.utilitydive.com/news/tra...45t-wo/557832/



No problem, just multiply the world's current battery storage capacity by 180 to meet one country's demands. Boom solar grid!
You do realize that every single problem you just mentioned is easily solvable as the market continues to grow and money is spent on researching battery tech?
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Old 01-15-2020, 03:43 PM   #2057
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I used to think that nuclear was the future, but a combination of wind, solar & storage is much simpler, more efficient and cheaper to build.

Fission is the next step I suppose.
3.6% efficiency is efficient?

http://ets.aeso.ca/ets_web/ip/Market...DReportServlet

65 out of 1796 combined at this moment from wind and solar, where it's a little windy. We have a net deficiency of 1000 MW right now, it would take over 15 times our current wind and solar capacity to just to meet that deficit, let alone the 10100 MW that is actually used to keep us alive right now.

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Old 01-15-2020, 03:45 PM   #2058
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Is it? We are in the middle if discussing how this is not the case at all. OK, maybe simpler. I'll give you that. I've yet to be convinced it's cheaper, and "more efficient" is a dubious qualifier. As was shown by Accord1999, battery efficiency has it's issues.
The market is proving that solar, wind + storage is cheaper and better to build.

Unfortunately nuclear, despite probably being the 'best' options has not had any new tech show up since the 70's, and has to deal with an insane amount of regulations. Most plants take decades to build, run over budget and cost multitudes of billions in the end.

In the meantime, solar & wind is going up like crazy, and storage is starting to hit its stride.

Battery efficiency is a moot point. Honestly, we are just starting to get into battery tech. What will it look like 10 years from now?

Because it would take at least 10 years to build a nuclear plant.

We also don't talk about wind enough. I remember putting up windmills on our farm in 1993 I believe, and they were 300kW. Aren't there windmills coming to market right now that are 10mW? That is insane.

Off shore, regional, cost effective, etc.

Again, the market is speaking here. Pretty obvious what it is saying.
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Old 01-15-2020, 03:47 PM   #2059
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I've been watching the Brooks plant data as well. If you look at the whole time series, you see the average wattage per day instead of hourly.

https://www.dispatcho.app/live/BSC1?r=42507300

This shows that the average daily production works out to about 5 MW in the summer months (33% of nameplate capacity) and a fair amount less than 1 MW in the winter months (>7% of capacity).

If we are to move to a non-GHG emitting energy mix (net zero being the goal), we have to contemplate replacing transportation and home heating with electrical sources as well, so the load would be highest in times like what we're in right now (I'm guessing doubling or more the 11 GW we currently use in the province).

Given that our future electrical grid needs to work hardest in the winter, the only energy source that could possibly work would be nuclear (which is fine here as we are on a geologically stable part of the earth far from tsunami and so on).

The trouble is, if we want to build out to meet our current 11 GW demand, we'd need 4 or so Darlington-scale nuke plants at a cost of $25 billion or so each in 2020 dollars ($100 billion total, and maybe double that to satisfy the demand for electrified heating).
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Old 01-15-2020, 03:48 PM   #2060
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3.6% efficiency is efficient?

http://ets.aeso.ca/ets_web/ip/Market...DReportServlet

65 out of 1796 combined at this moment from wind and solar, where it's a little windy. We have a net deficiency of 1000 MW right now, it would take over 15 times our current wind and solar capacity to meet that deficit, let alone what is actually used to keep us alive right now.
It is more efficient over the long-term than most comparable options.

Nuclear is not an option, no matter how much we want it to be.

Again, regional options. Solar in Canada is not as feasible as it is in Texas, although someone in Alberta seems to think it is getting pretty darn close.

What was the cost of the big solar plant going up near Vulcan? With subsidies it is pretty darn close to any other comparable power plant you would build.
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