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Old 12-08-2014, 05:05 PM
 
Location: Volcano
12,971 posts, read 23,532,990 times
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This article from Bloomberg makes a point which that has eluded many people's understanding... that a solar roof + energy storage = a disruptive technology which obsoletes a 100 year old public utility business model.

Quote:
Why Elon Musk's Batteries Scare the Hell Out of the Electric Company

Tesla’s founder, Elon Musk, sees the $5 billion facility as a key step toward making electric cars more affordable, while ending reliance on oil and reducing greenhouse gas emissions. At first blush, the push toward more electric cars looks to be positive for utilities struggling with stagnant sales from energy conservation and slow economic growth.

Yet Musk’s so-called gigafactory may soon become an existential threat to the 100-year-old utility business model. The facility will also churn out stationary battery packs that can be paired with rooftop solar panels to store power. Already, a second company led by Musk, SolarCity Corp. (SCTY:US), is packaging solar panels and batteries to power California homes and companies including Wal-Mart Stores Inc. (WMT:US)

“The mortal threat that ever cheaper on-site renewables pose” comes from systems that include storage, said Amory Lovins, co-founder of the Rocky Mountain Institute, a Snowmass, Colorado-based energy consultant. “That is an unregulated product you can buy at Home Depot that leaves the old business model with no place to hide.”

<more>
Why Elon Musk's Batteries Scare the Hell Out of the Electric Company - Businessweek
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Old 12-08-2014, 07:34 PM
 
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It does nothing of the sort.
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Old 12-08-2014, 07:49 PM
 
Location: DC
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That is just silly. Battery storage would be a boon to the traditional utilities.
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Old 12-08-2014, 08:06 PM
 
Location: Currently living in Reddit
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The actual power storage issue at hand is above my pay grade, but in general, every industry will be displaced by something else eventually.
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Old 12-08-2014, 08:22 PM
 
48,516 posts, read 83,654,959 times
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It will be decades before battery storage takes over by expense. No different than electric cars. The biggest problem with mass use is the batteries can have problems and life in charges cycles and have to be recycled. Anyone with cell phone knows this which think are at about 1k recharges and the capacity does not remain same thru out life.. One cell malfunction can ruin a pack.120V at say 200 map service can take quite a pack to last any length of time.
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Old 12-08-2014, 09:11 PM
 
Location: Volcano
12,971 posts, read 23,532,990 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DCforever View Post
That is just silly. Battery storage would be a boon to the traditional utilities.
Not when it allows people to disengage from the utility.
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Old 12-08-2014, 09:32 PM
 
Location: Volcano
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Quote:
Originally Posted by texdav View Post
It will be decades before battery storage takes over by expense. No different than electric cars. The biggest problem with mass use is the batteries can have problems and life in charges cycles and have to be recycled. Anyone with cell phone knows this which think are at about 1k recharges and the capacity does not remain same thru out life.. One cell malfunction can ruin a pack.120V at say 200 map service can take quite a pack to last any length of time.
Nice example of black hat thinking, just churning through everything you can think of that might be wrong with something... but unfortunately without reference to real-life examples that contradict your criticisms.

Without even going to the details of the new cheaper and better battery formulation and design which is expected to be launched when the Gigafactory goes into production, the Panasonic/Tesla battery system has already been on sale for several years, and it carries an 8 year warranty. Your cell phone battery is simply not a valid comparison.

One bad cell could knock a battery block out, yes, but they are modular and can be replaced without affecting the whole system. As they age, the total amount of energy they can store and release gradually drops, but that's more an issue for mobile uses than for stationary. Matter of fact, mobile batteries might be replaced when they only have 70% of original capacity, at which time they can be moved into stationary power use to get more life out of them before they go back to the Tesla factory for recycling. It's one of the scenarios being considered by different companies.

And as to whether or not it could work... the basic system already has been working for many years using other battery technologies. AGM (Absorbed Glass Mat) lead acid batteries are showing 10 year battery life in stand alone solar energy installations. This is simply a newer, better technology to do what has already been done.
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Old 12-08-2014, 09:53 PM
 
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When a battery goes bad in a bank, it must be replaced with another used one for a best practice solution or better yet, the bank is replaced with all new because of the effects of a new replacement battery being adversely affected.

The statement that the system as a whole is unaffected is absolutely false and probably the result of a lack of practical experience, misunderstanding battery technology or something else. Regardless, it is wrong, has been proven wrong throughout the industry.
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Old 12-08-2014, 09:54 PM
 
7,281 posts, read 8,830,816 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DCforever View Post
That is just silly. Battery storage would be a boon to the traditional utilities.
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Old 12-08-2014, 10:27 PM
 
7,281 posts, read 8,830,816 times
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Tesla warranties it's batteries for 8 years because otherwise few people would buy one. The CARB regulations also have a lot to do with it.

CARB rep John Swanton says " if the battery in a plug-in hybrid goes kaput, the car could conceivably stay on the road, belching out smog-forming emissions comparable to “a pretty poorly running gasoline vehicle.”

He has some other interesting things to say as well : https://gigaom.com/2010/07/16/electr...your-warranty/

Regardless, the idea that Elon Musks batteries scare the utility companies is as someone else here said, "silly".
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