I think grid-scale alternative energy management is one of the most interesting--and to judge by some of the comments on this site, least understood--of alternative energy subjects. It's not just about storage, but about deploying what's needed where at the right time, quite a delicate balancing act. The system operators in California and Texas, where there's a lot of solar and wind power on the grid, have been doing this successfully for some time.
Thanks for that link, Ann. It definitely provides perspective on the concerns about overall management and system maintenance that grid-scale storage requires in quite plain terms. So not only do the batteries themselves have to meet the right price point and storage capacity, along with the usual requirements of energy storage, but they also have to fit well into the overall grid structure.
Thanks for your comment, patb2009. Yes, they are definitely viable; what I meant was that storage will allow them to play a larger role in grid operations than they currently do. I'm not sure what you mean by "increasing revenue and reducing workload"? Can you clarify that point?
Here's an interesting article discussing grid-scale batteries and their management (via a specialized OS), equally important as battery design when it comes to optimizing output via load-shifting and other techniques: http://www.greentechmedia.com/articles/read/designing-grid-batteries-to-live-long-and-prosper
This is yet another promising advancement in this busy area of research. If there is viable storage then renewables, which already are becoming more widely used and really are the way forward to reduce or even eliminate independence on the traditional electricity grid, can play even a larger role in providing power to millions if not billions of people. I know of a couple of other efforts in this area--the MIT-spawned Ambri comes to mind: http://www.designnews.com/author.asp?section_id=1386&doc_id=259497--but does anyone know of any good ones as well to add to the discussion?
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