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Thread: Does Battery Backup Make Large Scale Wind/Solar Viable?

  1. #31
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    That argument has more holes than Swiss cheese
    "A pessimist sees the difficulty in every opportunity, an optimist sees the opportunity in every difficulty” ---Sir Winston Churchill

    "Political extremism involves two prime ingredients: an excessively simple diagnosis of the world's ills, and a conviction that there are identifiable villains back of it all." ---John W. Gardner

  2. #32
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    i would be interested in your elucidating some of those holes, one engineer to another.
    ...............
    If you are what you eat, I am fast, easy & cheap.

  3. #33
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    ...This paper highlights the physics of energy to illustrate why there is no possibility that the world is undergoing—or can undergo—a near-term transition to a “new energy economy.”

    Among the reasons:
    *Scientists have yet to discover, and entrepreneurs have yet to invent, anything as remarkable as hydrocarbons in terms of the combination of low-cost, high-energy density, stability, safety, and portability. In practical terms, this means that spending $1 million on utility-scale wind turbines, or solar panels will each, over 30 years of operation, produce about 50 million kilowatt-hours (kWh)—while an equivalent $1 million spent on a shale rig produces enough natural gas over 30 years to generate over 300 million kWh.

    *Solar technologies have improved greatly and will continue to become cheaper and more efficient. But the era of 10-fold gains is over. The physics boundary for silicon photovoltaic (PV) cells, the Shockley-Queisser Limit, is a maximum conversion of 34% of photons into electrons; the best commercial PV technology today exceeds 26%.

    *Wind power technology has also improved greatly, but here, too, no 10-fold gains are left. The physics boundary for a wind turbine, the Betz Limit, is a maximum capture of 60% of kinetic energy in moving air; commercial turbines today exceed 40%.

    *The annual output of Tesla’s Gigafactory, the world’s largest battery factory, could store three minutes’ worth of annual U.S. electricity demand. It would require 1,000 years of production to make enough batteries for two days’ worth of U.S. electricity demand...
    First I have to insert a caveat: I do not believe that wind/solar are capable of generating all our electric power needs and do not see in the future any hint of a game changer in that regard. That said---looking out as many years as being discussed here (30) and projecting technology 30 years hence is a fools game, possibly a good mathematical study, but little else.

    Now--that said. The author of this piece (and I might question his credentials) makes the obvious mistake of not looking at total cost (or return) but only partial costs of specific components. You cannot compare the relative value of competing technologies piece by piece--they have to be compared in their entirety. He wants to compare performance of solar cells based on conversion efficiency---but fails to factor in the obvious---the "fuel" is free!

    Could this argument be valuable in a rigorous analysis looking out 5 or even 10 years---yes---but this boy obviously isn't into rigorous.
    "A pessimist sees the difficulty in every opportunity, an optimist sees the opportunity in every difficulty” ---Sir Winston Churchill

    "Political extremism involves two prime ingredients: an excessively simple diagnosis of the world's ills, and a conviction that there are identifiable villains back of it all." ---John W. Gardner

  4. #34
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    The author’s credentials —

    Biography
    Mark P. Mills is a senior fellow at the Manhattan Institute and a faculty fellow at Northwestern University’s McCormick School of Engineering and Applied Science where he co-directs an Institute on Manufacturing Science and Innovation. He is also a strategic partner with Cottonwood Venture Partners (an energy-tech venture fund), and an advisory board member of the University of Notre Dame’s Reilly Center for Science, Technology, and Values. Previously, he cofounded Digital Power Capital, a boutique venture fund, and was chairman and CTO of ICx Technologies, helping take it public in a 2007 IPO. Mills is a regular contributor to Forbes.com and coauthor of The Bottomless Well: The Twilight of Fuel, the Virtue of Waste, and Why We Will Never Run Out of Energy (2005; Number One on Amazon’s science and math rankings). His articles have been published in the Wall Street Journal, USA Today, and Real Clear. Mills has appeared as a guest on CNN, Fox, NBC, and PBS, and on The Daily Show with Jon Stewart. In 2016, Mills was named "Energy Writer of the Year" by the American Energy Society.
    Earlier, Mills was a technology advisor for Bank of America Securities and coauthor of the Huber-Mills Digital Power Report, a tech investment newsletter. He has testified before Congress and briefed numerous state public-service commissions and legislators. Mills served in the White House Science Office under President Reagan and subsequently provided science and technology policy counsel to numerous private-sector firms, the Department of Energy, and U.S. research laboratories.
    Early in his career, Mills was an experimental physicist and development engineer at Bell Northern Research (Canada’s Bell Labs) and at the RCA David Sarnoff Research Center on microprocessors, fiber optics, missile guidance, earning several patents for his work. He holds a degree in physics from Queen’s University in Ontario, Canada.
    ...............
    If you are what you eat, I am fast, easy & cheap.

  5. #35
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    Well, there you have it! The guy has wasted most of his career and now he expects people to listen to his ideas? Sheesh!~
    The only way of discovering the limits of the possible is to venture a little way past them into the impossible - Arthur C. Clarke

  6. #36
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    Quote Originally Posted by wacojoe View Post
    The author’s credentials —

    Biography
    Mark P. Mills is a senior fellow at the Manhattan Institute and a faculty fellow at Northwestern University’s McCormick School of Engineering and Applied Science where he co-directs an Institute on Manufacturing Science and Innovation. He is also a strategic partner with Cottonwood Venture Partners (an energy-tech venture fund), and an advisory board member of the University of Notre Dame’s Reilly Center for Science, Technology, and Values. Previously, he cofounded Digital Power Capital, a boutique venture fund, and was chairman and CTO of ICx Technologies, helping take it public in a 2007 IPO. Mills is a regular contributor to Forbes.com and coauthor of The Bottomless Well: The Twilight of Fuel, the Virtue of Waste, and Why We Will Never Run Out of Energy (2005; Number One on Amazon’s science and math rankings). His articles have been published in the Wall Street Journal, USA Today, and Real Clear. Mills has appeared as a guest on CNN, Fox, NBC, and PBS, and on The Daily Show with Jon Stewart. In 2016, Mills was named "Energy Writer of the Year" by the American Energy Society.
    Earlier, Mills was a technology advisor for Bank of America Securities and coauthor of the Huber-Mills Digital Power Report, a tech investment newsletter. He has testified before Congress and briefed numerous state public-service commissions and legislators. Mills served in the White House Science Office under President Reagan and subsequently provided science and technology policy counsel to numerous private-sector firms, the Department of Energy, and U.S. research laboratories.
    Early in his career, Mills was an experimental physicist and development engineer at Bell Northern Research (Canada’s Bell Labs) and at the RCA David Sarnoff Research Center on microprocessors, fiber optics, missile guidance, earning several patents for his work. He holds a degree in physics from Queen’s University in Ontario, Canada.
    Obviously he has an agenda. After all, a few of these highly credentialed folks even deny climate change--go figure! It is also clear that he has the "tools" to do an unbiased scientific analysis but failed to do that.
    Last edited by Dave Grubb; Yesterday at 08:24 AM.
    "A pessimist sees the difficulty in every opportunity, an optimist sees the opportunity in every difficulty” ---Sir Winston Churchill

    "Political extremism involves two prime ingredients: an excessively simple diagnosis of the world's ills, and a conviction that there are identifiable villains back of it all." ---John W. Gardner

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