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Battery alternative


HeinTheTerrible
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In this same line, I had an idea last night.

Someone on quora asked how much space you need to put up panels that can power the whole world, and the answer is basically: You can fit all of them into a small part of Algeria in North Africa. Someone apparently wrote a paper arguing that you can transmit the power from there to Europe, so that you could conceivably power Europe with solar power from North Africa (where you have more sun), but as you might well imagine: This remains the problem, that it is hard to transport electricity.

So this is where I had the idea, lacking a suitable way to implement it.

1. We already have oil tankers, and what they do essentially is transport energy, right?

2. We already have tech like Zinc Bromide flow batteries, where energy can effectively be stored in a liquid.

If we ignore for the moment the terrible efficiency, then in theory you could charge up some ZnBr2 on one side of the planet, load it into a tanker, and go discharge it on the other end.

So the question becomes, what else can you use, other than ZnBr2 in water (which is heavier than oil) with an energy density at least approaching half that of oil (!), to make it economically feasible? If you can solve that problem... well then sunlight becomes as valuable as oil.

Thoughts? Any chemists here that can tell me that such a thing would never work? :-)

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On 1/10/2017 at 10:39 AM, plonkster said:

In this same line, I had an idea last night.

Someone on quora asked how much space you need to put up panels that can power the whole world, and the answer is basically: You can fit all of them into a small part of Algeria in North Africa. Someone apparently wrote a paper arguing that you can transmit the power from there to Europe, so that you could conceivably power Europe with solar power from North Africa (where you have more sun), but as you might well imagine: This remains the problem, that it is hard to transport electricity.

So this is where I had the idea, lacking a suitable way to implement it.

1. We already have oil tankers, and what they do essentially is transport energy, right?

2. We already have tech like Zinc Bromide flow batteries, where energy can effectively be stored in a liquid.

If we ignore for the moment the terrible efficiency, then in theory you could charge up some ZnBr2 on one side of the planet, load it into a tanker, and go discharge it on the other end.

So the question becomes, what else can you use, other than ZnBr2 in water (which is heavier than oil) with an energy density at least approaching half that of oil (!), to make it economically feasible? If you can solve that problem... well then sunlight becomes as valuable as oil.

Thoughts? Any chemists here that can tell me that such a thing would never work? :-)

but would it be feasible? 

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  • 3 weeks later...
On 1/10/2017 at 10:39 AM, plonkster said:

If we ignore for the moment the terrible efficiency

Well if we do that then anything is probable. 

58 minutes ago, DeepBass9 said:

 

Seeing as it is always sunny somewhere, if you had a big ring feed running around the equator that everyone could tap into the problem would be solved

 

Ask TTT he knows some patent guys and could possibly refer you :P

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