Solar and Wind Update: Kit and Otherwise
I started off with solar power and after hours and hours of extensive research, the following update(s) were made to the kit:
Solar power cannot be stored in batteries. → Storing solar power in a battery is limited ( to only a few hours).
However, my dear EVs, I am proud to report that we have, in fact, made leaps and bounds in the field of solar power. The bulk of the information I found was just beyond a “fifth grade” comprehension level or unrelated to the kit. However, the bulk of you are not fifth graders and not confined to the education of our kits, so here are all of my findings on solar power progress that didn’t end up in the Solar Power kit.
One battery can also store only a few hours of electricity, so they’re mainly used for temporary backup power in the case of a blackout. To fully run your house on solar, you would need the space of maybe a two-car garage and tens of thousands of dollars. Additionally, lithium itself is a limited resource, so despite all of the advancements we have already made, lithium ion batteries likely are not the final savior for the solar storage struggle.
Speaking of wind, this is a great time for a meta-segue to the next form of energy I had enough time to do research for:
All I was able to find on wind power storage was that the United States Department of Energy is currently working with the National Laboratories to develop and improve storage technology for excess wind energy. There are also at least a few wind energy facilities in America that employ battery storage, but I could not find how commonplace that was.
Also, wind technician is the second fastest growing technology behind solar, so that’s pretty cool.
· Providing 41% of all renewable power, hydroelectricity is the largest source of renewable power in the USA. (When you introduce natural gas to the arena, however, hydroelectricity’s 7% of total power still pales in comparison to natural gas’s 35%.)
· Interestingly, large hydroelectric dams do not qualify as “renewable” under RPS standards because of their devastating impacts on the environment.
· Our supply of natural gas is still estimated to last 90 years because we’ve discovered more natural gas reserves over time.
By Cynthia Pu, Education Intern
Can solar panels store energy? https://www.thesolarnerd.com/blog/can-solar-panels-store-energy/
Should you install a solar battery for home use? https://www.energysage.com/solar/solar-energy-storage/benefits-of-solar-batteries/
2017 US Energy and Employment Report https://www.energy.gov/sites/prod/files/2017/01/f34/2017%20US%20Energy%20and%20Jobs%20Report_0.pdf
What’s new in energy storage https://www.windpowerengineering.com/whats-new-in-energy-storage/