Home and vehicle to grid.

imwjl

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This idea has fascinated me and I have guessed @Buckocaster51 and others here follow it via his mentioning a community solar group. It is in its infancy, but wow does it seem to be a potential problem solver. For those unaware, the concept is batteries that charge during off peak times sell back the power during peak times.

My last recollection is a few countries are experimenting. Earlier in the summer I recall news of a bus fleet in California starting a trial. When I was on the city council committee tasked with utilities and long-term sustainability this was in its infancy. The skeptic in me is battery life, but now those costs are dropped big time. Some of what I've caught on this topic says what you are paid is ahead of any costs for decreased battery life.

Home storage seems like a really good idea vs automobiles, but it looks like there is slower adoption there. I figure we'll move at least 1-2 more times in our life prior to the grave, and buy a few vehicles. It would be amazing if those purchases could contribute to solving one of the oldest electric power challenges.
 

metalicaster

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Power storage is interesting. There are other methods, too. Hydro storage is the most common—pumping it back up behind a dam and letting it through the turbine when there’s demand.

Near me there’s a test rig in an old mineshaft. They’re winching a 100 tonne weight up and down. It goes up when power is cheap and goes down when demand is high, spinning a generator as it goes. It’s approx. 75% efficient, but gravity doesn’t wear out like batteries do, so it’s cheaper over time. It takes a couple of days to get to the bottom, so in theory it can smooth out demand for wind and solar quite well.

If the test goes well, there are lots of old mining sites suitable for a up to a 5000 tonne weight and a 250m drop. It’s just an enormous grandfather clock.
 

imwjl

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Power storage is interesting. There are other methods, too. Hydro storage is the most common—pumping it back up behind a dam and letting it through the turbine when there’s demand.

Near me there’s a test rig in an old mineshaft. They’re winching a 100 tonne weight up and down. It goes up when power is cheap and goes down when demand is high, spinning a generator as it goes. It’s approx. 75% efficient, but gravity doesn’t wear out like batteries do, so it’s cheaper over time. It takes a couple of days to get to the bottom, so in theory it can smooth out demand for wind and solar quite well.

If the test goes well, there are lots of old mining sites suitable for a up to a 5000 tonne weight and a 250m drop. It’s just an enormous grandfather clock.
Yes, that and the various ways of using currents (water) and gravity have catch my attention.

The two matters that interest me on home or vehicle to grid are how all over or per community they can be. Beyond cars, I think it was @Buckocaster51 who mentioned an association or coop where he lives for selling one's solar back to the grid. I've guessed some utilities will hop in this idea sooner than others. Where I work 3 utilities serve 4 business sites. One of them is WAY ahead of the others doing new or next generation stuff.

FYI, in addition to the California experiment that started I recall an effort in IL using school buses because they most likely won't be running at that later in the day peak demand time. It will be very interesting to see how this core idea turns out.
 

ChicknPickn

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Something about batteries as we know them - - maybe many things - - gives me a gut feeling that they'll poison the world as much or more than anything we've devised so far. I consider their components (various types), the methods of mining, the generally free-for-all approach to disposal . . . . . I'll be long gone before the best way is known, but I can't help feeling all of this electric-vehicle stuff is a brief stop on the way. That said, I see the excitement about them in the present, and am therefore monetarily invested in them. But I will watch my holdings carefully, just as I've watched crypto.
 

chris m.

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One big challenge in all of this is how utilities are actually financed. Historically they were financed by you paying your electricity or gas bill, for example. But as folks install solar or wind in their homes or as part of a local coop, they sell rather than draw power. So who's going to pay the cost of maintaining the grid? This is why a lot of utilities are actually making people PAY to have solar on their roofs, which is crazy.

So in addition to the significant technical challenges to moving away from carbon, there are the socio-econo-political challenges related to making the transition in an equitable way.
 

Killing Floor

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No politics. Don’t taze me, bro.


The single largest “use” of electricity from any large, centralized distribution is “loss”. Inefficiency in gear, hysteresis, etc. It’s not uncommon for upwards of 50% of total Wattage to be simply wasted in the transmission between a municipal plant and downstream residential or commercial users. It is not relevant what kind of fuel is used in generation for this statement to be true.

