Energy Storage Thread

Discussion in 'Architecture & Engineering' started by Facial, Jun 25, 2009.

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  1. Facial Valued Senior Member

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    Both of my ideas in the original OP are dead. A simple glance at my physics textbook makes it impractical for the utilization of strain energy for energy storage.

    The ideas in the above post are excellent. The basic concept of the B-G Project is water storage (gravitational potential energy using a fluid medium). Beacon's flywheels are storage in the form of rotational kinetic energy. Andasol uses random kinetic energy (heat) to store energy. All of them are excellent.

    I would like to propose an additional one. This is somewhat difficult to achieve, but possibly more efficient and better controlled than water storage. Why not pour a large concrete block (or a block made from some heavier material), set it on two railroad trucks, and haul them up a plateau (via electric rail) for storage? This is gravitational energy using dense solids, and without fluid friction one can greatly maximize efficiency. Furthermore, the number of cars that descend can be controlled at a constant rate, which leads to better power output control. Maybe a large railroad carrier can afford to build something like this.
     
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  3. McMurphy Registered Senior Member

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    A thousand old car batteries on one MF'er of a winch! - Lol!
    At least it would be compact enough to work near to urban area without needing a nearby mountain. BTW the biggest application of 'pumped storage' in the UK is in the Snowdonia national park in Wales.
     
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  5. Stoniphi obscurely fossiliferous Valued Senior Member

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    The 2 systems that have my interest right now are firstly the electrolysis of water, collecting and storing the hydrogen and using that to generate electricity from a fuel cell. Unfortunately, despite many Internet claims of the existence of such, no-one has connected me to a viable system yet, so I am going to write that one off for now.

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    The next best bet at the present time, IMHO, is the vanadium oxide battery. This due to the fact that they can drained and recharged almost indefinitely, are small enough to use in a standard home space (about the size of a refrigerator) and are currently in production. (Made by a firm in British Columbia)

    The dropping cost of rooftop systems (pretty cheap these days if you can do the work yourself), the recent advances in small VAWT's and the fact that they now fit in on residential rooftops without looking too weird makes this issue increasingly important.

    I have been living with direct gain passive solar heat for 30 years now, am planning on building a rooftop solar system and appurtenant VAWT,s sufficient to sell power to the utilities so this stuff is of great interest to me.
     
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  7. McMurphy Registered Senior Member

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    See wikipedia - High-temperature_electrolysis

    Still poor efficiency at 64% max (even with 'free' 850C heat) on the electrolysis side, but I can;t see anyone getting any higher than that - there must be a thermodynamic limit to efficiency anyway.
    Real world efficiency when factoring conversion-storage-conversion will be a good deal lower.
    Hydrogen is only really a half-practical idea on-board vehicles.
     
  8. billvon Valued Senior Member

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    Not quite that easy. Most of the energy given off by a lightning bolt goes into light and heat (which equals rapid expansion, which equals loud noise.) To harness all that energy you'd have to get a conductor up into the cloud to "head off" the lightning bolt before it starts.

    And if we have the technology to get big conductors into clouds that are 4000 feet off the ground, things like wind power get a _lot_ easier.
     
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