Posting in Energy
U.S. Energy Secretary Steven Chu has recommended to his advisory board that the United States build new hydro storage facilities.
There's no need to "duck and cover" this time around. Energy Secretary Steven Chu is proposing that the United States dust off 60's era hydro engineering technology that's associated with nuclear power, so that today's clean energy does not go to waste.
When a windmill is generating electricity during gusty non-peak hours, some of that energy could be wasted. The same principle applied to a nuclear power plant, which has a steady energy output.
Chu advocated pumped hydro storage as a best of class solution to storing excess renewable energy during a recent meeting with his energy advisory board, Greenwire reports. Using pumped hydro storage to store electricity ($100 per kilowatt-hour) is significantly more efficient than using sodium ion flow batteries, he said ($400 per kWh)
Pumped hydro facilities use excess power to pump water uphill to a reservoir during peak hours, which is later released over a turbine to create more electricity. Think of it as load balancing for electricity.
Engineers during the 60, 70's, and 80's built pumped hydro storage so that any excess nuclear energy did not go to waste. Chu recommended that new hydro facilities be built to help integrate renewable power into the electrical grid.
Oct 15, 2010
Line every freeway with solar panels, that should add quite a lot of power to the grid. The space is already there being wasted, the panels could be set high up on poles in the median and shoulders.
turn the highways into conduits remove transports energy consumption and establish a modern national energy free gridwork for electrical transmission. All at about 1/2 the cost of today. And it will be as well ecologicaly and environmentally sound.
Yes I remember seeing a concrete lake on the top of a small mountain in Missouri as a kid. However conserving unecessary energy consumption is still the cheapest and best way to go. Not the only way ... as we are not even close to producing enouph to meet the local much less increasing global demand. My research indicates That a innovative change in the form of highways into a reduced and limited provision of a structured conduit will then allow our distribution process to begin technologicaly evolving in a secure and controlled environment. That both transport and electrical transmission could be then reasonably accomplished with out 95% or more of thier current energy consumptons. An event whose permanent investment cost simply pales in comparison to todays energy efficiency values. An effort of real and practical change which is not only lucratively profitable but whose exponentially increased efficiencies, speeds, safety and ease of use suggest it would truly revolutionize the populations abilities. Its a broad concept in practical change that I am exploring the feasibility of. In the hopes it will spread an awareness That there is an opportunity to accomplish a great and positive change. Most Revolutionary Step EVER ! https://docs.google.com/document/edit?id=1IIN9jq7d4cEWknLAYIS1-cAwvyytj5B7P8Pmfttxikc&hl=en# George
Altotus brilliantly illustrates the brainpower of those within the radical green movement, who are more members of a religious cult than anything scientific. As branchman67 points out, you can concur with the evidence that our planet is going through a change in climate without believing it's somehow caused by anything man is doing. How long have we been observing temperatures and weather patterns, after all? Not nearly long enough to use it as the basis for the outrageous harm the green movement has caused to our economy over the past few decades. Core samples indicate that changing climate is cyclical. But as Rahm Emanuel pointed out, "Never let a good crisis go to waste". Politicians and radical greenies will use any straw they can grasp to grab more control. More control in their hands means less liberty in ours. Be careful November 2nd. Make sure you understand the worldviews of those you're voting for before you put them in office.
I read everything I can find on energy storage, carbon-free, and local (read "Arab-free") power alternatives. I grew up a dam engineer's son, and chose a professional engineering career including working in energy sector for GE, and at the same time find common ground with rational environmentalists - we can't continue to consume non-renewable resources or to trash or waste our natural resources. Land is a limited and valuable resource, so flooding more acres to store energy hardly seems "best in class", environmentalist or not. I prefer Mr. Chu be advocating a different alternative, especially for the Northwest where Spring flood control means letting so much potential energy flow downstream. The best large-scale energy storage idea I've read about is the "Hydrogen Hub." Hydrogen can be "cracked" from air using what would otherwise wasted off-peak energy such as evening wind or hydro "Spring runnoff". At peak demand, hydrogen is then combusted through slightly modified gensets, the same gas turbine generators that hospitals and industrial sites use for emergency power, and power companies use to augment supply during municipal peak loads. The obvious advantages include capturing "lost" wind and hydro energy using our existing grid, a fuel having zero-carbon footprint, and a resource not stored under Arab sands or offshore near sensitive fishing grounds. An interesting twist on economic hydrogen storage and transportation is processing it into anhydrous ammonia, which holds twice the density of hydrogen as liquid hydrogen itself without the high pressure or combustablility potential that have slowed adoption of the hydrogen vehicle. Anhydrous ammonia, a common fertilizer component, is by volumn the third most transported and stored liquid chemical in the US, so much of the storage and transportation infrastructure including procedures to handle it safely are already in place across the country. Aside from a few Northwest publications and technical journals, I haven't seen much about this concept in the press. I learned of it through articles about the Northwest Hydrogen Alliance.
