The following list illustrates how storage options for renewable energy have advanced significantly in recent years.
An important and complicated aspect of the transformation is the decarbonization of the energy supply. We’ll require a variety of solutions, such as energy storage, which has become more important recently as support for the widespread use of renewable energy sources and the development of regional electricity grids.
Various storage options that have been developed over the past few years can be integrated into the grid regardless of the power or energy requirements—from generation to consumer end use. Below, we describe a few options for energy storage.
Pumped Hydroelectric Storage
Energy is stored using water in an upper reservoir that is electrically pumped from a lower reservoir in pumped hydroelectric storage. By releasing the stored water through turbines in a similar way to a traditional hydroelectric dam during times of peak electrical demand, additional power is generated.
The same turbines, which can serve as both a pump and a generator, are typically used to pump the water back up into the higher reservoir when the need for energy is reduced.
According to a 2015 Deloitte report on electrical storage technologies, “The development of electricity storage technologies as essential elements of the new electric power landscape is being aided by the acceleration of new technologies, changing consumer expectations and behaviors, and structural evolution of the electricity generation and delivery system over the past ten years.”
Thermal Energy Storage
Latent energy storage and thermal-chemical processes are two examples of the various types of thermal energy storage. But practical storage is the most popular and is frequently used in conjunction with solar power plants. A liquid or solid medium is used in a sensible heat system to either heat or cool the collected energy.
Examples of such materials include water, sand, rocks, or molten salt. A great example of using a TES system is SolarReserve’s Nevada Crescent Dunes project, which uses molten salt to store 1,100 MW of power in two enormous thermally shielded metal tanks and can do so for 40 years without any degradation.
Compressed Air Energy Storage
Similar to pumped hydropower plants, compressed air energy storage (CAES) facilities store energy by compressing ambient air and storing it under pressure in underground caverns as opposed to pumping water from a lower to an upper pond.
When that energy is needed, the pressurized air is heated and expanded in a turbine, driving a generator to produce electricity. For power plants in inland Washington and Oregon regions when extra power is required for peak demands, the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory is currently developing a CAES system.
Flywheel Energy Storage
A rotor is accelerated to a high speed and then maintained there as rotating energy in a flywheel. The flywheel’s rotational speed decreases when that energy is removed from the system and increases when it is added back in. You can check out more information we have on Flywheel Energy Storage.
The majority of cutting-edge flywheel systems are made of high-strength composite rotors suspended by magnetic bearings, and when power is applied, they can spin up to 20,000 to 50,000 RPMs in a matter of minutes, achieving their energy capacity more quickly than other types of storage.
In order to increase the potential for renewable energy expansion and improve grid stability, the Swiss automation company ABB recently implemented a flywheel/smart microgrid solution in Kodiak, Alaska.
Redox Flow Battery
Redox flow batteries (fuel cells), which use energy-dense electrolytic compounds (such as hydrogen-lithium bromate, bromine-hydrogen, organic, etc.) in place of solid electrodes, are another cutting-edge energy storage solution.) separated by a membrane that charges and discharge as the liquids circulate in their own respective space.
The electrolytes go through reduction and oxidation (redox), which allows them to store a lot of energy that is ideal for connecting to the grid, and ion exchange happens through the membrane separator.
Battery Energy Storage
Numerous homes could soon be powered by batteries thanks to improvements in lithium-ion battery technology. Lithium-ion technologies can be scaled up as needed as a source of backup energy to the grid because they store an electrical charge in tanks of liquid electrolytes.
Mitsubishi Power is implementing battery energy storage in Orange County, California as part of a project to determine whether clean, distributed energy can counterbalance a rising demand for electricity and help balance the grid.
In the future, multi-unit apartment buildings may employ energy storage systems similar to these, bringing us one step closer to the development of energy-efficient, low-carbon cities. Read More: Battery Energy Storage: Things to Know