So with distributed solar (or wind or honestly even if you had your own coal fired micro plant) the reason for the push toward acceptance of micro grids, interconnectivity and 2-way metering is that it reduces loss. Therefore the locally used energy (your Amps!) costs less to produce because you are not paying for as much lost energy upstream.

The trick is that most utilities whether nuclear, solar, hydro, coal, diesel, etc. only have one “speed”. So on light usage days the losses are even greater.

If you live in a place where you are able to contribute back to the utility that is awesome. Chances are your solar panels are closer to the substation than the nearest municipal generation plant.
 

chris m.

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No politics. Don’t taze me, bro.


The single largest “use” of electricity from any large, centralized distribution is “loss”. Inefficiency in gear, hysteresis, etc. It’s not uncommon for upwards of 50% of total Wattage to be simply wasted in the transmission between a municipal plant and downstream residential or commercial users. It is not relevant what kind of fuel is used in generation for this statement to be true.

So with distributed solar (or wind or honestly even if you had your own coal fired micro plant) the reason for the push toward acceptance of micro grids, interconnectivity and 2-way metering is that it reduces loss. Therefore the locally used energy (your Amps!) costs less to produce because you are not paying for as much lost energy upstream.

The trick is that most utilities whether nuclear, solar, hydro, coal, diesel, etc. only have one “speed”. So on light usage days the losses are even greater.

If you live in a place where you are able to contribute back to the utility that is awesome. Chances are your solar panels are closer to the substation than the nearest municipal generation plant.
Yes, hence the big push for more interconnected, "smart" grids. Another thing to remember is we could probably get another 30% in conservation, pretty easily, reducing overall electrical demand, just by continuing to replace old stuff with LEDs, more efficient appliances, "smart" homes and offices that turn stuff off for us if we forget to turn it off, etc.
 

imwjl

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Something about batteries as we know them - - maybe many things - - gives me a gut feeling that they'll poison the world as much or more than anything we've devised so far. I consider their components (various types), the methods of mining, the generally free-for-all approach to disposal . . . . . I'll be long gone before the best way is known, but I can't help feeling all of this electric-vehicle stuff is a brief stop on the way. That said, I see the excitement about them in the present, and am therefore monetarily invested in them. But I will watch my holdings carefully, just as I've watched crypto.
What supports this gut feeling? Please answer with economics. I'm with the no politics post. This is just plain simple interesting engineering and innovation with incentive.

No doubt there are negative externalities associated with the batteries and so much of what we do, but it is already well proven that first tier firms and aspects on new energy and transportation matters are a net gain in some really important ways. The nascent recycling industry already exists. Much manufacturing of this is moving or coming to the US where regulations are stronger. Same time the battery prices have dropped market value of the ore is opening mines where regulations and labor matters are better - US and Canada for example.

For sure there is speculation but nothing like crypto. I really doubt there could be speculation over this an any sort of same way. Our grid in all states AFAIK is regulated monopolies. The best managed are commissioners or board members with appointments that are out of sync with political cycles. It might be more chaotic in the states that have a poor track record, and I'd expect them to be the last adopters if this idea works out.
I'm extremely interested but realistically it's a few years off for me.
IMO, way off stuff here. A few nations of many are looking at it, trials seem small. We don't even have many vehicles yet that can use their batteries to charge other stuff but I understand home storage could do that already.
Yes, hence the big push for more interconnected, "smart" grids. Another thing to remember is we could probably get another 30% in conservation, pretty easily, reducing overall electrical demand, just by continuing to replace old stuff with LEDs, more efficient appliances, "smart" homes and offices that turn stuff off for us if we forget to turn it off, etc.
Ah, and "silly" human behavior. The incentive aspect is part of my fascination here. I bet those who laugh at those who try to live with a modest footprint would take seriously a schema that paid for electricity they are holding and at the moment could give up in trade for money.

This idea has an incentive element if that is not clear to all.
 

buster poser

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IMO, way off stuff here. A few nations of many are looking at it, trials seem small. We don't even have many vehicles yet that can use their batteries to charge other stuff but I understand home storage could do that already.
For sure, as a large schema. I'm just thinking about a closed/micro system that charges a whole-house backup battery for me while feeding the i3 too. We have good roof positioning and get 325 days of sun per year, so I don't have to get too cute to make it work. Definitely keeping an eye on that Will Prowse dude someone here (maybe you) recommended.
 

chris m.