The water tower might not be a bad idea for a small scale operation, but it would not work on the scale Mr. Chu is talking about. The Philippines might not be a bad idea for this with it's seasonal heavy rains. But that would end up being more of a pure hydro project than wind pumping water for storage.
Maybe I'm nuts, but I don't see why this has to be so large scale as to 'dam' up landscape. Is it feasible to essentially use 'water towers'?
Good for you and your kids oh yea and how. Burn pvc in you back yard as well dioxin is a myth. A little asbestos is ok anyway whose afraid of pcb you ever see a pcb? no of course not there just mythical beasts thats all. Hay by the way you wont mind if i leave this metal drum from New Jersey in your backyard for awhile I promise I will be back for it after all I can dump it and scrap the metal right?
And I suppose dry canyons have no ecosystem? Examine any of the currently popular 'green tech' and there are large looming problems. Solar takes up massive amount of space and contributes to ecological devistation when put in open fields or deserts (yes deserts have ecosystems too). Wind chops up birds and, like solar, is inconsistent as a source of energy. Hydro causes ecological changes wherever it is implemented (Three Gorges Dam anyone?) and so on and so on. I'm actually one of those 'Global Warming deniers' (I can acknowledge the planet has gotten warmer in the past 100 years, but I don't automatically concede it's all our fault) but it's funny how this 'green tech' carries all these problems, but we're told we need to switch over right now, without delay. What happens when we switch? Then we'll be told this new energy source is bad because of x, y and z and it's on to the next boondoggle. Eventually we'll all be living in huts again, except of course for the politicians who sold us this crap, like Al Gore. They'll still be living in their mansions and flying their jets, while we'll all have to walk or bike to get anywhere.
I think his point is you still end up with large chunks of land underwater, even with your proposed series of small dams. Environmentalists do not like people flooding out Bambi and Thumper. You also run the risk of states like California, Nevada and Arizona eyeing the stored water as an irrigation or drinking water source. And would pulling the water into storage interfere with existing water rights uses like drinking or irrigation? In many western states 100 percent of the water in a given watershed is already allocated to some kind of use. Please engage brain before putting foot in mouth.
Pumped storage hydro is very different from damming up rivers; no need to block major streams and destroy fish runs, even a dry canyon can be used as a storage reservoir. Instead of building a really high dam to get the amount of fall needed to spin turbines (and flooding huge areas of land), you can build smaller dams higher up. You can reuse the same water again and again, minus what's lost to evaporation. Try using your brain for a change.
...as it's already standard operating procedure in mountainous areas like in California. What is amusing is what @cd3rd points out just above: That now all of a sudden, it's going to "green" to build dams again after decades of decommissioning and fighting to them in the name of the environment. It just goes to show that so much of "environmentalism" isn't about rational science, but about political whim and supporting the currently favored and totally unrelated agendas. It reminds me of how back in the early '70s, that bastion of hyper- correctness Berkeley California outlawed paper cups in favor of styrofoam cups in the name of saving the forests, only to reverse the decision 25+ years later because of landfills forever filled with undegrading plastics.
Interesting isn't it, that over the decades our environmentalists managed to halt hydro electric plant construction, citing environmental impact of the dams and flooded valleys needed to create the reservoirs. Now we are going to start damming up ever open valley we can find to build reservoirs needed to store wind power. I guess it's ok to submerge all those fragile plants and critters after all. Maybe we should have just built hydro plants in the first place. Clean, free, and no ugly white monsters crowding our skylines.