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  1. #1
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    Default Eskom buying batteries worth R14 billion

    My first comment when reading this headline was "and they'll get batteries worth R33".
    https://mybroadband.co.za/news/energ...4-billion.html


    This is what we all hope for, in fact this article shows it can cost much less https://mybroadband.co.za/news/energ...y-project.html

    But we all know what's going to happen here. The tender will be awarded to some dodgy Chinese or Russian company with a dozen fat cat tenderpreneurs in between, eventually it will even go over budget and we'll get peanuts in return. Followed of course by the commission of enquiry, the court cases, the media sniffing out all the fraud etc.
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  3. #2
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    Default Re: Eskom buying batteries worth R14 billion

    It seems Eskom can only procure at double the price to ensure some people can help themselves. I wonder how Andre would explain this one?
    Last edited by ekkekan; 2021/10/20 at 02:56 PM.

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    Default Re: Eskom buying batteries worth R14 billion

    and in a few years time the batteries have to be replaced. Surely spending the money on another hydro/dam/pump storage project would be better?
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    Default Re: Eskom buying batteries worth R14 billion

    Serious question, does Escom have the spare capacity to charge these batteries? If it was anything other than a ANC parastatal youíd expect that the sums would have been done.

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    Default Re: Eskom buying batteries worth R14 billion

    Quote Originally Posted by BruceB View Post
    Serious question, does Escom have the spare capacity to charge these batteries? If it was anything other than a ANC parastatal youíd expect that the sums would have been done.
    Fluctuations in demand is their biggest challange. Decent storage capacity during off peaks will help them cope with the peaks.

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    Default Re: Eskom buying batteries worth R14 billion

    Quote Originally Posted by RoelfleRoux View Post
    Fluctuations in demand is their biggest challange. Decent storage capacity during off peaks will help them cope with the peaks.
    So they arenít load shedding the majority of the day? I got the impression that was the case.

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    Default Re: Eskom buying batteries worth R14 billion

    Quote Originally Posted by BruceB View Post
    Serious question, does Escom have the spare capacity to charge these batteries? If it was anything other than a ANC parastatal youíd expect that the sums would have been done.
    They could if they use renewables to charge the batteries and add the stable battery output to the grid. It's way beyond my pay grade but it seems to me it's a way of adding capacity and taking out the inconsistencies that the fundis claim comes with solar power.

    Reading other articles indicates the cost "discrepancies" may arise out of the conditions of the project, such as security, access control, maintenance, etc.

    https://www.greentechmedia.com/artic...battery-tender
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    Default Re: Eskom buying batteries worth R14 billion

    Will each house hold get a battery and one 12v led globe. Solar panel and charger optional.
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    Default Re: Eskom buying batteries worth R14 billion

    Quote Originally Posted by Gungets Tuft View Post
    They could if they use renewables to charge the batteries and add the stable battery output to the grid. It's way beyond my pay grade but it seems to me it's a way of adding capacity and taking out the inconsistencies that the fundis claim comes with solar power.

    Reading other articles indicates the cost "discrepancies" may arise out of the conditions of the project, such as security, access control, maintenance, etc.

    https://www.greentechmedia.com/artic...battery-tender
    Being lazy I wonder if Fluffy et al would have already done the calcs, but in my view Water/Hydro is a much better store of energy than a battery. Capex Costs are high, but maintenance is very low thereafter. Utility scale batteries that will need to be completely replaced every 5/10/15yrs seems like a very poor investment for a utility grade solution?

    By Contrast Hydro is very well understood, makes use of existing technology and is already in use, and could also be powered by a few panels during the day.

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    Default Re: Eskom buying batteries worth R14 billion

    Quote Originally Posted by stephenplumb View Post
    Being lazy I wonder if Fluffy et al would have already done the calcs, but in my view Water/Hydro is a much better store of energy than a battery. Capex Costs are high, but maintenance is very low thereafter. Utility scale batteries that will need to be completely replaced every 5/10/15yrs seems like a very poor investment for a utility grade solution?