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What supports this gut feeling? Please answer with economics. I'm with the no politics post. This is just plain simple interesting engineering and innovation with incentive.

No doubt there are negative externalities associated with the batteries and so much of what we do, but it is already well proven that first tier firms and aspects on new energy and transportation matters are a net gain in some really important ways. The nascent recycling industry already exists. Much manufacturing of this is moving or coming to the US where regulations are stronger. Same time the battery prices have dropped market value of the ore is opening mines where regulations and labor matters are better - US and Canada for example.

For sure there is speculation but nothing like crypto. I really doubt there could be speculation over this an any sort of same way. Our grid in all states AFAIK is regulated monopolies. The best managed are commissioners or board members with appointments that are out of sync with political cycles. It might be more chaotic in the states that have a poor track record, and I'd expect them to be the last adopters if this idea works out.

IMO, way off stuff here. A few nations of many are looking at it, trials seem small. We don't even have many vehicles yet that can use their batteries to charge other stuff but I understand home storage could do that already.

Ah, and "silly" human behavior. The incentive aspect is part of my fascination here. I bet those who laugh at those who try to live with a modest footprint would take seriously a schema that paid for electricity they are holding and at the moment could give up in trade for money.

This idea has an incentive element if that is not clear to all.
In lots of areas you can actually monetize your willingness to conserve. Our area is serviced by Southern California Edison. Rather than having the default plan, in which you are charged a constant rate for electricity, we elected to sign up for a peaking plan, where we pay different rates for electricity depending on the time of day. We pay only 10 cents a kilowatt hour from 10 pm to 6 am under this plan, so we use the programmable delay feature on our washer, dryer, and dishwasher to run them during the low cost period. We also charge the e-car during this time of night as well.

As far as switching to LEDs goes, that pays for itself very rapidly so I think most people are doing so.
 

Killing Floor

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What supports this gut feeling? Please answer with economics. I'm with the no politics post. This is just plain simple interesting engineering and innovation with incentive.

No doubt there are negative externalities associated with the batteries and so much of what we do, but it is already well proven that first tier firms and aspects on new energy and transportation matters are a net gain in some really important ways. The nascent recycling industry already exists. Much manufacturing of this is moving or coming to the US where regulations are stronger. Same time the battery prices have dropped market value of the ore is opening mines where regulations and labor matters are better - US and Canada for example.

For sure there is speculation but nothing like crypto. I really doubt there could be speculation over this an any sort of same way. Our grid in all states AFAIK is regulated monopolies. The best managed are commissioners or board members with appointments that are out of sync with political cycles. It might be more chaotic in the states that have a poor track record, and I'd expect them to be the last adopters if this idea works out.

IMO, way off stuff here. A few nations of many are looking at it, trials seem small. We don't even have many vehicles yet that can use their batteries to charge other stuff but I understand home storage could do that already.

Ah, and "silly" human behavior. The incentive aspect is part of my fascination here. I bet those who laugh at those who try to live with a modest footprint would take seriously a schema that paid for electricity they are holding and at the moment could give up in trade for money.

This idea has an incentive element if that is not clear to all.
Disclosure I’m a first rev LEED AP, a LC and an engineer and I used to work more in industrial and utility adjacent business but have been directly employed in lighting for more than 15 years. So that slants my opinion.

Incentives/prescriptives: not allowed to name states because it gets flagged as politics. Some places produce surplus energy, some places buy surplus energy.
When your place offers a rebate to a consumer or some other prescriptive incentive it is because the value of all the rebates they fund is less than the cost of upgrading their capacity and they are signaling that their source is nearing capacity. Not political, strictly economic. That is why the place I live does not offer very good rebates, in some cases none at all.

Costs:
Where energy is consumed at a greater rate than local/regional production the cost is higher and rebates are also funded at a better rate. These places also tend to deploy more aggressive energy codes and policies. Upstream the secondary provider is selling energy to that market often at a higher rate than their local market.

