Reply to post: Re: Interesting idea

Boffins build blazing battery bonfire

Jellied Eel Silver badge

Re: Interesting idea

Bah humbug.

There are no virtuous benefits, just groups looking to extract subsidies. Far from being a 'sun in a box', this is just another example. Plus I'm pretty sure the Sun doesn't fuse silicon.

So salt's already been used in Spain and California as pseudo-batteries. Problem is the energy losses heating the salt, then converting that heat back into electricity. Which means making a salt-breeder becomes even less efficient given the energy needed for desalination. If you have a hefty power surplus, then it makes more sense.

Bigger issue is they're usually solutions looking for problems. So solar power. So building and maintaining a large solar power station is expensive. See Ivanpah for more info. $2.2bn for a theoretical 400MW of capacity.. Which it's never achieved, and it'd have been cheaper to use it's gas turbines to generate electricity. That solar plant also uses a LOT of gas. And of course at night, it generates 0MW. Unless it's doing a Spain and spooling up the gas turbines..

Same for any other solar plant. Power during the day, cost during the night. Subsidy bank snake oil peddlers promise 'solutions'. They'll take expensive power, shrink it due to conversion losses and then sell it on.. Glossing over the implications of all the additional costs involved. Which means no benefit to consumers, because they'll be expected to pay those costs, either directly via energy bills, or indirectly via subsidies.

There are far cheaper alternatives. So a simple roof-top solar system could store locally using a simple hot water tank and heating element. Cheap, reliable and the operator gets 'free' hot water, give or take solar installation costs. Downside is 'grid scale' battery peddlers don't make money from that, and you can't charge an EV.

Or if you want to make snake-oil salesman salty, there's always MSR. Standardise and modularise those into say, 1GW or 500MW units and they'll generate power even when it's dark. Or the wind's not blowing.. But that involves the 'N' word, which most Greens hate.. even though it makes far more economic sense, especially if electricity demand keeps growing.

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