    By Contrast Hydro is very well understood, makes use of existing technology and is already in use, and could also be powered by a few panels during the day.
    The problem is South Africa is water scarce and dams horribly environmentally damaging, and need maintenance. Pumped storage is a really good option, cureently in use, I don't know why they don't use solar to pump water. A lot of our load shedding originates in the fact that coal fired break downs restrict our ability to pump, hence load shedding to allow them to fill the dams (and diesel tanks). Perhaps we need both - batteries and solar to pump water?
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    Default Re: Eskom buying batteries worth R14 billion

    Quote Originally Posted by stephenplumb View Post
    Being lazy I wonder if Fluffy et al would have already done the calcs, but in my view Water/Hydro is a much better store of energy than a battery. Capex Costs are high, but maintenance is very low thereafter. Utility scale batteries that will need to be completely replaced every 5/10/15yrs seems like a very poor investment for a utility grade solution?

    By Contrast Hydro is very well understood, makes use of existing technology and is already in use, and could also be powered by a few panels during the day.
    Batteries have a much faster response time, Pump-Hydro and Batteries aren't generally used for the same task, They can but as you said hydro tends to be cheaper over the long term.

    Tesla Mega Pack can go from standby to full output in 200ms from what I have seen. This means if you have a power generation UNIT trip the pack can provide the power till you are able to restart the UNIT or startup another unit.
    Or if you have large amounts of solar or wind this can be used to fill in the gaps when the weather shifts.

    Tesla Mega Pack can also typically complete empty it's batteries in 4 hours. This is a lot faster than a typical hydro dam can.

    They haven't said what battery will be used but Mega Pack data is available that is why I am referring to it.

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    Default Re: Eskom buying batteries worth R14 billion

    Quote Originally Posted by shaneyake View Post
    Batteries have a much faster response time, Pump-Hydro and Batteries aren't generally used for the same task, They can but as you said hydro tends to be cheaper over the long term.

    Tesla Mega Pack can go from standby to full output in 200ms from what I have seen. This means if you have a power generation UNIT trip the pack can provide the power till you are able to restart the UNIT or startup another unit.
    Or if you have large amounts of solar or wind this can be used to fill in the gaps when the weather shifts.

    Tesla Mega Pack can also typically complete empty it's batteries in 4 hours. This is a lot faster than a typical hydro dam can.

    They haven't said what battery will be used but Mega Pack data is available that is why I am referring to it.
    Typical best practice is to have 15% spinning reserve, so if we are running so close the line (which I am sure we are) then we are pretty screwed anyway. Then throwing a super expensive solution at the problem seems problematic.

    This is however the reality of "green energy" which is not really all that green. Very rapid drops in power in the order of the timescale you mention are very much the reality of unstable grids that are too heavily dependant on Wind and Solar. Spread over very large areas, some of these effects can be compensated for, but the reality is solar and wind are just not good solutions for utility scale power.

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    Default Re: Eskom buying batteries worth R14 billion

    The other day I read somewhere that Eskom actually makes too much electricity, sounds weird but apparently it's all about load shifting, fluctuations in demand rather than generation capacity, so storage is what we need.

    Australia basically had the same problem with a wind farm which couldn't keep up, the solution was a 100 MW Tesla battery in 100 days and apparently that system has been working very well for them.
    Last edited by bigboy529; 2021/10/21 at 10:39 AM.
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    Default Re: Eskom buying batteries worth R14 billion

    Quote Originally Posted by bigboy529 View Post
    The other day I read somewhere that Eskom actually makes too much electricity, sounds weird but apparently it's all about load shifting, fluctuations in demand rather than generation capacity, so storage is what we need.

