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Thread: Who knew? Inefficiency can be a good thing.

  1. #1 Who knew? Inefficiency can be a good thing. 
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    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    city of wine and roses
    I cannot imagine how many times I've thought or read about the problems of storage of renewable energy. Clever designs, huge R&D budgets, waiting for large scale uptake of electric cars and all sorts of pie in the sky dreams. Turns out that the solution might be in our homes and businesses already.

    Water heaters
    ....electric heaters could add the equivalent of around 10 gigawatts of pumped storage equivalent to an eighth of peak German power capacity and a sixth of peak demand on a normal workday.

    The approach will only make sense, however, if the heaters are not only used to store power at night, but quite the opposite to store excess renewable electricity during the day. Going forward, the problem Germany faces is not a lack of demand for power at night, but excess solar power during the day.
    Water Heater Energy Storage: “Inefficient” Electric Heaters May Have Role in Smart Grid Climate Denial Crock of the Week

    Suddenly the issue gets turned on its head. Water heaters can become more efficient, but that will be less and less important if they have a second, equally important role as surge absorbers and grid stabilisers.

    "Courage is what it takes to stand up and speak; courage is also what it takes to sit down and listen." Winston Churchill
    "nature is like a game of Jenga; you never know which brick you pull out will cause the whole stack to collapse" Lucy Cooke
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