skip to main content

Title: Emissions Effects of Energy Storage for Frequency Regulation: Comparing Battery and Flywheel Storage to Natural Gas
With an increase in renewable energy generation in the United States, there is a growing need for more frequency regulation to ensure the stability of the electric grid. Fast ramping natural gas plants are often used for frequency regulation, but this creates emissions associated with the burning of fossil fuels. Energy storage systems (ESSs), such as batteries and flywheels, provide an alternative frequency regulation service. However, the efficiency losses of charging and discharging a storage system cause additional electrical generation requirements and associated emissions. There is not a good understanding of these indirect emissions from charging and discharging ESSs in the literature, with most sources stating that ESSs for frequency regulation have lower emissions, without quantification of these emissions. We created a model to estimate three types of emissions (CO2, NOX, and SO2) from ESSs providing frequency regulation, and compare them to emissions from a natural gas plant providing the same service. When the natural gas plant is credited for the generated electricity, storage systems have 33% to 68% lower CO2 emissions than the gas turbine, depending on the US eGRID subregion, but higher NOX and SO2 emissions. However, different plausible assumptions about the framing of the analysis can make more » ESSs a worse choice so the true difference depends on the nature of the substitution between storage and natural gas generation. « less
Award ID(s):
Publication Date:
Journal Name:
Page Range or eLocation-ID:
Sponsoring Org:
National Science Foundation
More Like this
  1. Stoustrup J., Annaswamy A. (Ed.)
    Loads are expected to help the power grid of the future in balancing the highs and lows caused by intermittent renewables such as solar and wind. With appropriate intelligence, loads will be able manipulate demand around a nominal baseline so that the increase and decrease of demand appears like charging and discharging of a battery, thereby creating a virtual energy storage (VES) device. An important question for the control systems community is: how to control these flexible loads so that the apparently conflicting goal of maintaining consumers’ quality of service (QoS) and providing reliable grid support are achieved? We advocatemore »a frequency domain thinking of handling both of these issues, along the lines of a recent paper. In this article, we discuss some of the challenges and opportunities in designing appropriate control algorithms and coordination architectures in obtaining reliable VES from flexible loads.« less
  2. Life Cycle Analysis (LCA) has long been utilized for decision making about the sustainability of products. LCA provides information about the total emissions generated for a given functional unit of a product, which is utilized by industries or consumers for comparing two products with regards to environmental performance. However, many existing LCAs utilize data that is representative of an average system with regards to life cycle stage, thus providing an aggregate picture. It has been shown that regional variation may lead to large variation in the environmental impacts of a product, specifically dealing with energy consumption, related emissions and resourcemore »consumptions. Hence, improving the reliability of LCA results for decision making with regards to environmental performance needs regional models to be incorporated for building a life cycle inventory that is representative of the origin of products from a certain region. In this work, we present the integration of regionalized data from process systems models and other sources to build regional LCA models and quantify the spatial variations per unit of biodiesel produced in the state of Indiana for environmental impact. In order to include regional variation, we have incorporated information about plant capacity for producing biodiesel from North and Central Indiana. The LCA model built is a cradle-to-gate. Once the region-specific models are built, the data were utilized in SimaPro to integrate with upstream processes to perform a life cycle impact assessment (LCIA). We report the results per liter of biodiesel from northern and central Indiana facilities in this work. The impact categories studied were global warming potential (kg CO2 eq) and freshwater eutrophication (kg P eq). While there were a lot of variations at individual county level, both regions had a similar global warming potential impact and the northern region had relatively lower eutrophication impacts.« less
