THURSDAY 23 MAY, 2013 |
Large Scale Energy Storage Roundup
As the world increasingly moves towards renewable energy; it will need many individual
energy storage locations distributed across the grid to address issues of
variability in electricity production.
The idea of a battery being a relatively small device or a series of small boxes
cobbled together with wiring is changing fast. Batteries capable of storing huge
amounts of energy are being developed using all sort of materials and
The following are just a few we've reported on in the past; some of which are
have now been deployed in commercial applications:
polysulfide flow battery
More recently, we've covered underground
compressed air storage
has been around in various forms for many years.
Here are a few more large energy storage systems that have recently been put on
pumps heat from one tank of inert material (e.g. gravel) into another. One tank of gravel is cooled to -160°C while another is heated up to 500°C. The process is reversible with a round trip efficiency claimed to be 72-80%. Advantages include low cost
materials, high reliability and durability.
uses ski-lift style structures to lift gravel up a hill. This is stored gravitational potential energy. Advantages include
cheap materials, a simple process and materials don't degrade over time.
is also type of gravity storage, using the pressure of sites deep underwater. Water is pumped out of rigid underwater tanks to store energy, then allowed to flow back
through water turbines to generate electricity.
is another type of gravity storage, using the pressure of sites deep underwater. Air is pumped into flexible underwater tanks to store energy, then
released through air turbines when required to generate power.
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