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Feb 27, 2014

Spark: Will The Electricity Grid Become Optional?



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RMI Spark, the eNewsletter of Rocky Mountain Institute

Thursday, February 27, 2014

Featured Blog Posts

Will The Electricity Grid Become Optional?

Renewables Power A Rural German Village

A High-Renewables Tomorrow, Today: El Hierro, Canary Islands

Read All RMI Blog Posts

RMI In The News

Report: Solar Paired With Storage Is A 'Real, Near and Present' Threat To Utilities
Greentech Media

Richard Branson Launches A Green Energy Plan For the Caribbean

Do you use the Flipboard app for your IOS or Android device? We invite you to check out our Flipboard magazine, featuring energy news from around the world, updated daily. Learn More.

The Economics Of Grid Defection

Distributed electricity generation, especially solar PV, is rapidly spreading and getting much cheaper. Distributed electricity storage is doing the same, thanks largely to mass production of batteries for electric vehicles. Solar power is already starting to erode some utilities’ sales and revenues.

But what happens when solar and batteries join forces? Together they can make the electric grid optional for many customers—without compromising reliability and increasingly at prices cheaper than utility retail electricity. Read More

RMI Update

Our Donors Make It Possible

With the support of our donors, "The Economics of Grid Defection" explores the economic cases that can incentivize customer defection from the grid. It importantly answers when this impending threat for utilities may become a reality.

The follow-on report will address how utilities can adjust their business models to capture new sources of value and participate in building the electricity system of the future. Learn More


The UCSD Microgrid: Showing The Future Of Electricity...Today

The microgrid at UCSD provides a living laboratory to experiment with integration and management of local resources and to optimize the use of these resources in interaction with market signals from the larger grid. Watch Now


Upcoming Events

American Physical Society: Conference On The Physics Of Sustainable Energy

Chief Scientist Amory Lovins will keynote the banquet dinner on March 8, 2014.

The workshop takes place in Berkeley, CA. Learn More

What You're Saying

@McMcClurg: Tesla patents Supercharger that can handle herd of EVs ow.ly/RHvQ


@RockyMtnInst:  Just built an #energy influencers list--anyone we should include? #solar ow.ly/tXkzl


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Showing 1-1 of 1 comments

March 14, 2014

The website "instructables" mentions that rainwater contains electrolytes due to various pollutants. Natural dust particles may also add to the electrolytes. They provide a link for a small experimental battery setup to demonstrate that a rainwater battery will function without any added electrolytes. Presumably this means that a PV powered electrolysis setup will work using just rainwater, without adding table salt or other materials as electrolytes. Not sure if I can post URLs here, so I will not. I have a "microtorch" designed for HHO gas (that is, hydrogen and oxygen molecules split and passed thru a single supply line, without the gases being kept separate, as is done in typical electrolysis setups). This type of system can be used also to run a small heat engine such as a well designed Stirling engine, which would then be able to provide torque to an electricity generator. This would be a way to combine the magick of PVs with the direct heat availability of the HHO burner. It could potentially increase cost effectiveness of PV systems. You certainly don't generally want to use PVs for any type of electric resistance heating, unless we can improve that area's efficiency by using high temperature capacity carbon fiber heating elements or other new materials. So with the HHO burner as one aspect of a combined PV system, you can utilize the sun's power perhaps in a better, more energy efficient and cost effective way. Thank you.

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