Generating energy through means such as wind, solar, hydropower, or nuclear power has been relatively cheap and effective to accomplish. However, many alternative energy measures fall short when faced with the problem of storage. Once electricity is generated, how can it be stored so that it can be used as demand rises, and not wasted when demand is low?
Here are some of the ways we may store the energy created by renewable and low-carbon energy sources:
Solid State Batteries
There are many different chemical compounds that can comprise battery and effect battery life and usability for applications such as automobiles, home energy, or portable energy. Some of the most promising battery technology to date includes:
- Electrochemical Capacitors
- Lithium Ion
- Sodium Sulfur
Flow batteries are rechargeable batteries that can be recharged by replacing the electrolyte liquid with new material, and recharging the spent material. Here are some common forms of flow batteries:
- Redox Flow
- Ion Chromium
- Vanadium Redox
A flywheel is a motor-driven rotating device that can store rotational energy. These are often used to improve grid functionality for wind energy applications, as they can provide a flow of uninterrupted power to the grid as well as offer frequency regulation and improvements to electrical quality.
Thermal Energy Storage
Thermal energy from applications such as solar farms can be stored in molten salt or other materials, and can be harnessed by later creating enough steam to power a turbine to provide electricity. The electricity generated during low-demand hours can also be used to create ice, which is effective in building automation for cooling.
Energy can be stored in the form of water that can be used to rapidly generate electricity by raising or lowering water levels. Gravitational systems that allow for pumped hydropower can take many forms, including sub-surface pumped storage, surface reservoir pumped storage, and variable speed pumped hydroelectric storage.
And of course, when you’re getting ready to start metering all this energy, there’s always InduSoft Web Studio!