Half a croissant, on a plate, with a sign in front of it saying '50c'
h a l f b a k e r y
You gonna finish that?

idea: add, search, annotate, link, view, overview, recent, by name, random

meta: news, help, about, links, report a problem

account: browse anonymously, or get an account and write.



Utility-controlled home battery

Batteries in the home, powered from renewable resources..
  [vote for,

When dealing with net metering, it can get messy when the utility companies complain that the power they are required to buy is during non-peak hours.

How much would a utility company pay people to only sell excess power during peak hours? The combined capacity of net-metering households could potentially provide the power that is needed from a peaker-plant, although you would need a lot of households for that, which is not out of the question.

If the utility companies were allowed to control when your batteries dumped power into the grid, would 10% above net- metered income be sufficient? Actually, the price for net-metered power could vary depending on the time of day. Where is this going?

A device, created by the utility company, for households that are able to provide a decent load to the grid, which can control when the household's batteries supply the grid. It would probably be controlled through and internet connection, wired to the device which attaches to your batteries. When the power company needs it, it tells the device to allow the batteries to release power into the grid.

I honestly don't know much about "the grid" or if there are laws about electricity that would not allow this idea to work. In my head, theoretically, it works.

twitch, Jul 24 2007

DTI (UK): Advanced Metering technology for Embedded Generation http://www.berr.gov...files/file34819.pdf
Document describing the challenges and possible solutions for metering a small scale embedded generator (personal home fitted with fuel source such as photovoltaics). [Jinbish, Jul 25 2007]


       A company in Wales, pumps water uphill when electricity is cheap, then generates electricity and sells it when it's expensive. Not baked on a household scale though AFAIK.
marklar, Jul 24 2007

       //In my head, theoretically, it works// - tagline!
hippo, Jul 24 2007

       [marklar]: There are many companies that do this. It's standard Hydroelectricity tactics - either by cost or by demand. Pump up at night and release in peak times.
Jinbish, Jul 24 2007

       What's with the hydro-setup? That's normal stuff. I'm talking households.
twitch, Jul 24 2007

       I guess that with the hydro setup, being non-hamster in nature, taking advantage of peak vs. off-peak prices is more worthwhile.
Texticle, Jul 24 2007

       It may prove to be cheaper and prettier to build your own two-tiered lake in your back garden than buying a large rack of batteries, but then i have no idea how much either cost. You could construct the lakes yourself, assuming of course that you have a huge back garden.
marklar, Jul 25 2007

       Ok, [twitch], I didn't mean that there are many companies that do *this*, I just meant in terms if the overall concept of storing in cheap times and letting out at expensive times.   

       But know I think about it, there are, however, schemes of personal energy generation coupled with connection to the national grid. This sort of thing came out from users installing solar panels and the like. Methods for them actually feeding the meter as opposed to taking all the time have been researched - I think the correct term is "Embedded Generation" and applies to smaller, renewable energy plants but also to personal homes. I'll see if I can find some links...
Jinbish, Jul 25 2007

       I'm not sure I understand your business model. Is this a product the Utility company pays you to have in your home? Or something you purchase in order to get better rates? We had devices installed on electric water heaters to disable them during peak load time in exchange for an annual cash rebate. Batteries that would hold the amount of electricity a water heater can use in 15 min would be fairly large and expensive. But you idea would shift the make up demand to a much later time (recharge at night).
cblunds, Jul 26 2007

       If batteries were efficient enough, I think the utilities would buy the power from you whenever you generated t and store it themselves. Storage (such as the hydroelectric/pumped water system) might be more efficient on a larger scale.   

       That being said, I think your system would work if you lived far away from the power statoin and had neighbors who could use your power (i.e., the case with a utility managing a cluster of houses in the middle of South Dakota).   

       Storage need not be toxic...I think a huge flywheel system in your basement might do the trick (since you don't have any portability requirements).
cowtamer, Jul 27 2007

       i've heard this idea suggested a few times as a solution to wring out every last bit of life from used PHEV batteries, when we finally have them.   

       use the battery in a car until its capacity reaches 80% of new, then use it at home until it reaches 50%, then off for recycling.   

       [BrauBeaton]: too late for that toxic nightmare - every aspect of our lives is now touched by fossil fuels. also, we have to keep in mind when comparing the chemical energy of batteries and gasoline that an electric motor can often achieve efficiencies far above 90%, whereas our trusty old suck-squeeze-bang-blow engines often convert in the teens. batteries don't care where they juice up, be it a local solar panel (as could be used in the net-metering idea here) or from a far-away coal-fired power station. the point is, we have the option to generate and use power locally. oil on the other hand - well...   

       li-ion batteries are substantially more efficient and convenient than pumped-hydro power, but the latter is sure a nice alternative when you can get it, as it is so much cheaper over the long run.   

       other local storage methods that come to mind are: compressed air, flywheel, magnetic/electric field, a hybrid car and more... one i'd like to try one day when i grow up is to dig a really deep well in my backyard, and lower a bloody heavy lead weight down it on a spool of low-friction cable. when i generate too much power the weight is lifted, when i need power, i lower the weight (through its connected motor/generator). hmmm, maybe this would be a good use for depleted uranium???
TIB, Jul 28 2007


back: main index

business  computer  culture  fashion  food  halfbakery  home  other  product  public  science  sport  vehicle