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RedT

TheMotorcycleBoy
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Re: RedT

#173265

Postby TheMotorcycleBoy » October 12th, 2018, 12:38 pm

dspp wrote:A flow battery with all its moving parts is just another process system.

Oh ok. TBH I wasn't too sure from exactly where the flow term comes in. I didn't realise that there was a pump in there. I'd initially thought the flow part arises purely because the energy is in the electrolyte (silly me!!).

I'd love to see a schematic (tech fascinates me, it's my day job, and I'm masochistic enough to still strip+rebuild engines for DIY etc). But I assume any such detail, you'll not find on the internet, as it will be CCI.

Matt

dspp
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Re: RedT

#173268

Postby dspp » October 12th, 2018, 12:48 pm

gbjbaanb wrote:The Lithium packs need more maintenance than vanadium which comes in closed boxes, as long as the pumps work, there's little to no maintenance required. And changing a pump isn't too hard a job anyway!


When you say "just a pump" I think: and block valves and pipes and gaskets and joints and control valves and relief valves and actuators and seals and motors and tanks and bunds and drains and sumps and instruments and control systems. And the interface element where the voltage is extracted. Oh and redundancy needed for all of this. (You can tell I have designed & operated large process plants for a living can't you).

(for Matt: none of this is proprietary, or very little. Go search the internet ......)

Both flow & lithium have inverters & electrical systems. Both have building/system HVAC. But flow have all the other stuff I have just listed. When I list those I am thinking of the pain of demonstrating & maintaining technical integrity in year 19. And the cost. In contrast the no moving parts of lithium is a great attraction.

It may be that flow & lithium will co-exist, much like petrol & diesel technologies have for the last century. But if so I bet it won't be on a 50/50 basis but more like a 10/90 basis. And that is the upside case, with the downside case being much like technical curiosities such as Peltier fridges, or Wankel engines. Yes they exist, but they're not exactly great investment propositions.

Ody has just posted a seeking alpha link on the Tesla/Musk thread regarding the Model Y (see https://seekingalpha.com/article/421118 ... cle?page=1) . At present Tesla are doing about 7,000 vehicles per week. Assume an average 75kWh per vehicle. That means that Tesla alone are already building 26GWh of lithium per year just for their cars. (they've confirmed ~20GWh so my numbers are about correct https://electrek.co/2018/08/02/tesla-gi ... on-20-gwh/ ) . So lithiums are already at scale, and getting very close to $100/kWh.

The flow technology is interesting. But where is the defensible investment proposition ?

regards, dspp

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Re: RedT

#173556

Postby gbjbaanb » October 13th, 2018, 6:35 pm

Lets assume that Tesla is making so much lithium packs that they have to give them away.

The problem is that they still cost, partly that they have to over-spec the capacity (at 70%) in order to make them last more than a few years, the other is that the packs will wear out on a continual basis (depending how hard they were used by the car owners) and so not only do they have a lot of active management (not just monitoring and maintenance) as somebody will be bring new and removing old packs all the time, for a very large installation that could be weekly deliveries.

Then they have to deal with the old packs, and they cannot just chuck them in landfill these days, the cost of scrapping them is large.

So the investment case for lithium is a short-term thing, yes they work and yes there will be a lot of supply, but grid customers will be looking at very long-term installations.

I don't have much figures for the Tesla storage but, when Musk announced Australia could have a 129MWh plant for free if they failed to deliver on time, he said it would cost the group $50m. A Tesla 80MWh farm completed in the USA is estimated to cost $100m. That's a lot of money for something that is so plentiful to be free! Meanwhile, Tesla upped the price of its Powerwall units recently, so its obvious the cheapness of lithium packs isn't so significant a factor in the overall cost of supplying these installations.

One investment case for many different types of storage tech can be seen in Lazards "levelised cost of storage analysis" report (page 9 of this pdf if you want to skip to the action)

McKinsey report (much easier to read) says:
For large-scale firming of wind power, our model shows that flow cells can be more economic than lithium-ion cells for all but the shortest periods (less than an hour) and are projected to continue to lead on cost through 2020.