    Australia basically had the same problem with a wind farm which couldn't keep up, the solution was a 100 MW Tesla battery in 100 days and apparently that system has been working very well for them.
    I don't think we are in any danger of Eskom making too much electricity, however the peak demand is the issue. Typically around early am'ish when everyone is showing, making breakfast/coffee etc, and again when they come home and do the same. The grid is meant to cater for peak demand + some safety margin and then there are off-peak rates for big industrial users etc as the lowest demand is typically when most sane people have gone to bed and are asleep.

    The off-peak times are when eskom is meant to be doing things like pumping hydro storage, people should be charging their EVs, wind tunnels should run, Foundrys should be flat out etc. As a solar user (domestically) we try to run as much as possible during the day, and I have monitor our nighttime and off peak consumption. We obviously try and keep this as low as possible. Geysers are a very good energy sink and can store energy produced during the day for nighttime and early am without issues (to a point) and then recharge during peak sunlight.


    The power stations themselves are designed to run flat out. They are very slow to ramp up and down, and typically go through resonant frequencies during those periods, so as a rule, when you run them, you run them hard all the time. This is when they are most efficient and is how they were built to run. Gas turbines, such as ankerlig, for example are much better at dealing with peaks, as they can ramp up and down much more quickly, however they are fierce consumers of gas/diesel or whatever they are running on. Ours run on a a sweetheart ANC cadre deal on diesel and they consume so much that the trucks delivering diesel literally cannot keep up with the demand. This is why load shedding is worse around thursday/friday if they running the turbines, as they need time to replenish stock of diesel.


    100MW is better than a kick in the crotch, but at a utility level is is really not that much in a SA context. A typical power station here will be running 6x 650MW or more. Koeburg is 2 x around 900MW from memory.

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  22. #15
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    Default Re: Eskom buying batteries worth R14 billion

    Quote Originally Posted by stephenplumb View Post
    I don't think we are in any danger of Eskom making too much electricity, however the peak demand is the issue. Typically around early am'ish when everyone is showing, making breakfast/coffee etc, and again when they come home and do the same. The grid is meant to cater for peak demand + some safety margin and then there are off-peak rates for big industrial users etc as the lowest demand is typically when most sane people have gone to bed and are asleep.

    The off-peak times are when eskom is meant to be doing things like pumping hydro storage, people should be charging their EVs, wind tunnels should run, Foundrys should be flat out etc. As a solar user (domestically) we try to run as much as possible during the day, and I have monitor our nighttime and off peak consumption. We obviously try and keep this as low as possible. Geysers are a very good energy sink and can store energy produced during the day for nighttime and early am without issues (to a point) and then recharge during peak sunlight.


    The power stations themselves are designed to run flat out. They are very slow to ramp up and down, and typically go through resonant frequencies during those periods, so as a rule, when you run them, you run them hard all the time. This is when they are most efficient and is how they were built to run. Gas turbines, such as ankerlig, for example are much better at dealing with peaks, as they can ramp up and down much more quickly, however they are fierce consumers of gas/diesel or whatever they are running on. Ours run on a a sweetheart ANC cadre deal on diesel and they consume so much that the trucks delivering diesel literally cannot keep up with the demand. This is why load shedding is worse around thursday/friday if they running the turbines, as they need time to replenish stock of diesel.


    100MW is better than a kick in the crotch, but at a utility level is is really not that much in a SA context. A typical power station here will be running 6x 650MW or more. Koeburg is 2 x around 900MW from memory.

    I only used 100 MW as a example because that was the first one Tesla did, the one which put the technology in the spotlight. Since then Australia and other countries has installed a lot more.

    Don't know if you know the story, Australia had a problem, Musk offered a solution, half of the government laughed at him, so he made them a bet, if Tesla can't build and commission the 100 MW battery within 100 days, he'll give it to them for free, paid with his personal money, not Tesla's. He made the deadline and they had to pay.
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  24. #16
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    Default Re: Eskom buying batteries worth R14 billion

    Quote Originally Posted by bigboy529 View Post
    I only used 100 MW as a example because that was the first one Tesla did, the one which put the technology in the spotlight. Since then Australia and other countries has installed a lot more.

