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  • #31
    Originally posted by SunEagle View Post
    I have been in the power industry for over 40 years and I feel unless something new comes along RE will only be a small part of the power generation for the US. Either that or us consumers will need to find a way to cut their usage when RE is not available.
    Bingo! I suspect in 20 years it'll be the latter, only us consumers won't have to figure it out. TOU rates will be adjusted to charge more when power isn't renewable.
    Our cars and appliances will be aware of those rates, and will charge/use power when it's cheapest, without us really noticing or caring... except for the lower power bills.
    Thermostats are already offering this feature in some areas; it'll become more common as time goes on and utilities figure it out.

    Until then, low-tech options like using the '4 hours delay' button on dishwashers and clothes dryers let highly motivated users save a little money when faced with high TOU rates, but that's more than most users are willing to do.
    17kw. I like science, but I'm no expert.

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    • #32
      Originally posted by DanKegel View Post

      Bingo! I suspect in 20 years it'll be the latter, only us consumers won't have to figure it out. TOU rates will be adjusted to charge more when power isn't renewable.
      Our cars and appliances will be aware of those rates, and will charge/use power when it's cheapest, without us really noticing or caring... except for the lower power bills.
      Thermostats are already offering this feature in some areas; it'll become more common as time goes on and utilities figure it out.

      Until then, low-tech options like using the '4 hours delay' button on dishwashers and clothes dryers let highly motivated users save a little money when faced with high TOU rates, but that's more than most users are willing to do.
      The problem is that most POCO's in the US do not have a TOU rate plan. Some just charge more after a customer uses 1000kWh and others charge less if they use more.

      It seems that CA is leading the country in TOU rates and unless there is a really good reason most other POCO's won't be going in that direction. So without a financial reason to use electricity during low demand a customer will not have much of any incentive to use less during peak times or use more power during non peak hours.

      Dan I hear what you are saying but the mind set for most of the US is not the same as for those in CA.

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      • #33
        Originally posted by SunEagle View Post
        It seems that CA is leading the country in TOU rates and unless there is a really good reason most other POCO's won't be going in that direction.
        New solar and wind plants are cheaper than just running old coal-fired plants. Isn't lowering costs by encouraging demand to when they are producing energy a pretty good reason?

        Using energy when it's being produced also reduces wear and tear on batteries, and lets more of their capacity to be used for other services like frequency regulation and reliability. That seems like a good reason, too.

        cf. denverpost.com/2018/01/16/xcel-energy-low-bids-for-colorado-electricity/
        Last edited by DanKegel; 02-06-2018, 11:54 AM.
        17kw. I like science, but I'm no expert.

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        • #34
          Originally posted by DanKegel View Post

          Bingo! I suspect in 20 years it'll be the latter, only us consumers won't have to figure it out. TOU rates will be adjusted to charge more when power isn't renewable.
          Our cars and appliances will be aware of those rates, and will charge/use power when it's cheapest, without us really noticing or caring... except for the lower power bills.
          Thermostats are already offering this feature in some areas; it'll become more common as time goes on and utilities figure it out.

          Until then, low-tech options like using the '4 hours delay' button on dishwashers and clothes dryers let highly motivated users save a little money when faced with high TOU rates, but that's more than most users are willing to do.
          Hey Dan: Ever hear of supply and demand ? POCOs are in business to make money. They may or may not be screwing consumers as you seem to perceive (I won't say think).

          Any screwing, to the extent it may take place is inconsequential. It's just business and not some nefarious plot to make life difficult for treehuggers or others ignorant and lazy enough to let themselves get screwed while blaming the big, bad POCOs for heir self inflicted plight.

          Now, beyond your cocoon of opinion, consider this: As the driving forces of increased prices (what CA POCOs IMO cynically tend to call "pricing signals") cause users to react by shifting usage from times when higher priced power is drawn from the utility to times when power costs are lower, that price differential will tend to become less - regression toward the mean if you will. That will happen in such a way that the POCOs see as maximizing their profit.

          A somewhat absurd and oversimplified question to make things easier for you to follow: What do you think might be the POCOs' response if their total production stayed about the same but enough people started using a lot of power between, say, midnite and 5 A.M. to the extent it caused a noticeable surplus of generation capacity to become available between, say, 2 P.M and 7 P.M. ?

          Keep in mind and accept the idea, at least for as long as you're reading this, that companies are in business to make money, and pissing off their customers may be an inconvenient but necessary reality of secondary consideration to the bottom line goal of maximizing profit. Now, I'd take an educated guess and say that constant draw on the system, or at least minimizing system wide power variations is a good thing that makes life less expensive (and easier) for POCOs, and, in my ignorance, that sounds good to the bottom line to me. Think the POCOs may see something similar ?

          One way to decrease that power variation is to send "price signals" to users (sound familiar ?) and so influence when power is used.

          Since that's the easiest way POCOs and their CPUC rubber stamp stooges can influence things, what may happen in such a situation (hypothetical primarily and/or only in its simplicity ?) is that midnite to 5 A.M. pricing may go up and 2 P.M. to 7 P.M. pricing may go down, and prices will regress toward some mean, just like mixing hot and cold water - a form of regression toward the mean - or an example of social and financial entropy at work.

          As for the number of residential users on T.O.U. rates in CA, I believe the number (as a percentage of total residential users, not total quantity of energy used ) is still quite small - like 10-20 % or so - but I've not found any recent and reliable numbers to confirm or refute that belief and I can't remember where I read it or how long ago. I do however believe the number, whatever it is, will continue to increase if for no other reason that users are pretty much clueless as to how they are charged for power and will stay that way or get more ignorant as time goes on, making it easier for POCO's to have free rein to do what they see as the best way(s) to maximize profit. Nothing personal - just business.

