Climate Change in Australia

This tech has been mentioned here before and if successful could also be part of the solution to storage:

Well HM baseload is old terminology certainly. But effectively it derives from the fact that increases in power in coalfired stations cannot be instantaneous since it takes time to increase the rate of fuel burning. As a result the frequency of the whole grid increases if the load drops and decreases if the load increases. At any given site in the network the rate of burning fuel is regulated to keep the generator running at an agreed level. The problem that would come about having no “base load generators” but many autonomous power sources on the grid might be a degree of system instability. I believe a certain number of large base load generators is still desirable even if they have faster response times than steam powered generators.

Agreed, but the assumption there is that the grid remains the same. More interconnectors, better monitoring and control systems, shorter-response switching and bidding - there are improvements we can make to the grid to make distributed generation much less of a problem. Hell, if we wanted to go low-tech we could simply just replace the existing coal plants with big centralised hydrogen burners, use excess solar to extract hydrogen during the day and burn it at night, and the centralised grid wouldn’t be so much of an issue.

And it’s worth remembering that in recent years, major grid problems (like NSW experienced last summer) have mostly been due to old creaky coal plants crapping themselves and dropping GW of power out of the grid with zero warning. Only fast-response battery storage has kept the lights on. There’s a trope/assumption/whatever that renewables are clean but flaky while coal is dirty but reliable, and this just isn’t the case.

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I see as well RedFlow (another aussie company in Adelaide) are getting a lot of interest in China for their liquid batteries.

Redflow expands into China

MAY 17, 2019

Redflow Limited (ASX: RFX) is pleased to announce that it has signed a collaboration agreement with Chinese zinc-bromine flow battery company ZbestPower Co., Ltd, to supply a large scale (100kwh) Redflow battery energy storage solution for a demonstration project for a key smart grid project in China.

The Redflow deployment will be part of the Haidong Transportation Group’s Smart Grid Project in Qinghai Province, which is recognised as a key market in China’s shift to a low carbon renewable energy future. Sponsored by the China National Energy Bureau, this Smart Grid Project consists of a 66KW solar PV parking carport, 18 EV fast charging points, 1MWH energy storage system and smart energy management system. The energy storage system will allow the Haidong Transportation Group to charge its electric vehicles with renewable energy and energy at the lowest price from the grid, and analyse various energy storage technologies. ZbestPower is managing the entire project.

Under the Collaboration Agreement, Redflow and ZbestPower have agreed to develop a large scale battery storage solution to meet critical project milestones set by Haidong Transportation Group, demonstrate the technical and economic viability of the Redflow system over the duration of the demonstration and collaborate on leveraging the Redflow system for commercial opportunities in China.

The Redflow energy storage solution, containing 10 of its ZBM2 zinc-bromine flow batteries, will be provided for an initial six-month deployment, which is expected to commence in early June 2019. The deployment period may be extended by agreement at the end of the initial period.

Redflow will assist with site preparation, testing, installation, commissioning, operation and ongoing monitoring and reporting, decommissioning and return of the Redflow system. Redflow’s assistance will include technical support provided by Chinese-speaking Redflow energy storage technicians.

During the deployment period, the agreement entitles ZbestPower to use the Redflow system for no charge. Redflow will remain the owner of the system, which will be returned to Redflow at the conclusion of the demonstration project. Redflow will also retain all intellectual property in the Redflow system, including improvements.

Commenting on the Company’s expansion into the China market, Redflow CEO Tim Harris said: “Having strengthened our intellectual property protection for the China market and reviewing several partnership opportunities over the past 12 months, we are delighted to have signed a collaboration agreement with ZbestPower. ZbestPower and Redflow will jointly benefit from this collaboration, with the Haidong Transportation Group’s Smart Grid Project a key springboard to develop further projects in China.”

“Energy storage in China is a large strategic market opportunity for Redflow. The China Energy Storage Alliance has forecast China’s total electrochemical storage capacity will reach nearly 20GW by 2023. With China transitioning to greater use of renewable energy, The China National Development and Reform Commission has called for greater investment in flow batteries that is leading to a surge in projects focused on flow battery solutions. Redflow is well-placed to address these opportunities,” added Mr Harris.

ZbestPower CEO Luke Lu said the collaboration with Redflow would deepen his company’s understanding of the potential for ZBM2 batteries in China: “Flow battery technology has been identified as a vital part of China’s energy storage future. We value the opportunity to work with Redflow, which is recognised as the world leader in zinc-bromine flow battery technology, to support the energy needs of China.”

Established in July 2011, ZbestPower is described as China‘s leading company in zinc-bromine flow battery technology and storage-based clean energy solutions. Based in Beijing, with manufacturing facilities in Baoding and an engineering centre in Qinghai, ZbestPower has previously partnered with China’s State Grid, State Power Investment Co., Huaneng Group, China Huadian Group & China Science Academy on flow battery projects.