So these all think lithium is getting cheaper, but the rate of drop is now a lot slower, whereas flow batteries, being new and not having the scale to date, will drop a lot faster. RedT says that their current customers are getting 24 cents per kWh, which is equivalent to lithium batteries that cost 22c per kWh, though if lithium batteries drop to $100 per kWh then this will drop to 11c/kWh (ie 11c is the cost over its lifetime)

Ultimately, the investment case for anything is less about the technology, and more about the ability to sell. This is why I'm into RedT as they have that finance thing and the German op, it doesn't matter so much if lithium sells more - all I'd care about is if RedT can sell enough.If they can make money then I see the share price going up significantly from 7p (fingers crossed). There's so much demand for storage coming that there is space for many different providers. In 20 years these may consolidate or go out of business, but there's along way to go before then (or Google's "goodenough" glass storage (ie sodium-ion) tech might make lithium obsolete!). Right now the challenge is getting started - and again RedT is just out of that phase (compared to other companies making storage products such as compressed air, hydrogen or hot asphalt storage)

RedT produced an investment case from Apr 18, but obviously it's from them so not as impartial as elsewhere, but still interesting.

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Re: RedT

#173594

Postby dspp » October 13th, 2018, 10:45 pm

gbj,

Your argument is interesting, and I am by no means dismissing it.

However can I suggest you post the cyclic life of a Tesla / Panasonic battery at various DoD. I have posted it up on TLF & TMF before ... Like that of many lithiums it makes for thoughtful reading.

Meanwhile https://insideevs.com/analyst-new-machi ... 8000-week/

regards, dspp

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Re: RedT

#173602

Postby gbjbaanb » October 14th, 2018, 12:33 am

Its OK, I understand where you come from with lithium, and I doubt it'll stop being the primary storage tech, but there's little investment case for it as I would say its already priced in (assuming Tesla doesn't go bust!), whereas the alternatives (assuming they don't go bust too) is more compelling for shareholders. I don't think the extra risk is significant.

That link said:

Tesla will likely achieve a battery cell cost of $100 per kWh by the end of the year, so long as commodity prices remain stable.


"likely" and "so long as", somewhat vague there! Like i said, the lithium cost is dropping, but much more slowly than before, its reaching maturity and there is little more cost drops to go from here. The flow batteries are already somewhat cost effective (for certain use cases) and has been dropping faster, so soon enough should be cost comparable for more use cases, and cheaper for others - such as off-grid storage, load levelling or renewables backing.

I've already mentioned that the cost of vanadium has risen dramatically (wish I'd invested in that!), but lithium is increasing too - from $9000 per tonne in 2017 to $16000 in 2018! ($5000 in 2014) so the cost of that will cause a drag effect on the ever-lower cost of lithium. That $100 per kWh might be the floor.

As for discharge rates and lifetimes, it varies too much to make much of a practical comparison - like a car's expected range, it never turns out to be true is the real world. I expect Tesla's claims for their batteries to be similarly inaccurate for their cars, and for their powerwall storage packs ;)

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Re: RedT

#175928

Postby dspp » October 24th, 2018, 9:48 am

There was an interesting article that Meatyfool linked to yesterday on Macro topics in discussing Tesla, and which I thought was also relevant to RedT.:

https://seekingalpha.com/article/421311 ... disruption

The very large lumpy nature of lithium cell capacity adds is a significant issue. The Tesla/Panasonic Gigafactory appears to be $5bn for 20GW capacity, heading to 85GW. It is unclear whether the $5bn is for the full capacity, or the current capacity. Whichever way you cut it, it is a large investment hurdle to get to the minimum scale required to be competitive.

So all new battery factories need to be comparable in scale.

Meanwhile demand is exploding and this is becoming a survival factor for incumbent auto.

So lithiums will go from over to under capacity as these big stepwise adds come onstream. And the primary buyer during under capacity will be auto. And it will be about ten years or so until we see refurb lithium packs exiting auto and coming across to static storage.

So perhaps there is a minority case to be made, that flow has a niche for the next ten years. Or at least that subset of the next ten years in which there is a lithium cell shortage.