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          • #35
            Originally posted by DanKegel View Post

            New solar and wind plants are cheaper than just running old coal-fired plants. Isn't lowering costs by encouraging demand to when they are producing energy a pretty good reason?

            Using energy when it's being produced also reduces wear and tear on batteries, and lets more of their capacity to be used for other services like frequency regulation and reliability. That seems like a good reason, too.

            cf. denverpost.com/2018/01/16/xcel-energy-low-bids-for-colorado-electricity/
            Well that is not exactly true. The cost to run a fossil fuel or nuclear plant may be higher than solar or wind but only when RE is available (which is maybe 33% for solar and 50% for wind) When RE is not available I don't think people will care how the power is generated as long as the lights are on.

            As for batteries. That is pretty much a joke when you consider the expectations for new storage installations will not even keep the lights on for more than a few hours and the cost may be coming down but it will take Trillions to install enough storage for days of no RE.

            Not everyone believes that going RE is going to save them money. Look at the rates in CA or New England where RE is increasing. Those rates are the highest in the continental US. Not much of any incentive to me to switch over if my rates are going to increase.
            Last edited by SunEagle; 02-06-2018, 01:45 PM.

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            • #36
              Originally posted by SunEagle View Post
              Well that is not exactly true. The cost to run a fossil fuel or nuclear plant may be higher than solar or wind but only when RE is available (which is maybe 33% for solar and 50% for wind) When RE is not available I don't think people will care how the power is generated as long as the lights are on.

              As for batteries. That is pretty much a joke when you consider the expectations for new storage installations will not even keep the lights on for more than a few hours and the cost may be coming down but it will take Trillions to install enough storage for days of no RE.
              There is utility scale Thermal storage to help with solar availability, commonly done with molten salt. Conveniently this allows for easy hybriding of the system with NG or other sources to boost and/or extend storage range.
              OutBack FP1 w/ CS6P-250P http://bit.ly/1Sg5VNH

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              • #37
                Originally posted by ButchDeal View Post

                There is utility scale Thermal storage to help with solar availability, commonly done with molten salt. Conveniently this allows for easy hybriding of the system with NG or other sources to boost and/or extend storage range.
                I agree there continues to be more and different technology being used to store energy. Thermal is one that I have high hopes for on improvements.

                Still when you look at what was generated in 2016 in this country (about 4.1 trillion kWh with maybe 15% from RE) and try to visualize what that would look like coming from a storage system you are talking a lot of real estate and cost.

                We have to find a way to generate power 24/7 as cheap and reliable as possible using multiply sources and technology. IMO RE and existing storage technology would be a stretch to say it will work as needed.

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                • #38
                  Originally posted by SunEagle View Post

                  I agree there continues to be more and different technology being used to store energy. Thermal is one that I have high hopes for on improvements.

                  Still when you look at what was generated in 2016 in this country (about 4.1 trillion kWh with maybe 15% from RE) and try to visualize what that would look like coming from a storage system you are talking a lot of real estate and cost.

                  We have to find a way to generate power 24/7 as cheap and reliable as possible using multiply sources and technology. IMO RE and existing storage technology would be a stretch to say it will work as needed.
                  maybe you should think of it as a natural gas power plant with a daytime solar input then: http://www.solarreserve.com/en/techn...energy-storage
                  They just started building these type plants,
                  OutBack FP1 w/ CS6P-250P http://bit.ly/1Sg5VNH

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                  • #39
                    Originally posted by ButchDeal View Post

                    maybe you should think of it as a natural gas power plant with a daytime solar input then: http://www.solarreserve.com/en/techn...energy-storage
                    They just started building these type plants,
                    Those look promising as an effective 24/7 power source.

                    In the past the trick was to keep the salts molten. If the temps went down enough that stuffs turns to rock and can't be re melted so natural gas was be needed to keep it hot and flowing.

                    The Spanish have worked long on that technology and have made some great leaps forward. I am hoping better plants can be built here in the US but the real estate needed is huge.
                    Last edited by SunEagle; 02-06-2018, 05:33 PM.

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                    • #40
                      Originally posted by SunEagle View Post

                      Those look promising as an effective 24/7 power source.

                      In the past the trick was to keep the salts molten. If the temps went down enough that stuffs turns to rock and can't be re melted so natural gas was be needed to keep it hot and flowing.

                      The Spanish have worked long on that technology and have made some great leaps forward. I am hoping better plants can be built here in the US but the real estate needed is huge.
                      here are just a few of them in the US already.

                      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ivanpa...Power_Facility
                      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Solana_Generating_Station
                      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cresce...Energy_Project

                      OutBack FP1 w/ CS6P-250P http://bit.ly/1Sg5VNH

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                      • #41
                        Google "Solana" in Arizona. That molten salt storage plant has been online a few years but not performing to expectations from one article I read. I think there is another in California somewhere.
                        Dave W. Gilbert AZ
                        6.63kW grid-tie owner

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                        • #42
                          Originally posted by azdave View Post
                          Google "Solana" in Arizona. That molten salt storage plant has been online a few years but not performing to expectations from one article I read. I think there is another in California somewhere.
                          A number of systems have tried molten salt technology and failed to produce as expected. The one in Nevada called Crescent Dunes is worth watching.

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                          • #43
                            I will keep charging my EV every time it needs it, and believe it is better then a ICE.

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                            • #44
                              Originally posted by StarLog View Post
                              I will keep charging my EV every time it needs it, and believe it is better then a ICE.
                              Just do the charging when power is the least expensive.

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