RE: Could BMN weather a global recession?16 Aug 2019 08:12
Vauxhall Viva - this of course is the reason I invested in commodities in the first place - to have a reserve of value that is immune to what paper currencies do.
Vanadium is not just any old commodity, as you point out we are standing on the threshold of a huge potential change in its usefulness to humanity, with climate change or building safety not going away any time in the next 1000 years.
Exactly Serenus , of course it helps that the 2 day conference (plus 3 additional days of focussed workshops) is located on Bushveld's doorstep in Johannesburg.
It is interesting to read https://www.power-week.com/Africa/Agenda/index.html and see the agenda for Workshop A (Off grid technologies) and Workshop C (Battery energy storage (Note the emphasis on BATTERY)) and try and work out which talks are being given by Bushveld Energy people.
Given that Part Frampton of BE is speaking and he was also the chap who essentially defined Eskom's BESS test facility, whether there will be another visit of interested people to the Eskom Rosherville campus to see the batteries under test there. It would seem to be something of an oversight if such an opportunity were missed, which is why I think there is little chance that Mikhail will pass up such serendipity.
RE: Could BMN weather a global recession?16 Aug 2019 00:07
zebediah - fully islanded grids will no doubt have to have some form of fossil fueled backup generation. If you only use them rarely it does not undermine the argument for using renewables the rest of the time.
RE: Could BMN weather a global recession?16 Aug 2019 00:04
Zebediah - the point about batteries is that you can put them precisely where you want, and need, them - unlike pumped water storage which is only where the geography is favourable, and you don't already have a pumped storage plant, or a village nestling at the foot of a dam.
This means that you can site energy storage at the points in the grid transmission system where they can have the biggest beneficial impact on not having to increase you transmission cabling (I'm told it's not just a simple process of switching off the electricity and stringer a fatter wire up - more often than not you have to build a complete new set of transmission towers, etc).
The analysis that shows pumped water storage is cheaper than other forms of energy storage really does not capture any aspect of this.
RE: Could BMN weather a global recession?15 Aug 2019 22:21
There are no rules of thumb. It depends how spiky the daily fluctuations are, and how much cheaper the night time electricity is compared with the daytime and how much extra charge you have to pay per month for maximum power flow (yes you can't simply rock up and expect to be able to draw large powers with the cost of transmitting the power to you being levied back onto you.)
This paper runs through a process for estimating how extra power generation capacity you can replace if you have batteries of 4,6, or 8 hours. As you might expect as the duration goes up you can replace more and more extra generation capacity with batteries - as you knock out the narrow spikes with short duration batteries you end up with flatter peaks and eventually a relatively smooth daily fluctuation - then your long duration batteries can really go to work shifting GWh or energy from one part of the day to another.
As more and more PV gets introduced the duck effect becomes stronger and eventually you end up being able to get two charge-discharge cycles per day, as I described earlier.
RE: Could BMN weather a global recession?15 Aug 2019 21:30
Faramog and Zebediah - of course any significant industrial plant is unlikely to go completely off the grid. Instead they will retain their existing grid connection as a useful backup - this then allows them to buy cheap nighttime electricity (when nobody else wants it) AND cheap daytime electricity (from their own PV farm) to use a battery system twice in the same day. Sweating the battery asset more actively like this doesn't worry a VRFB but it would kill a Lithium-ion battery twice as fast. I guess you can immediately see the commercial benefit that this gives the VRFB, and of course this is precisely what BMN is going to do at Vametco, and what Pat Frampton of Bushveld Energy told me they would be doing when I visited the Eskom battery test site in January:- https://www.thebushveldperspective.com/blog/public-articles-1/post/eskom-battery-site-visit-410
RE: Could BMN weather a global recession?15 Aug 2019 21:25
YTSS not necessarily. Voltstorage has a household VRFB that competes directly with the Tesla powerwall you see adorning the walls of Tesla stores (but the salesboys that work there can't tell you anything about it though - I know I tried last week.)