  3. Abstract This work assesses the evolution of acid gases from raw and torrefied biomass (distiller’s dried grains with solubles and rice husk) combustion in conventional (air) and simulated oxy-combustion (oxygen/carbon dioxide) environments. Emphasis was placed on the latter, as oxy-combustion of renewable or waste biomass, coupled with carbon capture and utilization or sequestration, could be a benefit toward mitigating global warming. The oxy-combustion environments were set to 21%O2/79%CO2 and 30%O2/70%CO2. Results revealed that combustion of either raw or torrefied biomass generated CO2 emissions that were lower in 21%O2/79%CO2 than at 30%O2/70%CO2, whereas CO emissions exhibited the opposite trend. Emissions ofmore »CO from combustion in air were drastically lower than those in the two oxy-combustion environments and those in 21%O2/79%CO2 were the highest. Emissions of NO followed the same trend as those of CO2, while HCN emissions followed the same trend as those of CO. Emissions of NO were higher than those of HCN. The emissions of SO2 were lower in oxy-combustion than in air combustion. Moreover, combustion of torrefied biomass generated higher CO2 and NO, comparable CO and SO2, and lower HCN emissions than combustion of raw biomass. Out of the three conditions tested in this study, oxy-combustion of biomass, either in the raw and torrefied state, attained the highest combustion effectiveness and caused the lowest CO, HCN, and SO2 emissions when the gas composition was 30%O2/70%CO2.« less
  4. Many industrial combustion systems, especially power generation gas turbines, use fuel-lean combustion to reduce NOx emissions. However, these systems are highly susceptible to combustion instability, the coupling between combustor acoustics and heat release rate oscillations of the flame. It has been shown in previous work by the authors that a precessing vortex core (PVC) can suppress shear layer receptivity to external perturbations, reducing the potential for thermoacoustic coupling. The goal of this study is to understand the effect of combustor exit boundary condition on the flow structure of a swirling jet to increase fundamental understanding of how combustor design impactsmore »PVC dynamics. The swirling jet is generated with a radial-entry, variable-angle swirler, and a quartz cylinder is fixed on the dump plane for confinement. Combustor exit constriction plates of different diameters are used to determine the impact of exit boundary condition on the flow field. Particle image velocimetry (PIV) is used to capture the velocity field inside the combustor. Spectral proper orthogonal decomposition, a frequency-resolved eigenvalue decomposition that can identify energetic structures in the flow, is implemented to identify the PVC at each condition in both energy and frequency space. We find that exit boundary diameter affects both the structure of the flow and the dynamics of the PVC. Higher levels of constriction (smaller diameters) force the downstream stagnation point of the vortex breakdown bubble upstream, resulting in greater divergence of the swirling jet. Further, as the exit diameter decreases, the PVC becomes less energetic and less spatially defined. Despite these changes in the base flow and PVC coherence, the PVC frequency is not altered by the exit boundary constriction. These trends will help inform our understanding of the impact of boundary conditions on both static and dynamic flame stability.« less
  5. Pervious concrete, which has recently found new applications in buildings, is both energy- and carbon-intensive to manufacture. However, similar to normal concrete, some of the initial CO2 emissions associated with pervious concrete can be sequestered through a process known as carbonation. In this work, the theoretical formulation and application of a mathematical model for estimating the carbon dioxide (CO2) sequestration potential of pervious concrete is presented. Using principles of cement and carbonation chemistry, the model related mixture proportions of pervious concretes to their theoretical in situ CO2 sequestration potential. The model was subsequently employed in a screening life cycle assessmentmore »(LCA) to quantify the percentage of recoverable CO2 emissions—namely, the ratio of in situ sequesterable CO2 to initial cradle-to-gate CO2 emissions—for common pervious concrete mixtures. Results suggest that natural carbonation can recover up to 12% of initial CO2 emissions and that CO2 sequestration potential is maximized for pervious concrete mixtures with (i) lower water-to-cement ratios, (ii) higher compressive strengths, (iii) lower porosities, and (iv) lower hydraulic conductivities. However, LCA results elucidate that mixtures with maximum CO2 sequestration potential (i.e., mixtures with high cement contents and CO2 recoverability) emit more CO2 from a net-emissions perspective, despite their enhanced in situ CO2 sequestration potential.« less