Captain Ned wrote:
Pumped Hydro doesn't change the amount of water that flows downhill, nor the amount of water that flows into the dam. You're simply storing water at a smart location and "recycling" it up and down the hill for energy storage.
Every acre-foot that passes through Hoover Dam legally belongs to someone. Every drop. "Recycling" that water means that someone downstream gets stiffed on their legal allocations. The politics of Colorado River water distribution are messy and are considered by the States involved as sacrosanct.
Lets say 100-billion gallons of water are allocated. Why can't the Hoover Dam release 150-billion gallons, and then pump 50-billion gallons back up the hill?
Everyone gets the 100-billion gallons they were promised, and 50-billion gallons are being "recycled" for energy storage. And don't you dare tell me that the water doesn't exist, I can literally see it. Lake Mead is huge. As long as the water is pumped back in a reasonable timeframe (within a day or maybe within a week), nobody should care.
I mean, I understand that politics may be stupid and may kill the project. But from a technical standpoint, there's no "use" of water in this proposal. All that will happen is that Lake Mead will probably start to drop (and grow) by roughly 20-feet every day (or some number). All the water that the Hoover Dam uses for energy storage will be pumped back into Lake Mead
. The only loss is evaporation, which would have happened anyway.Lake Mead is ~1000 feet deep
. Use 20-feet worth of water each day for energy storage, and as long as you return the water each day
, people shouldn't get too pissed about it. (I mean, someone will probably get mad because politics is stupid. But the plan is pretty reasonable IMO).
That isn't possible. If Lake Mead isnt full enough to run all the generators at the Hoover dam, it just isnt full enough. Where would the water come from?
Who ever said running all the generators was necessary? We're trying to store energy
, not create power
. The energy to pump water up hill comes from net-metering / solar energy / excess power, which exists virtually every day between 12:00 noon and 3pm.
I recognize that energy vs power is very confusing to a lot of people, but I assume you're all engineers here, yes? You're talking about a power
problem. I'm talking about energy storage
If its not clear: the proposal is to waste energy
at noon to 3pm, by pumping water from the bottom of the hill to the top of the hill. Then, use the Hoover Dam between 5pm and 8pm. You'll need roughly 120MW of power to power the noon-to-3pm timeframe (roughly 360MW-hrs), and you will only generate 100MW of power between 5pm and 8pm (only 300MW-hrs). It turns out however, that this is very useful, because energy at 5pm to 8pm is worth more than energy at noon-to-3pm.
As I said before: Sisyphus is using the same rock
to go up and down that hill in his punishment. Sisyphus doesn't need a new rock each time he cycles.