In either case utilities and municipalities use rebates as a teaser to incentivize you to consume less, your efficacy helps the utility. The greater the delta between consumption and production, the more likely your local utility or co-op will “buy back” your self generated solar or other, reverse metering. Where I live we also have in excess of 300 sun days but we can’t sell power back. So my only incentive is a lower monthly bill.

Now politics can play a part in influencing the behavior of utilities including rebates they offer. But not fully. It’s really supply and demand.

All that said, there is nobody on earth who knows how long our natural supply of oil and coal will last. Not a political statement. Even Exxon says this publicly, it’s an unknown. Maybe 500 years, maybe 20. It is widely debated and nobody has a realistic time table.

So the more you can help, maybe the better.
 

Killing Floor

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And to the other point, a large component of what we call “smart grid” assumes that electric vehicles connected to metered control are an available source of energy that can be recalled by a utility to meet demand during periods of lower production.
Think of millions of plugged in electric cars at millions of batteries available to the grid.
 

ChicknPickn

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What supports this gut feeling? Please answer with economics.
Decline. I stated my opinion. Dr. Google is full of information. We tend to seek out the information that affirms our beliefs. I don't deny that. However, in this case, much of what I've ingested comes from having a mother who has a doctorate in public health, was a professor of environmental science, and was a science advisor on hazardous waste disposal under two governors of different parties. And who was one of five people who decided whether Three Mile Island could reopen, and under what controls. So I listen to her with interest. She's not a fan of batteries. Or current lithium harvesting methodologies.
 
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imwjl

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Yes yes but what if I haven't read a thing about it except some facebook memes and have simply decided I don't like it for nebulous reasons I can't explain coherently? Isn't my opinion still 100% valid? I think it is.
Oh my. The first technology firm I worked for was owned buy two guys who had philosophy degrees in addition to mathematics and business. Decades ago and in early Internet days Tony RIP would say he was certain cultural relativism might destroy what boomers grew up with.
In lots of areas you can actually monetize your willingness to conserve. Our area is serviced by Southern California Edison. Rather than having the default plan, in which you are charged a constant rate for electricity, we elected to sign up for a peaking plan, where we pay different rates for electricity depending on the time of day. We pay only 10 cents a kilowatt hour from 10 pm to 6 am under this plan, so we use the programmable delay feature on our washer, dryer, and dishwasher to run them during the low cost period. We also charge the e-car during this time of night as well.

As far as switching to LEDs goes, that pays for itself very rapidly so I think most people are doing so.
I've told that to people who've questioned some of my choices. The money aspects of my willingness to conserve.
 

metalicaster

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Yes, that and the various ways of using currents (water) and gravity have catch my attention.

The two matters that interest me on home or vehicle to grid are how all over or per community they can be. Beyond cars, I think it was @Buckocaster51 who mentioned an association or coop where he lives for selling one's solar back to the grid. I've guessed some utilities will hop in this idea sooner than others. Where I work 3 utilities serve 4 business sites. One of them is WAY ahead of the others doing new or next generation stuff.

FYI, in addition to the California experiment that started I recall an effort in IL using school buses because they most likely won't be running at that later in the day peak demand time. It will be very interesting to see how this core idea turns out.
Charging “peak” prices will likely become more common. With smart energy meters we can break it down even further.

In the UK, we’ve had “economy 7” plans for decades. For 7 hours overnight you pay a lower rate. The meters were old-fashioned things, just with two dials. I can foresee there being 24 hourly rates in a day, perhaps even weekend and “holiday” rates.

This will probably encourage homeowners to consider investing in home storage quite quickly.
 

ChicknPickn

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I'm really surprised this topic hasn't gone onto the no-no list here. It is fraught with political implications.
 

SRHmusic

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Here's a recent article on a city wide vehicle to grid progam in Utrecht. One of the bigger participants is a car service, with the advantage being that the business won't be quite as put out as individuals would be if battery wear is higher than expected (their vehicles see much more use than personal vehicles so are making money when used, etc.).


Not sure about the 50% loss number @Killing Floor mentions on transmission. The large scale modeling papers and the widely used GREET model don't have it anywhere near that high, IIRC about 5 or 10%. The EIA puts the US average at 5%.
 




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