the futureDemands for energy are increasing every day, mostly during the peak hours, a phenomenon driven by surging demands for cooling. The future is hot, so we should consider the option of ice storage.
Peak demand has always been a primary pain point of the electrical grid. Since the grid that must cater for its peak demand (that occur only for a few hours a year), dramatically increases costs of the grid infrastructure.
In hot climates, a huge portion of the peak demands is driven by the constantly growing needs for cooling.
Any reduction of the current peak demand will increase dramatically the efficiency and flexibility of the grid and will enable higher penetrations of renewables.
Estimates are that in the next 30 years or so, we would be facing an annual 3% increase of the energy demands for comfort cooling—a staggering 90%(!) rate of growth by 2050.
In retail malls, hospitals, hotels (as well as in commercial office space) Global warming only aggravates this situation further.
To enable further penetration of solar energy, we must support the drop in solar energy production during sunset by means of energy storage.
Taking care of the grids’ cooling demands after sunset is Nostromo’s primary value proposition. When the PV systems stop producing energy, a very high percentage of these comfort cooling systems are still required and running till 9 pm or later. This period between dusk and late in the evening can only be addressed by energy storage,
The Solar dilemma
Solar energy is great, but increased use of solar energy challenges the stabilization of the grid
While solar energy has a large role to play, the increased use of solar energy introduces challenges to the stabilization of the grid.
In early March 2018, California authorities made the decision to halt all new solar installations. The reason for that was that California has exceeded its own goals for solar installations.
In the spring of 2018, California broke an all-time record for solar energy generation. This came on the heels of another unexpected achievement in 2016 when on one particular day, solar energy generation exceeded 100% of the grid’s demands.
Currently, California experiences solar peak generation every day, followed by an ~12,000 MW drop within the span of 3 hours, (from 5:00 PM to 8:00 PM, around sunset.) This phenomenon is known as a ramp-up (or “Duck curve”), and then the increased demand of the fossil grid to retrieve these 12,000 MW into the grid using conventional (polluting) means.
Without the means to manage this frequent crisis, this exorbitant loss of power production every sunset.
So, there appears to be a disconnect between solar energy goals, which many states are adopting (link) and regularly adjusting upwards, and these same states’ goals for acquiring energy storage systems.