Or maybe the RedT buyers (in the utilities) are just teasing and doing a bit of technology diversification just so as to create a more competitive landscape when negotiating for static lithiums.

regards, dspp

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Re: RedT

#177910

Postby Itsallaguess » November 3rd, 2018, 5:42 am

Just catching up with some of these very interesting battery-tech threads, and I just want to say that whilst it's not an area that I've got any direct investments in, I have found the discussions very interesting and educational, going to a level of detail that we should be really proud to find on these boards.

Thanks to everyone for their contribution to that, and whilst I've not got anything worthwhile to add to these discussions, I just wanted you all to know that I don't think I'll be the only one who has found some of the areas being discussed in such detail really quite fascinating.

It's clear that batteries and battery-technology are going to play a growing part in our lives in the future, and it's interesting to gain an insight into the technologies that are working their way into those systems.

Cheers,

Itsallaguess

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Re: RedT

#177949

Postby gbjbaanb » November 3rd, 2018, 12:52 pm

dspp wrote:There was an interesting article that Meatyfool linked to yesterday on Macro topics in discussing Tesla, and which I thought was also relevant to RedT.:

https://seekingalpha.com/article/421311 ... disruption

The very large lumpy nature of lithium cell capacity adds is a significant issue. The Tesla/Panasonic Gigafactory appears to be $5bn for 20GW capacity, heading to 85GW. It is unclear whether the $5bn is for the full capacity, or the current capacity. Whichever way you cut it, it is a large investment hurdle to get to the minimum scale required to be competitive.

So all new battery factories need to be comparable in scale.

Meanwhile demand is exploding and this is becoming a survival factor for incumbent auto.

So lithiums will go from over to under capacity as these big stepwise adds come onstream. And the primary buyer during under capacity will be auto. And it will be about ten years or so until we see refurb lithium packs exiting auto and coming across to static storage.

So perhaps there is a minority case to be made, that flow has a niche for the next ten years. Or at least that subset of the next ten years in which there is a lithium cell shortage.

Or maybe the RedT buyers (in the utilities) are just teasing and doing a bit of technology diversification just so as to create a more competitive landscape when negotiating for static lithiums.

regards, dspp



Interesting point that I hadn't thought of - that lithium packs are only going to be available in the bulk capacity required at full price, for the next ten years when they'll start to go down in price due to rejects from the auto industry bulk them up.

Ten years is along time for an alternative to become market dominant (in the grid sector at least), and once that alternative tech is dominant, and selling loads, the price of it will come down due to the usual scale factors.

So anyone claiming lithium is an obvious choice because of its freely available cast-offs, it doesn't look like that's going to be an argument for some time. Tesla, I'm sure, is selling lithium to grid companies simply because he has the packs and wants to sell everywhere in bulk, but these will not be nearly as cost-competitive as we used to think. If auto does explode as anticipated, maybe Tesla won't have enough left over to spare and will stop bidding for contracts.

Flow is designed for grid scale. The only reason to hold off adoption is that its new, but I still say that's about to change (as seen in the RedT announcements) and once established, should be able to hold its own at the very least.

I'm very bullish, and while I appreciate the "reality check" to curb my enthusiasm and make me think, I am still bullish, both short-term and long now.

Cheers.

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Re: RedT

#178962

Postby dspp » November 8th, 2018, 11:10 am

Another article on Tesla lithium storage here, inc their Q3 results, giving more insight into the Panasonic lines + others

https://seekingalpha.com/article/421956 ... app=1&dr=1

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Re: RedT

#179718

Postby dspp » November 12th, 2018, 2:17 pm

The California Public Utilities Commission on Thursday approved four [lithium] energy storage projects for Pacific Gas & Electric (PG&E) to replace retiring gas generators, including two batteries that would be the largest in the world.
The CPUC granted approval for a total of 567.5 MW / 2,270 MWh of storage, including a 300 MW / 1,200 MWh project from Vistra Energy and a 182.5 MW / 730 MWh project from Tesla that the utility would own. Those batteries, once completed, would be the two largest in service.


etc https://www.utilitydive.com/news/storag ... rl/541870/


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