    Don't know if you know the story, Australia had a problem, Musk offered a solution, half of the government laughed at him, so he made them a bet, if Tesla can't build and commission the 100 MW battery within 100 days, he'll give it to them for free, paid with his personal money, not Tesla's. He made the deadline and they had to pay.
    I think itís also the only time Musk has made a deadline.

    Yeah South Australia has an issue, theyíve gone all in on renewables, particularly wind. They also get big storms periodically sweeping in from the Antarctic. When those come through the wind generators shut down, somewhat ironically. And the clouds shelter the solar farms. There is also only a single line connecting them to the fossil fuel generators the rest of the country, which was taken out by the same storm. To be honest Iím not sure what that battery achieves other than a brilliant marketing opportunity for Tesla. Of course installing lots of them or getting a small one in each home would be worthwhile.

    The economics unfortunately for us arenít there. In RSA with the potential for your power being cut for a few hours a day every day the economics are different.

    Hereís my usage for the last quarter:


    If I zoom in on a day:


    I canít justify a thousands of dollar battery when I can buy back my power at 23c. Things may and probably will change in the future, but right now itís a no brainer from economics point of view. And I still need the grid base even if I have a battery. I have street lights, traffic lights and somehow those 8MW mills up North need to keep milling iron ore or my way of life will vanish.

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    Default Re: Eskom buying batteries worth R14 billion

    Quote Originally Posted by bigboy529 View Post
    My first comment when reading this headline was "and they'll get batteries worth R33".
    https://mybroadband.co.za/news/energ...4-billion.html


    This is what we all hope for, in fact this article shows it can cost much less https://mybroadband.co.za/news/energ...y-project.html

    But we all know what's going to happen here. The tender will be awarded to some dodgy Chinese or Russian company with a dozen fat cat tenderpreneurs in between, eventually it will even go over budget and we'll get peanuts in return. Followed of course by the commission of enquiry, the court cases, the media sniffing out all the fraud etc.

    First things that come to mind .... corruption, fraud, incompetence ..... etc....etc - and the citizens wil again vote ANC....

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    Default Re: Eskom buying batteries worth R14 billion

    Quote Originally Posted by MariusFourie View Post
    and in a few years time the batteries have to be replaced. Surely spending the money on another hydro/dam/pump storage project would be better?
    Hi Marius - I wont be surprised if they are looking for more hydro opportunities, but the best ones have been used (Drakensburg and Ingula and Palmiet). South Africa just doesnt have an abundance of hydro possibilities. Hence the batteries are attractive.

    I feel that the solar farms need to have batteries installed with them so they can pump power 24/7 (id the sun shines), same for wind farms (if the wind blows). Then one can get the private sector to do the buying and installing
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    Default Re: Eskom buying batteries worth R14 billion

    Any idea of the carbon footprint of these batteries? Lithium is mined with diesel equipment, or electrical machines running of coal fired power?

    There was talk of a train on an incline that when excess energy is available, can be run upwards, and it can run down when generation is needed, not an ordinary train for sure, but that could work where you dont have enough water for hydro.
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    Default Re: Eskom buying batteries worth R14 billion

    Quote Originally Posted by ArthurB View Post
    Hi Marius - I wont be surprised if they are looking for more hydro opportunities, but the best ones have been used (Drakensburg and Ingula and Palmiet). South Africa just doesnt have an abundance of hydro possibilities. Hence the batteries are attractive.

    I feel that the solar farms need to have batteries installed with them so they can pump power 24/7 (id the sun shines), same for wind farms (if the wind blows). Then one can get the private sector to do the buying and installing
    If that were the case we should all get ready to pay a lot more for electricity. I am not convinced of the economics of battery storage when we have 200years of coal reserves.

    All eskom need to do is fit some more up to date filtering in their power plants.

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