For media assistance, call John Harris on +61 8 8431 4000 or email [email protected].

About Redflow

Redflow Limited, a publicly-listed Australian company (ASX: RFX), produces small 10kWh zinc-bromine flow batteries that tolerate daily hard work in harsh conditions. Marketed as ZCell and ZBM2, Redflow batteries are designed for high cycle-rate, long time-base stationary energy storage applications in the residential, commercial & industrial and telecommunications sectors, and are scalable from a single battery installation through to grid-scale deployments. Redflow batteries are sold, installed and maintained by an international network of energy system integrators. Redflow’s smart, self-protecting batteries offer unique advantages including secure remote management, 100 per cent daily depth of discharge, tolerance of high ambient temperatures, a simple recycling path, no propensity for thermal runaway and sustained energy delivery throughout their operating life.

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Sure you dont want gensets to be too large. If theres a breaker trip on a really big one and massive loss of steam it causes an extreme perturbation on the grid and a long recovery period before it can get back on line. Thats well known and has been modelled extensively.

HM dont get me wrong. I am no climate change skeptic. I am totally convinced of the greenhouse effect and want total renewable energy for Australia. We also need housing which uses better passive solar design so we dont need massive aircons. Tungsten and vapour lamps to be replaced in all street lighting. Cutting energy use will reduce electricity bills.

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I get you, no worries there, and I don’t disagree about all the passive measures etc that need to happen. I just don’t think that voluntary action on a house-by-house level will result in the changes required in the very limited timespan we have before catastrophe is unavoidable.

A hell of a lot of people live in rental accommodation. These people pay their own power bills but have no power to improve the insulation of their homes or to install solar even if they wanted to, and renters are less likely to have spare cash available to do so even if they could. And there’s a huge sunk cost into office buildings, commercial buildings etc which would be enormously hard to retrofit. And to make a meaningful impact, you’d have to make sure that EVERYONE spent up big to fix up their buildings, even the little old ladies on the pension who’ve been living in the same house for 50 years and who just don’t have the cash to do it. We’ve been trying voluntary emissions reduction on a household level for 20 years, it hasn’t worked. That means legislation and penalties for non-compliance, and frankly, in the current political environment that has as much chance of happening as I have with Scarlett Johannsen.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m not against ANY way of decarbonising the economy. I think in the end (if we succeed) it’ll be a combination of measures. Rooftop solar, commercial renewables, storage, electric vehicles, vehicle emissions standards, reforestation, etc etc etc. I’m not pushing any particular silver bullet. But it’s absolutely imperative that it starts to happen very fast, and in my judgement, that makes the big coal plants target #1 because they will need replacement anyway and because the tech and production exists to do it. Replacing them seems just proportionately more feasible ans achievable in the short term than most other options I can see. Not that it rules out reforestation, vehicle emissions standards, ruthless terrorism against coalmining moguls, better street lights etc etc happening at the same time, of course. Entirely happy to change my mind if something better comes along. I don’t care how it gets done, as long as it gets done.

Interesting financial analysis on Adani - basically Adani is a ■■■■ truck and needs State funding to be ‘viable’ economically speaking.


We had some of those old PMG batteries as well, our solar fellow got them from the Royal Melbourne Hospital ( they were throwing the old ones away to replace with new batteries which apparently they did every two years.) Our solar bloke had to use a small bobcat to put them in the shed. The battery charger was huge it was ex PMG. We had a 5,000 inverter.

When we moved to NSW in 2000, we were talking to solar people in the area, they had never heard of our system like ours which all ran straight off the inverter with 20 panels and two wind generators and diesel genny back up. The batteries always charged automatically when they dropped to 85%. The system ran three houses on the property. We would pump our water by solar to two 20,000 gallon concrete tanks and gravity feed tanks and gravity feed to the three houses separately. We were living 24 kms out of Castlemaine, a tiny town called Sandon in Central Victoria. It had a small church and a cemetery, no shops, about 250 people. Closest town was Newstead. Where were you living with solar?

When we bought the basic cabin on acreage, none of facilities were working. We used a small petrol genny for power. The water tank had been flipped over in a cyclone and had the bottom out of it so we used it to store our wood. We had a chip heater, a toilet and a shower but no water tank. We bought a 1,000 gallon tank on a high stand and hooked up a stationary bike to ride which was connected to a battery which ran a bilge pump, it pumped our water via gravity feed to the water tank before we had a solar system. We also had a 5,000 gallon tank to catch the water off the roof. I can still remember how excited we were to have a water tank and when we had hot water to have a hot shower rather than a hot wash out of a bucket.

