Thursday, May 11, 2006

The Solid State Utility



Just in case you needed some good news today. This is an excerpt from a report I found.

The Solid State Utility

"In the course of human history, the history of electric generation is but a small moment of time. For all practical purposes, electric grids have been a part of the human experience for less than 100 years.

Since its beginning, it has functioned on power production principles that have changed only slightly over the years.

Most electrical utilities deploy a portfolio of resources to respond to the varying loads that it must serve. Generally this means a mix of base load, intermediate generators, and peak generators.

With the addition of large amounts of intermittent sources of energy added to the generation profile, a new class of balancing generators has begun to emerge. Further changes in the generation landscape have developed as increased deregulation has added the extra option of purchasing energy in the energy markets.

But still, even with distributed generation on the horizon, and the increased use of electric fuels in the transportation sector in the foreseeable future, electric generation options have remained and do remain remarkably stable.

Other advanced industries, such as telecommunications and computing, have experience substantial technological developments which have changed their industries and bottom lines significantly. This oftentimes disruptive march of advanced technology has not yet affected the way electric utilities operate.

This may not be true in the very near future.

THE ULTRA-CAPACITOR

An ultra capacitor is a device that stores electricity. Like other capacitors, ultra capacitors can be charged and discharged over and over again. Unlike batteries, ultra capacitors have an extended lifetime orders of scale beyond normal battery chemistries.

A large fleet of ultra capacitors could convey significant benefits to the operations, profitability, and stability of an electric system.

For example, a large amount of electrical capacitance would allow for the leveling of generation assets. Instead of running generation assets in cascade to follow a load, generation assets could run full time at optimum efficiencies.

This could improve heat rates and emission profiles on existing plants.

Because of this capability, large scale ultra-capacitance storage could reduce or defer the need for new generation. Ultra-capacitance applied on a large scale would completely change the value of large scale intermittent generation.

Ultra-capacitance applied on a large scale would allow utilities to buy off peak energy and provide that energy to its customers during peak loads. This would not only increase the value off peak energy, but it would shave the value of on peak energy as well.

Ultra-capacitance on any grid would make it stronger and more capable to use a wide variety of distributed resources and generation strategies.

No longer would the slightly off peak nature of solar be an issue. In fact, large scale solar would be a welcome addition as storage energy begins to be drawn down during the day.

Ultra-capacitance would make plug in hybrids and all electric vehicles very practical and powerful. A plug in vehicle would need an ultra cap of less than 100 pounds, with a volume equal to the existing non plug-in battery. An all electric vehicle could have the range of a standard automobile and it could be charged in minutes, not hours.

Clearly, Ultra-capacitance has the potential to exert profound changes in the stationary electric generation and the electric transportation fuel arenas.

This is of course, if they existed…

If they were economic…

If their energy densities were high enough.

Recent announcements indicate that advances in nanotechnology and micro-ceramics suggest that we are very close to manufacturing ultra capacitors to the levels of performance and costs that would make The Solid State Utility the new state of the art for electrical generation and service."

We don't need nuclear.

We don't need coal.

We don't need their oil.

We don't need their gas.

We don't have to bomb them.

And we don't have to tell all of those lies.

We just need the truth.

That's what the Democrats need to say.

The American People deserve the truth.

Meanwhile,

Let's recognize our real problems,

and begin to solve them.

For the Earthfamily.



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4 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

wow, terrific post. I'm sending this around. MS

11:12 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Oz, thank you for your enlightened comments. Now, please convince my utility engineer colleagues that we really do not have to continue doing our work the way Thomas Edison did it.

12:27 PM  
Anonymous brynn said...

Wow. Please keep abreast of this and post whatever you find out. Thanks!

3:10 PM  
Blogger OZ said...

ultra caps, advanced solar, wind, and efficient electrolysis can provide us a clean, renewable, and peaceful future.

One Problem

Some folks may not want that.

They have other agendas.

6:29 AM  

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