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Green Building Bible, Fourth Edition
Green Building Bible, fourth edition (both books)
These two books are the perfect starting place to help you get to grips with one of the most vitally important aspects of our society - our homes and living environment.

PLEASE NOTE: A download link for Volume 1 will be sent to you by email and Volume 2 will be sent to you by post as a book.

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    • CommentAuthortony
    • CommentTimeJul 24th 2017
    The idea of storing energy sounds quite good, the economics on an individual basis work to some extent.

    Off grid the below arguements do not apply.

    For the country they do. Until we generate more renewable energy than we can use there is utterly no point in storing it. Why? -- because it is inefficient, generally something like 80% some stores are as little as 60% efficient. So why not manage the use better and use it to save the fossil fuels that are being used to generate the equivalent amount of so called stored energy instead? In my Eutopian world this process is 100% efficient at saving fossil fuel. In the real world slightly less but we live with some ugly inefficiencies already but why would we want more of them.

    Overall this is much better for all of us, as many of you will know I hate waste in all its forms.
    • CommentAuthorfinnian
    • CommentTimeJul 24th 2017
    1) Depending on where the batteries are, they can substantially reduce the need for (very expensive) upgrades to power networks. The rating of your house supply is a limiting factor for how big your solar array can be.

    2) Providing for 'peak demand' is very expensive and often provided by inefficient open cycle gas generators. Decent batteries+inverters are pretty efficient, and don't have to transmit across the grid if in the right place.

    3) It seems shortsighted to not try to learn how to build some capability in battery storage given it might be crucial in a decade or maybe two.

    4) Batteries can supply rapid response capability and grid stability services (although domestic ones do not currently do this, substation-connected units can and do): something to replace the inertia of fossil-powered turbines is needed well before intermittent renewable generation gets to 100% of demand, or you need lots of wasteful spinning reserve.
    • CommentAuthorgyrogear
    • CommentTimeJul 31st 2017
    Energy can be stored in things other than batteries, such as cryogenic air or even flywheels.

    then when the energy source is asleep (no wind, or no sun...), the kinetic energy can be unleashed to drive a generator or whatever.

    • CommentAuthortony
    • CommentTimeJul 31st 2017
    Yes but even when the sun is shining and wind blowing we still use fossil fuels.

    We would be better and more efficient to not store energy and to save the fossil fuel that would have been used.
    • CommentTimeJul 31st 2017
    Posted By: tonyUntil we generate more renewable energy than we can use there is utterly no point in storing it.

    Well that's not entirely true. Generating in Scotland whilst having users in London but with insufficient grid capacity to transmit the power is one counterexample. And it seems that was your entire argument. Oh well.

    Now I'm happy to agree that building more grid capacity is a better way to fix that problem than buying batteries.

    Then there are questions about dynamically balancing the grid where it does appear batteries are a better solution, although there are alternatives.
    Not a problem when UK fleet becomes electric. Just think how stable a 370GW battery would be.


    No pumped storage or spinning reserve required.
    • CommentAuthortony
    • CommentTimeJul 31st 2017
    The future is looking much brighter
    • CommentAuthortony
    • CommentTimeMar 15th 2018
    Battery storage is back in the headlines with Swindon going for a large storage facility

    I still say, “Yes but even when the sun is shining and wind blowing we still use fossil fuels.

    We would be better and more efficient to not store energy and to save the fossil fuel that would have been used.”

    This is essentially 100% efficient whereas battery storage is not - it seeme to be economic but inefficient how can that be?
    • CommentAuthorTimSmall
    • CommentTimeMar 16th 2018
    A counter argument is that you can't close the fossil plants until you put the batteries in to replace them, and you can't really grow renewables to the extent that low-carbon electricity is often able to make up 100% of the generation mix (even when demand is lowest) without somewhere to store the excess.

    Similarly, in a wholesale market, if you have batteries available then they are competing with gas plants during peak hours, so making fossil generation less profitable.

    The "Realtime UK generation mix" graph at https://www.solar.sheffield.ac.uk/pvlive/ is interesting to watch. You can often see what looks to me like wind being curtailed overnight, due to (I assume) frequency regulation or maybe contractual reasons.
    • CommentAuthorTimSmall
    • CommentTimeMar 16th 2018
    n.b. the grid is pretty coal-heavy at the moment, this is I believe due to high wholesale gas prices (due the recent, and forecast cold weather), a month ago, there was about half that amount of coal operating, with gas (at about half the CO2) operating more - since I assume it was undercutting it financially (coal is CO2 taxed in the UK now I believe? - Maybe they both are, but coal is going to pay more of course...)
    • CommentAuthorretrofrit
    • CommentTimeMar 16th 2018
    This is interesting, really challenges some assumptions, though things might have moved on -


    A couple more good articles on the subject on their site.
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