Bluff smelter & EVs (again) (31 Oct, 2019)

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Bluff smelter & EVs (again) (31 Oct, 2019)

Postby aardvark_admin » Thu Oct 31, 2019 7:15 am

This column is archived at: https://aardvark.co.nz/daily/2019/1031.shtml

Could we harness the Bluff aluminium smelter as a recycling centre for an EV infrastructure based on aluminium-air batteries?

Since Al-O batteries could (at least in theory) mitigate virtually all of the limitations of present Li-Ion-based systems, should we consider taking this path and thus perhaps leading the world?

Given that Rio Tinto would have a lot to gain from a strategy like this, should we not pitch it to them as *THEM* investing in us rather than *US* subsidising them?

And what about the potential for us to create technologies that could have world-wide appeal -- thus allowing for lucrative licensing and (at last) a real kick-start to our knowledge economy?
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Re: Bluff smelter & EVs (again) (31 Oct, 2019)

Postby Malcolm » Thu Oct 31, 2019 7:33 am

One quick note about the current argument around the smelter and subsidies. This time it isn't about how much of a subsidy they are getting in terms of cheap power, but instead about what share of the transmission lines charges they are paying. Under the current system South Island energy consumers pay higher lines charges compared to the cost and investments put into the lines in the region. I think one article said the south island consumers paid 67% of the cost of a recent lines upgrade in Northland. Rio Tinto feel they should only pay the cost of the lines from Manapouri to Bluff. Transpower is currently looking at restructuring the way lines charges are levied and Rio Tinto are trying to push them in a particular direction so they no longer subsidise the consumers in the North Island.
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Re: Bluff smelter & EVs (again) (31 Oct, 2019)

Postby Necrotic Kingdom » Thu Oct 31, 2019 7:38 am

This would require standardised batteries?
My opinion is that the current review of the smelter is less about Tiwai point's unique power arrangement and more about this:
Image
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Re: Bluff smelter & EVs (again) (31 Oct, 2019)

Postby Kiwiiano » Thu Oct 31, 2019 7:56 am

There may be an alternative....maybe.
https://cleantechnica.com/2019/10/20/uk-man-invents-aluminum-air-battery-in-his-garage/
CleanTechica admit freely that the aluminium may be needed for foil hats as the info originated from the Daily Mail, not the most veracious of sources.
Dan and Dan put it nicely https://youtu.be/5eBT6OSr1TI

A link to the inventor’s web site: https://www.metalectrique.com/ via the BBC
Last edited by Kiwiiano on Thu Oct 31, 2019 8:16 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Bluff smelter & EVs (again) (31 Oct, 2019)

Postby aardvark_admin » Thu Oct 31, 2019 8:05 am

Kiwiiano wrote:There may be an alternative....maybe.
https://cleantechnica.com/2019/10/20/uk-man-invents-aluminum-air-battery-in-his-garage/
CleanTechica admit freely that the aluminium may be needed for foil hats as the info originated from the Daily Mail, not the most veracious of sources.
Dan and Dan put it nicely https://youtu.be/5eBT6OSr1TI

I think this provides some insight as well: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OmHnKKuBdco&t=0s
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Re: Bluff smelter & EVs (again) (31 Oct, 2019)

Postby ffirman » Thu Oct 31, 2019 8:37 am

I don't think the economics of the use once battery adds up, and here's why.

To make a LIon battery - Tesla is doing around $120/KwH (US), and for the model 3 SR with a 50KwH battery that comes to $6000 + packaging, so lets say $10k US ($15K NZ) for a battery.

From the current drops in capacity from other Tesla batteries, it should be able to do 1500-3000 full cycles before it has lost 20% of it's original capacity. So that gives a total distance drivable (1500 cycles at 350km/cycle) of 525,000km.

And if 50Kwh with a 90% charge efficiency of power is used to change the battery each time (55KwH), at 25c/Kwh = $13.75 per charge in power cost.

So the total cost of the battery for the 525,000km = $15,000 + 1500*$13.75 = $35,625.

Now the Al Air battery is said to be able to do 1500 miles / battery or 2400km. To it to be able to compete just on price, then the new battery would have to cost less than $162. That is the $35k/500,000km*2400km.

I am not sure that can make a Al Air battery for $0.47/kWh. I'm not even sure the electricity to make the Aluminium can be done at 47c/kWh or stored energy in Aluminium.

Now as for the charging time.

We now have a Tesla SR+ with the 50kWh battery and an approx range of 350km on a full charge. We charged to 100% and drove to Whakatane from Auckland. The car said we would arrive with 14% left in the battery. When we got to the Mount, after 3 hours of driving I and the kids needed a stretch, so we went to the Mall and put the car on charge. The car was on 37% at the time. We had a loo break, some lunch and after 30 mins of that, returned to the car and it was at 77%. Drove to Whakatane and arrived on 54%, which means we would have arrived on 13% if we hadn't stopped.

The outcome from this is that the battery capacity of the smallest Tesla is still larger than what I personally can deal with, and having a 20-30 min break for a stretch etc, is welcomed. So in this case the driving distance and the time to charge are a zero issue, so the Al Air battery would provide no extra benefit over the existing battery tech we are currently already using.

Fran.
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Re: Bluff smelter & EVs (again) (31 Oct, 2019)

Postby aardvark_admin » Thu Oct 31, 2019 8:54 am

Interesting, relevant and useful information (as always) Fran.
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Re: Bluff smelter & EVs (again) (31 Oct, 2019)

Postby Kiwiiano » Thu Oct 31, 2019 9:16 am

aardvark_admin wrote:I think this provides some insight as well: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OmHnKKuBdco&t=0s


It was so tedious I gave up, I’ll wait for the Readers Digest Condensed Version. That hatchet man has problems with his breathing or was he just breathless with excitement. I’m fairly sure that this will spiral around the gurgler of history and disappear, but he may have refined the electrolyte to something less caustic. Which begs the question ‘what’s in those Al-O hearing air button batteries’?
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