Solar Back Up Batteries, a good thing?
I thought that they were, but after trying to fill out an emailed survey from AGL, I now have my doubts.
I was offered a $5 incentive to fill it out, but then I questioned their motives.
There was a scale of 0 to 10, to indicate interest, 10 being extremely interested, so I clicked 1. The next step was to give reasons for the score, which I did in a plain & understandable manner, there wasn't anything snide, or any inkling that I was just messing with them. Honest facts on the background of how Off Peak Tariffs came to be introduced, nothing more.
I went to fill out the next step, but was given a nerdy message that the system had a glitch. OK, that's a possibility, so I thought nothing of it.
Out of interest, I just now went to have another crack at filling it out, but I get:
"This Survey is closed and currently not accepting responses.
Please contact the author of the survey for more information."
Why would they only have an open window of less than 24 hours, for survey replies to be accepted?
I have suspicions that it has to do with them wanting to make more money. If enough consumers have battery back ups, the System Control Centres can take a gas turbine generator off line, which saves them a ton of money.
Because I was blocked from participating any further, I didn't get to see if they were to offer a subsided Battery Back Up system.
Have any Workshoppers been sent a similar survey, & if so, how did your submission go?
Doubt if it was sinister. There was probably just an error in the survey and they had to close it. I actually would have thought companies like AGL would be fearful of battery technology because more people are going to be generating and storing their own power, so they are going to be consuming less but maintaning the infrastructure is going to cost the same.
@Isobel, I realise that I may be seen as a privatisation basher, but I have good reason, these guys play dirty.
Some background, back in the late '80s early '90s there were talks of placing a HV Interconnection between Vic & SA, effectively tying them together, for system security & flexibility. The question was asked, “Would the interconnection rule out the installation of the 3rd 250MW unit at the Northern Power Station?”
Answer: “Of course not, we promise that the 3rd Unit will go ahead as planned.
Anyway, long story short, late '90s saw the introduction of Gas Turbine Generators (effectively a jet engine with a generator attached). All very nice, they can be started & generating at short notice, & shut down painlessly too. The bad news, is that they consume massive amounts of Natural Gas (the stuff that household gas consumers use), which is not an infinite supply.
Making matters worse, the 3rd Unit (the one promised in late '80s) never went ahead, & I've since learnt that both of the other 250MW generators have been dismantle & removed. Leigh Creek, the ETSA (Electricity Trust of South Australia) built town to mine coal, has been abandoned & jobs lost.
The real joke is that they want (need) consumers to generate power, to ease/delay the financial burden of them installing new generators, which will of course, would be Gas Turbines, as they're cheap to buy & install, & they don't care about Natural Gas consumption, because their customers will pay for it anyway.
That's it for now, I've probably overstayed my welcome, even tough I've only scratched the surface of how corrupt, yes corrupt, the system has become.
Oops, I should end this post with a joke. Energy Providers called for consumers to donate money to grow trees, to off-set their (Energy Onsellers') carbon footprint.
@Andy_Mann from inside information Leigh Creek had run out of coal that was economicly viable to mine and had been making potash from lower grades.
@Brad, things change & I'm out of touch, so I did a Wiki on Leigh Creek.
It informed me of Elinta's involvement/ownership, what's happened, & planned for the future.
My curiosity peaked when I read about the "Leigh Creek Energy Project", with its intended "In-Situ Coal Gasification" process, that will supply eastern states via existing gas pipelines.
Doing a Wiki on "Underground coal gasification" was educational, with claims of it being environmentally friendly, economical, & how it extracts the most resources from existing coal seams.
I'm new to all this, but deliberately igniting an underground coal seam, with temperatures ranging from "700–900 °C (1,290–1,650 °F), but it may reach up to 1,500 °C (2,730 °F)", may be hidden from sight, but surely it's messing with water table temperatures & quality.
Under the heading Projects, was "Cougar Energy and Linc Energy conducted pilot projects in Queensland, Australia based on UCG technology provided by Ergo Exergy until they were banned in 2016.
Says a lot without saying much detail.
Plan seems to be build a trial plant to generate electricty during peak times using CSG. they are not sure how to store the gas. Not enough interconector to carry the power either.
I think thet also came up with the idea of a massive solar farm with carbon storage. I think that has sunk without a trace though.
@Brad I got half way through that 13 page ASX document, & felt that it'd already cornered the fertiliser market in Australia.
What should be obvious is that base load generation is fossil fuelled. Solar's only productive for 10 hours/day, then closes shop. Wind power can span 24 hours if the weather's condusive, but that's not a given either.
They cry about the limited expandability of Hydro (the free renewable power source which Australian tax payers have funded since mid last century). The free & renewable bit is commonly accepted, but that's not quite true. Generation is only possible/free by natural gravitational forces, but to gain efficiency, electricity is used to pump water back up hill overnight, for reuse the next day. They paid 1cent/MWh, while consumers pay multitudes more/KWh (approximately 30,000 times more for Off-Peak rates). The Hydro schemes get paid exactly the same payback as fuel fired generation plants during the day, so it makes for a pretty good living for those guys.
Wind power isn't maintenance free, like they thought it was going to be, but that's just bad luck.
They talk about the need to boost base load generation, yet removed 520MW of generation, not just rested it, they've demolished it.
The inter state interconnection was also a government funded scheme, now they're feeling the pinch because it's nearing it's limits, with future sales expected to rise.
The tree planting's a nice gesture, but are they expecting to use the underground water that they'll be heating & polluting, due to in-situ gasification?
Their compassion for country youth education is ludicrous, the parents are unemployed, that's the problem. Remote education has been a proud Australian initiative, & with communications being what they are now, it's more involing than ever.
I've only touched the surface of those 7 pages, & doing it from memory, but the energy company Liarbirds (intentional mis-spell) are plucking fancy feathers out of their butts & tickling people up.
I'm not thrilled that 45% of their "research" funding is being funded by tax payers either.
You might be interested in this story - http://www.domain.com.au/news/beat-your-electricity-bill-with-a-smart-solar-system-from-the-csiro-20...
@Isobel, thanks for the link, it's an interesting read.
I'm not 100% sure, but I think the CSIRO Solar Savings Algorithm, was featured on "Catalyst" (ABCTV) a while ago, & I recall being very impressed with their approach.
The Energen link in the article interests me, in that only Alex Wonhas (1 of the 5 board members) has any expertise in power gen, & as great as that is, it's only based on software manipulation to optimise efficiencies of an expensive system. The other 4 can pimp themselves up all they like, but they're basically finance orientated marketers, to put it kindly.
None of the hardware is in any way innovative, nor is the pricing a groundbreaking incentive for consumers to rejoice.
The area that isn't clear to me, is who funded the CSIRO research? If it was through the hard work of the board members, then I applaud their efforts, but once upon a time, the CSIRO was government funded.
And for fun, here's a snippet from the article:
Dr Sam Behrens, one of the senior Energy Research Manager at CSIRO, explained the process in more detail.
“You can charge up the battery during the night using the solar panels during the day, so its running off the battery during high peak time,” he said.
Dr Sam Behrens, were you intoxicated when you said that, or have you been misquoted?
Another link expanded on the CSIRO's efforts in saving money for buildings in the Sydney CBD, but it wasn't made clear whether those savings got passed onto the occupants of those buildings.