I recall those sorts of washing machines my Mum had one, we used a small twin tub the wringer was an attachment and it was very efficient. We had a small gas fridge, a stove/oven and gas lamps and a Jotel wood heater ; the copper water pipe was wound around the flue to heat the hot water to a small tank in the roof. We could also cook on the wood heater. We had the house set up to function but had no furniture, we were sleeping mattresses on the floor and using fruit boxes as a tables until we saved more money.

It was a bit primitive to start with but gave us such an appreciation of everything as we were able to afford it.


HM you might be aware there are government schemes whereby the high bay mercury lamps in factories are replaced with leds for free. This was done at our factory. Something is being done. But i suspect the replacement of mercury and sodium on roads is problematic because the poles are not rated for the size of led luminaires that are needed. The power cost of lighting roads in the western world is huge.

Fascinating. Kudos to you. Every farm should be off grid. Its just a shame the technology came after the lines had been run to the farms decades ago.

I wasn’t aware of that, good to know it’s happening though. A similar replacement program is going on for streetlights, I was on a council committee that had some input into it a few years back. I forget which level of govt is driving it though.

Mercury vapour high bay replacement led luminaires about 3 x width of a suspended ceiling luminaire.

In absolute terms, every little bit obviously helps. But, particularly at domestic level, lighting is a relatively small part of energy consumption. On average, we used to reckon it at 10-15% of a homeowner’s power consumption when inumerable downlights were the fashion. With Led lamps it probably drops to around 5%. Heating/cooling/cooking, anything with a pump,element or condenser, those are still the big tickets. I recall swapping 40 downlights to leds in a house. The owner was very excited , she was sick of $1500 per quarter (!!!) power bills. I’d made her aware that she’d need to stay in the house for about 5 years to get her money back on the downlights, but I pointed to the pool in the backyard and mentioned that that was probably costing her nearly 3 dollars per day to run. People don’t really understand what it is that’s killing their bills, but lighting is (obviously! Lol) the most visible so that’s what they think of. Heck, everytime you boil the kettle it’s drawing 2400 watts through the Meter. That’s the equivalent of switching on 240 LED downlights for a couple of minutes…

Solar panels making use of the vast roof spaces of shopping centres are finally appearing, which is awesome. You can more or less compensate for the public area HVAC and lighting on a sunny day. That makes quite a difference because heating/cooling of shopping centres are inevitably inefficient and run hour after hour…

The progress in battery tech is the key imo. Viable storage will change everything, particularly for point loads in homes. My only concern is the enviro impact of new batteries and whether there’s a counterproductive factor in play.

Unless we adopt a bbq-gas-bottle exchange type program, I’m sceptical about electric cars in this country. The charge times and sheer space required for prolonged charging of dozens and dozens - probably hundreds- of through traffic once everyone is driving electric - make it impractical over long journeys, imo. But if you could pull in, open the boot, swap out battery units for already charged ones, then maybe. These things probably won’t be light though. But, again, advances in battery tech may change the game.

Anyway, I’m rambling.

Switch to renewables asap. It makes sense on every level, even if you don’t believe in man made global warming. At some point, inevitably, unavoidably, we run out of things to burn. Other than our future, perhaps.


We all know what the real answer is…

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Our whole nation just slipped on that banana peel

Coal: FCS use it only for making steel. Burning it for energy has to stop.

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When I comes to electric cars I have less reservations when people worry about the range issue and charge times

Big talking point when people bring up the recent 2030 timeline.

In 10 years the top end EV’s have gone from 200km range to 550km range, charge times have gone from 12 hours to 45 minutes.

I don’t think it’s unrealistic to expect by 2030 to have something like 800 and 25.

As for your space for chargers concern, that’s fairly valid @saladin , I can say I know a group of engineers that have sold a design of a inner city car park to Secure Parking for a 6 story car park that is all chargers to the ground floor, the roofs solar and they reckon it charges that many cars full over an 8 hour day just from the panels. Their business model for the design is flipping around how you could own an EV, charge it while your at work so you don’t need a system at home. Rent the car park like a lot do. Secure want to lease the parks to businesses businesses with ev fleet vehicles.

I reckon EV charging will be a boom industry in 8-10 years.

You know it was a traditional strategy of the Liberal party to steal the best ALP policies after an election win. They then made the policy their own and spiked the ALP guns before they could fire them again.

Anyway, I just hope the government changes its policy and realises that climate change scepticism is for losers and the losers will destroy the planet if they have their way.

We need to start with losers like Abbot. Done.
Dutton. Urgent
Bolt. Urgent
Panahi. Urgent
Any other denialist.

There are lots more of them.


I read the other day. The reefs in French Polynesia have started bleaching, even in the absence of an El Nino event. Previously, bleaching only occurred when an ElNino caused warmer water currents to hit Tahiti. Now its happening anyway. This has shocked the french scientists.

Yet another sign. Are we farking blind or are we just trying to pretend its not happening.

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