Using ice instead of batteries for energy storage

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Re: Using ice instead of batteries for energy storage

Postby Tracker » Thu Feb 06, 2014 8:39 am

.....I can afford to pay for that myself rather than paying someone else, who will on average make a profit, to take the risk for me. Hence I choose to have a significant excess. I need insurance in case the house burns down etc but not for a broken glass table top or if the fan motor in the oven stops working...

But the important thing is that you don't PAY for that cover, that you don't want and effectively can't ever use :idea: .
..
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Re: Using ice instead of batteries for energy storage

Postby ssingh1945 » Thu Feb 06, 2014 11:01 am

Tracker: Sorry if I'm confused about this explanation, but I'm stuck with the following conundrum.

If the refrigerant is manufactured in Australia, the manufacturer would shut down (!) or switch to a less highly-taxed refrigerant. On the other hand, if the refrigerant is imported, then according to your explanation it would not be taxed and would still be available cheap. If imported refrigerant is indeed taxed then this would (should?) apply to all cases, making it irrelevant whether it is a new (imported) compressor or one that is refilled (after repair).
Obviously, I'm missing something.
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Re: Using ice instead of batteries for energy storage

Postby Smurf1976 » Thu Feb 06, 2014 1:20 pm

In short, there's a tax on the gas but not on a fridge which already contains it.

So if you fix an existing fridge then you pay the tax. If you take the old one to the tip, letting the gas out into the atmosphere and then buy a new fridge then you pay no tax.

So the incentive is to always replace, never repair. The high tax effectively makes fridges a throw away device - if it stops working then it's cheaper to replace than repair unless it's under warranty (but in that case the manufacturer won't be repairing it either, they'll just give you a new one and scrap the old one since it's the cheapest option).
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Re: Using ice instead of batteries for energy storage

Postby gfsben » Sun Dec 21, 2014 5:32 pm

Hi Alan, I hope you see this as there hasn't been any activity on this thread for a while.- I found it while looking at ice bank thermal storage, which is why this is my first post!

I am seriously considering an ice bank storage for my truck. I have been living off grid (mostly in vehicles) for a number of years. The last few months ive been settling down in a new project, a Ford Trader duel cab Ex CFA pumper/tanker, which i have installed 1400w of PV as a roof. Im also looking at potentially another Kw as fold out 'gull wings'.
I have been running a fairly small lead acid battery bank -which totally sucks, and have every intention of upgrading to lithium when i can. This is most important for mobile systems.

However, i really dont want to draw on these for refrigeration. I am currently running a 40L Engel and have also been trialling a 150L chest freezer, both as a freezer and as a fridge (with a digital thermostat conversion).

The conditions have been fairly tough on them lately. Driving them across western Queensland in the low 40s and now in central Australia where high 30s and low 40s are normal.
Both are coping (my inverters as well), but it has highlighted serious limitations.
These are particularly to do with the location of both units and there respective compressors and condensers. Basically having to ditch heat into what can be a high low 50s environment.
Also having to rely on batteries and functioning inverters at all times,and regularly wasting large amounts of power as the batteries go into float early in the day.

i just don't like it, and i think it is unnecessary.

What i would like to do is completely de-couple the cool boxes from the heat pump. By using a 300L ice bank that would circulate its water through a heat exchange jacket in highly insulated top opening boxes or draws that can slide out the side of the truck. The ice bank would have coiled evaporators throughout its volume, much the same as the Ice Bear. http://www.ice-energy.com/technology/ic ... ge-system/
The heat pump would be a small Inverter based air-conditioning compressor. Maybe around 1kw.

The idea would be to make sure that a small lithium battery bank was charged (which would mostly be used for lighting, telecommunications, and entertainment), then continuously dump what ever excess is available into the ice bank.

The key as i see it would be controlling the inverter heat pump so as to exactly match the pv output. This should be possible, as they are designed to run at part load when a room has been drawn down to a desirable temperature.

Small dc pumps would be used to circulate icy water through plates in cool boxes(the fridge space) and maybe even some chilled beam cooling in my sleeping/living space.

Its a bit to to set up and a bit to learn but it would make a very high value load dump for excess PV and also address the insufficiencies in my current fridges compressors/condenser configurations.

What do you reckon? any idea of the control circuitry needed for this one?

Ben
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Re: Using ice instead of batteries for energy storage

Postby AlanJ » Mon Dec 22, 2014 10:52 am

Hi Ben
Your situation appears to be the same as my boat. Truck boat similar idea, except I travel around on the water.

It has a diesel truck engine 42hP with as big an alternator as I could fit on it 800Amp. Hot water is from waste heat of the motor, 40Liters.

Other equipment are 240W 12volt PV's feeding two 100Ahr truck batteries(there cheaper) , not deep cycle. A quality 2000W sine wave inverter. I use Led lighting, 3 * 20W bilge pumps, 40W water pump, Marine Radio, GPS, stereo, my laptop and phone, are easily powered from this set up. I do not need backup generator. Half hour run of the motor is sometimes needed if I get no sun for 4 days. This rarely happens. OH I have a separate motor crank battery just in case.

