Now imagine charging up cars. A busy service station would need what for a busy time window, a hundred outlets? 10,200 kW. That's 10.2 Megawatt. WAY out in the sticks.
I think we were talking about this in another thread, but I found some interesting theory about how the electric grid will deal with all this demand in the future. It boils down to having multitudes of electric vehicles plugged in at all times. If a standard can be developed that allows 2-way charging, when the grid gets a spike, it pulls current from all the plugged in vehicles. As the vehicle owner, you can opt in or out, or even be compensated for the electricity that is pulled from your battery.
I encourage anyone interested to read both installments of the "Electric Terry" interview on New Atlas, but he specifically talks about this issue in part two:
About half way down this page:
https://newatlas.com/electric-terry-her ... ger/53626/
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IIRC, my concern was like a motorway service station, many miles away from large cities and/or large generating stations. Exactly where you might have
to charge your car, at least partially, in just a few minutes.
While many car batteries might serve to buffer the grid, there must be a connection between the grid and that far-removed motorway service station, basically an umbillical extension of the grid, to a place where there won't be cars nearby to offer up a charge.
I guess they would install a massive battery or capacitor at that service station. But it would still need a substantial power line to charge up during non-peak hours, and to have some extra capacity for rising demand or situations with unusually high demand. Suppose they only need those 10.2 MW I suggested for two hours per day, and average 0.5 MW over the remaining 22 hours (that's probably lowballing, I'd guesstimate). That's 31.4 Megawatt-Hours per day. To give a safety margin, make it 36 Megawatt-Hours per day. That would still require a 1.5 Megawatt power-supply to satisfy that demand, and charge up the gargantuan battery they'd have to have, running 24/7.
And that's a single mode of failure. One powerline fails, and hundreds, if no thousands of cars might get stranded in the middle of nowhere.
So to make sure it works, you'd need at least one more connection to that distant grid, one that can handle the same load on its lonesome.
Alternatively, one might install a bio-gas fueled gas-turbine generating station at one such distant locale, one that fires up whenever that long, long line fails.
I did the googles, and a 1.5 MW natural gas fired generating stations would cost >US$ 1 million to install. A busy motorway service station surely is expensive already, these days.
But take that US$ 1 million, add to that the massive cost of the buffering battery, and the long powerline(s).
I guess, quite possibly, the cost-effective solution would be no grid-connection at all. Just installing a couple of redundant generators, and large battery, and deliver biogas or synthetic hydrocarbons by truck. Would be a lot of trucks. But shouldn't be much more than the trucks presently delivering the fossil-fuels that such a remote service station is presently providing, so that should work.
If there were absolutely anything to be afraid of, don't you think I would have worn pants?
I said I have a big stick.