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[Discuss] Eclipses Re: Great talks last night, however...

On Thu, 20 Jul 2017 20:14:15 -0400, Richard Pieri wrote:
> On 7/20/2017 7:36 PM, A. Richard Miller wrote:
>> How else might we store solar energy? As an environmentalist, I rather 
>> like the Northfield Mountain pumped-storage project 
>> <>. It's been rather benign 
>> environmentally for 45 years now. The mountain habitat is well-managed 
> Except for the initial habitat destruction incurred by the creation of
> the reservoir in the first place.
> Mechanical storage isn't any better than chemical storage. It's
> different with different problems like friction and mechanical wear.
> The problem isn't how we store electricity. It's that we store
> electricity. Regardless of how we end up generating electricity,
> converting it for storage and then converting it back for use will
> always be less efficient than using electricity directly.

If you're using the same generation method ("all other things being
equal"), yes.

Thermodynamic efficiency isn't always the overriding concern, though.
Solar energy is plentiful, and clean after the initial fixed cost
(solar panels basically don't wear out).  So as long as the storage
method isn't dirty, that we're wasting more of the energy by storing
it is less of a problem than the cost of burning fossil fuel.

Which itself, when you get right down to it, is simply
chemically-stored solar energy.
Robert Krawitz                                     <rlk at>

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