I use Origo 2 burner methylated spirit stove for cooking, I have a steel plate and wind shield which converts it into a BBQ when required..

By now you are wondering if I'm going to answer your question, well.

Refrigeration is by Ice-bank technique, the controller is me. I believe in Kiss principle. The Ice-bank technology comprises a 57 liter 5 day ice box and a domestic ice block maker, 240 v & 160W input. When the sun shines or I'm travelling, I make ice. Filling up the ice box as each load is completed. I have 10 x 2 litre Tupperware containers which take each load from the ice maker. The boxes are left in until there is ice to refill the melted ones.

I found ordinary domestic refrigerators, insullation is NOT good enough.

I have no problem with starting current via the 240V inverter despite 160W since the batteries provide a large electrical inertia. By not having constant refrigeration draw on the batteries I can go on anchor indefinitely.


The big advantage is at the end of the day I have ice cubes for the G&T.

cheers AlanJ
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Re: Using ice instead of batteries for energy storage

Postby davidg » Mon Dec 22, 2014 12:13 pm

gfsben wrote:I am seriously considering an ice bank storage for my truck. I have been living off grid (mostly in vehicles) for a number of years. The last few months ive been settling down in a new project, a Ford Trader duel cab Ex CFA pumper/tanker, which i have installed 1400w of PV as a roof. Im also looking at potentially another Kw as fold out 'gull wings'.

Maybe look into absorption chiller type systems using excess heat as the driver for chilling, that is much easier to control compared to a motor, then you only need a small pump to move highly chilled salt water much colder than plain water, just a thought.
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Re: Using ice instead of batteries for energy storage

Postby gfsben » Mon Dec 22, 2014 2:26 pm

Ahh boats.. definately something i want to get into eventially. Seasteading is going to be a great training ground for off planet autonomous living ;)

Thats a cool set up Alan. A good cogeneration system is still the most econmical and efficiant way of powering a comfortable living arrangment. And since weight isnt much of an issue on a boat, a couple of N200 batteries is a perfect way to go.

I just glanced at ebay for some big lithium batts. A couple of 200Ah 12v packs are still going to set you back $5000 or so. Still way too expensive for me to justify. (i understand that these cells would give a lot more useable energy, but still...)
I can do a stack of R&D for $5000. When my current 2nd hand UPS SLAs all pack up, im still going to opt for a couple of flooded cell, truck starting batteries. Mass production is an amazing thing.

Back to the thermal stuff- One of the reasons i am considering this now is that i was already going to add an insulated fat/fuel tank, that would also act as a phase change thermal storage/ 40deg instantaneous hot water heater.

The built in fibreglass 1000l water tank that the truck has, should be able to be broken down into two highly insulated cells of about 300l each after lineing them with polyisocyanurate insulation board from Kingspan. And probably some thin stainless steel sheet.
Lots of stored 'hot & cold', then the electricity can be used for higher grade outcomes.


David- Do you have particular product in mind? I would be interested to know of a cost efective, compact and resolved absorption chiller or any other thermally driven cooling unit, particularly if it can be ran off 80deg coolent tempertures, rather than needing a custom made exhuast heat manifold heat exchanger. The idea is fine, but they currently mass manufacture very cheap, highly efficient compressor based refrigereation equiment- ie split system air cons, that im pritty sure ill be able to find for next to nothing.

Also i have a 2kw high speed ORC turbine that i have buit into a small ORC test rig, that gets first dibs on any low grade heat;)

Ben
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Re: Using ice instead of batteries for energy storage

Postby Gordon-Loomberah » Mon Dec 22, 2014 3:38 pm

I'm not sure who is advertising 200AH 12V Lithium batteries for $2500, but thats twice as expensive/kWh as I bought my cells for 2 years ago. Prices now are about the same to a bit less than in 2012.

Truck batteries wont last very long in a deep cycle application, they are designed for short discharges and recharging ASAP, to be maintained at float voltage.
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Re: Using ice instead of batteries for energy storage

Postby davidg » Mon Dec 22, 2014 3:41 pm

Any now "gas" powered fridge either portable or not should work you just have work out how to channel the heat, other than that with a bit of a hunt you maybe able to put together such an arrangement if you are any good at DIY.
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Re: Using ice instead of batteries for energy storage

Postby davidg » Mon Dec 22, 2014 3:48 pm

Gordon-Loomberah wrote:I'm not sure who is advertising 200AH 12V Lithium batteries for $2500, but thats twice as expensive/kWh as I bought my cells for 2 years ago. Prices now are about the same to a bit less than in 2012

With the dollar drop they are slightly more than they were, but it is direct proportion to dollar devaluation.

However the one thing everyone keeps forgetting which I know you don't.

One does not need the same number of AH's as you might in lead I reckon about 160 Ah would be comparable to 2 x 200ah truck batteries and would not too far a similar cost for similar useable capacity. A few cell balancers and JIC cutoff (BMS) and that's all she wrote.
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