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Gravel Batteries Offer a Solution for Renewable Energy Storage


One of the most frequent objections to renewable energy systems is that their production is too variable. But technologies continue to be developed that will allow storage of power generated from wind, solar, and other intermittent renewable sources. The latest development comes from researchers at Isentropic in Cambridge, England who propose giant batteries filled with gravel and cheapest propecia us argon gas. These batteries would provide a number advantages over pumped hydro, which is presently used for almost all electricity storage today, as well as over underground compressed air storage.

The gravel battery system would use excess capacity generated by a renewable source to heat and pressurize the argon gas and then pump it through a gravel filled silo to store energy. Then, when demand calls for electricity, the system is simply operated in reverse to generate electricity. According to the cheap levitra no prescription company, the system's "round trip efficiency is over 72% - 80%." This is comparable to the efficiency of pumped storage hydro, which has an efficiency of 70 - 85%. But gravel batteries are much more compact, and can be more readily installed in relatively flat areas characteristic of many areas with good windpower potential, such as the American Great Plains. A gravel battery can use far less land (1/300th) than that required for a pumped hydro lake, as well.

Underground compressed air storage is another technology that has been suggested, but that requires the presence of enter site levitra 30 mg underground caverns, which are not always present where you might want to put a power storage facility. In addition to being able to be located anywhere, gravel batteries could be relatively inexpensive because they do not need costly materials. Costs could be as low as $55/kWh, and $10/kWh at scale for large installations.

via: Worldchanging

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Comments (13)Add Comment
What is the obsession with storing the energy on-site?
written by BruceMcF, May 20, 2010
The notion that energy to levitra overnite stored wind farm by wind farm that some people seem to have is a bit nutty, and it seems to be echoed in the suggestion that electricity from the Great Plains wind resource needs to be stored near where it is generated.

Where precisely is the massive demands for electricity consumption where there is levitra without prescription nothing both plains from the Great Plains to the final consumer? The west coast (via the viagra lowest price Rockies)? Chicago (via, eg, Wisconsin's Iron Range)? The East Coast (via the Appalachias)?

And of course, many research power storage oversell the important of energy storage in a renewable, sustainable grid by focusing on volatility of individual wind farms rather than of all the wind resource areas that are available to the different consuming grids, and by ignoring the normal changes in the use of conventional hydro when there are a range of volatile energy supplies on hand.

But most notably, you are burying the lede here: it's all about the canadian healthcare pharmacy capital cost per kW capacity. That's the story.
Would it fit in the tower?
written by Jon, May 20, 2010
Would those gravel batteries fit in the tower of the wind turbines, that would be convenient?
@Will it fit in the tower
written by Gary, May 21, 2010
Jon, I expect that given just a few years, the Chinese will be making synthetic gravel from recycled human waste that fits in the wind mill towers.

Why store locally ?
written by Andy Simpson, May 21, 2010
By storing the energy locally, you can smooth the supply to the grid. For example a large solar installation can smooth out the effects of passing clouds. This is an obsession of the guys ensuring distribution, they want any renewable source to supply energy in a predictable way.

@Andy, Low-rated comment [Show]
written by Kevin, May 21, 2010
I couldn't find anything about Argon in the original article at Isentropic. They seem to me to cialis prescription be talking about heating air, rather than Argon.

Their main innovation is the heat pump, which is supposed to very efficient. If so, then it will have a great many more applications.
written by P Proefrock, May 21, 2010
Good questions Bruce. Storage near the source can be important if the grid doesn't have the capacity to handle the load (though we're talking about dealing with storing off-peak production, so that may not be much of an issue). Also, since demand is variable and production from a solar field or wind farm will not necessarily serve only one location, on-site storage can be dispatched where it is needed.

From an economic perspective, owning the storage as well as the production is probably a way for a power producer to optimize their business model. If a wind farm is selling off-peak power, they aren't getting paid much. If, on the other hand, they are better able to serve as a peaking plant, and help when demand is high, they can get premium rates, and can belong to the grid as a more reliable source.

Also, if a storage system is located near a municipality, land costs are going to be much higher, and NIMBY reactions will be much more likely, whereas land near the production source is likely to be far less expensive, and some amount of land is already being acquired to install the best quality levitra production facility, so it might be only an incremental add.

These absolutely WOULD NOT fit inside a turbine's tower; they are far larger than that. Isentropic is talking about a pair of 50m tall and 50m diameter structures (that's about 165 ft), which would be difficult to indian viagra locate too near a municipality. However, using these to raise towers even higher to get greater access to wind could be an interesting idea.
Storage system for power
written by Arvind Kumar, June 20, 2010
for the years, power engineers are trying to store the power for whenever use, but alas they have failed. Pumped storage technology was good but to some extend it demand power to produce power....Not a good option....But this kind of battery system storage can play a big role.
Renewable energy sources
written by jekin, July 09, 2010
It would be great if renewable energy would someday cost consumers less. The fact is, if everyone in the world had a hydrogen generator or solar panels, the cost would be shifted to look here buy viagra online australia purchasing and maintaining this equipment. Unless you have the capabilities to build and maintain it yourself, you will still be paying for it. At least we're saving the world physically while it falls apart economically.
melting wires
written by ron davison, July 16, 2010
Why store on site of lowest price viagra intermittent power? Because the wires will melt if you try to put peak power through them. if you size them for peak loads then they cost 2x to 3x due to the upsizing of cable diameters and tower structures.
written by Jan-Hein Streppel, February 02, 2014
It's really an informative and well described post regarding energy storage. I appreciate your topic for blogging. Thanks for sharing such a useful post.
written by Mel Brandle, March 25, 2014
LOL @Gary!! I am a little confused with how gravel is going to store energy actually. Maybe from a layperson's perspective the article writer can explain this a little clearer? It sounds all fine and dandy from first read because "gravel" is naturally occurring - at least until the Chinese do something about it like what Gary said. But how will the viagra from mexico gravel's natural state be changed when all this energy is buy tramadol with visa pumped into it for storage?
written by mel, May 21, 2014
I am confused with how gravel is going to store energy actually. Maybe from a layperson's perspective the article writer can explain this a little clearer? It sounds all fine and dandy from first read because "gravel" is naturally occurring - at least until the Chinese do something about it like what Gary said. But how will the gravel's natural state be changed when all this energy is pumped into it for storage?

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