Ultracapacitors Make Wind Power Viable

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Jerry dycus
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Jerry dycus   5/1/2012 11:26:23 AM

         So much bull here. UC's are extremely expensive and almost useless in real life. The only ones pushing them are those trying to scam money/grants from others.

          To show the point would the author please cost out a 1 Mwhr UC storage array and contrast it with an identical lead battery version. Please include all nessasary power electronics to make a 0-2.7vdc/cell work? 

         Next cost out a 12vdc 100 ampr UC storage unit with nessasary electronics, Lead is $60/kwhr for comparison I buy all the time.

         Until you can do that your post is a bad joke. Please prove me wrong?

           Now add the fact the grid demand is far more variable than even wind.  And they handle that fine.  5+  different battery type can now do storage for under $10/kwhr/yr or under $100/kwhr.  Yet rarely are these already for prime time batteries use in grid storage, Why?

          UC's have some utility in electronics, inverters, etc but as for storage, not a chance.  Why was this article allowed here?

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Maybe someday
tekochip   5/1/2012 2:57:12 PM
True, ultracaps aren't an economic solution just yet, but the technology may grow in time. When I was in college we were told "you'll never see a 1F capacitor because it would be as big as this room."

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Re: bull
Bandrews   5/1/2012 6:30:30 PM

Ultracapacitors are in fact a storage device, yet no one is claiming to try to use them for 1Mwhr, because they are not cost competitive for such large energy requirements, as you have pointed out.

For those such applications, lead is, and will be the less expensive option, beating even lithium ion.


However, when you look at power requirements, how well do those lead acid batteries cycle?

If you were to use the lead acid option for such a large installation where there are cycle requirements,

you would replace the lead acid semi-annually. 


In high cycle applications, such as wind turbine pitch control and hybrid buses, ultracapacitors are replacing lead acid and other battery technologies at a rapid pace. The demand for ultracapacitors is growing globally from a number of different applications, while the market is general has a CAGR of 42%.   There is a reason that the market is growing,

and it is not because of "scammers". It is because ultracapacitors are being used to replace the

environmental disasters called lead acid.

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Re: bull
ttemple   5/2/2012 8:38:23 AM

The article stated that the capacitors are used for supplying power to the blade pitch control mechanism, and it explained the advantages of using them there (longer life, more charging cycles, quick response to load, etc.).  It didn't say that capacitors were being touted for large scale energy storage.

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how does the grid work?
ChasChas   5/2/2012 11:01:40 AM

If I understand this right, the grid senses and adjusts to power potential on any part of the grid (automatically or manually). Since batteries tend to "trickle" out their power over time, it is harder to absorb this into the grid fast enough to prevent battery overcharging. (when there is a lot of wind) Capaciters give enough time to absorb the extra power potential at a higher rate and timely manner so very little is lost from a high wind period.

Correct me where I'm wrong. 

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Re: bull
OldGeek   5/2/2012 11:06:02 AM
FWIW, I think the article does a very poor job of explaining that the ultra caps are being used in the pitch control system. In fact, I find nothing that actually says so!

Being a bit on the suspicious side, I wonder if it deliberately gives the (false) impression that they are being used for load leveling.

I admit to being curious about this technology, but have so far been put off experimenting by the cost.


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Re: bull or no bull
OhmsLaw   5/2/2012 1:28:57 PM
 think. electrolytic 

  • Caps are short term storage
  • SuperCaps are long term but still high ESR
  • UltraCaps are long term but low ESR
  • I est. rechargeable Li-Ion have a charge or discharge life time of ~ 1000 hrs (equiv total A-HR)
  • Lead Acid lifetime depends on depth of discharge and Temp.
  • UltraCaps should have have much longer lifetime.
  • Efficiency depends on switching technology and ESR.
  • if Ultracap ESR is lower than battery, it is more efficient and more reliable.

" 2,000 Farad prismatic cell manufactured by Ioxus

. The ESR (Equivalent Series Resistance) specified for these cells is 0.0006 Ω,

resulting in a total ESR of 0.0036 Ω.   "  

 for 6cells in 14V Lead acid system rated @ 2.7Vmax per cell

ref info

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Windmills Kill Birds and Bats
davkell   5/2/2012 1:35:11 PM
In recent months the Wall Street Journal has reported that the bird kill count due to wind power machines was on the order of 444,000. Although this swaps the bird kills due to oil drilling, the Justice Department has started a law suit against several oil compainies over the matter of less than 30 bird kills. Any bird kills are regretable, but these reports and actions have provided a little perspective on wind power generation, whether backed by batteries or ultra capacitors.

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birds keep out of the way.
OhmsLaw   5/2/2012 1:44:42 PM
Birds may  be alerted or warned with ultrasonic sounds or possible microwave chirps in license free bands. (Feathers act as antenna is a known fact) So Wind Power can be done safely when moving. Subject to local testing & verification. (ask me if consultant needed)


I think oil spil risks are higher for birds.

Rob Spiegel
User Rank
Re: birds keep out of the way.
Rob Spiegel   5/2/2012 4:04:11 PM
OhmsLaw, do you know if there has been any testing done on using ultrasonic sounds or microwave chirps to warn birds away from wind power equipment?

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