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Thread: Future of energy storage

  1. #1 Future of energy storage 
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    Could somebody tell what is the newest and
    most interesting ideas in energy storage
    development.Is there some projects to
    create energy storage more energy dense
    then fossil fuels?
    What's about superconductors,particle accelerators,quantum energy storage,safe
    nuclear batteries,etc?


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  3. #2  
    Moderator Moderator Dishmaster's Avatar
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    I recently saw a documentary about a project in Europe. It includes the production of electricity by regenerative sources (wind, sun). Usually, there are problems with the sources being variable. Sometimes, there would be too little, then again too much energy. This could be combined with storage lakes that apparently already exist in Norway. If there is too much electricity produced, the energy could be stored by pumping water into the lakes. At times, when too little electricity is generated, the lakes release the water again and compensate the deficit.


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  4. #3  
    Forum Masters Degree Numsgil's Avatar
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    That's actually pretty ingenious
    "A witty saying proves nothing." - Voltaire
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  5. #4  
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    Not exactly new, though.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pumped-...droelectricity
    In 1999 the EU had 32 GW capacity of pumped storage out of a total of 188 GW of hydropower and representing 5.5% of total electrical capacity in the EU.
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  6. #5  
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    Yes, it's rather common. Since it's difficult to shut down and start up most power plants, and you have to balance production and consumption, pumping up water during low consumption and letting it go again during consumption peaks is a quick and easy solution.

    Another neat idea that's regularly applied in moderate climates is pumping warm water down to some suitable earth layers and pumping up cold water for airconditioning. In winter, reverse the process by pumping down cold water and retrieving the warm water for heating. It works best at large scales, such as big hospitals or even cities.
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  7. #6  
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    Thank you for answers,but actually I meant
    something for personal use such as electric
    vehicles or batteries for cellphones.
    As I know the main limitation for superconducting energy storage is magnetic
    field that creates Lorentz forces and destroys
    a device.I wander if we take some superconductor which is able conduct positive and negative charges simultaneously,will it create magnetic field?
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  8. #7  
    Forum Bachelors Degree Waveman28's Avatar
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    There is a relatively new form of energy storage known as SMES (Superconducting Magnetic Energy Storage). This technology basically operates as a superconductor battery. It is composed of loop a of superconducting material which allows electricity to constantly circulate in a ring (as there is no resistance). This electricity can be extracted from this loop at any time when needed. This technology is far superior to current batteries such as lithium ion etc. because it can store huge amounts of power. However at present they are quite large and would definately not be suitable for powering small appliances at this stage. It is predicted that once these systems become more refined, a battery of this type which is the size of a 20 cent coin could power a house.
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    It is predicted that once these systems become more refined, a battery of this type which is the size of a 20 cent coin could power a house.
    Could you give some link on such predictions?
    As I know currently there is some very serious
    and principal limitation for this type of storage.
    SMES looks like a ring and when electricity
    flow along this ring it creates magnetic field.
    Current which flow in opposite directions (on both side of ring) repel one another and ring
    will be broken unless you will compensate this
    force by strength of material it is made of.
    Therefore you need to have large facilities
    to store sizeable amounts of energy.
    Currently there is no known method to overcome this problem.I wander who invented
    how to do it.
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  10. #9  
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    Quote Originally Posted by Waveman28
    There is a relatively new form of energy storage known as SMES (Superconducting Magnetic Energy Storage). This technology basically operates as a superconductor battery. It is composed of loop a of superconducting material which allows electricity to constantly circulate in a ring (as there is no resistance). This electricity can be extracted from this loop at any time when needed. This technology is far superior to current batteries such as lithium ion etc. because it can store huge amounts of power. However at present they are quite large and would definately not be suitable for powering small appliances at this stage. It is predicted that once these systems become more refined, a battery of this type which is the size of a 20 cent coin could power a house.
    Don't forget you need liquid nitrogen just to cool the "high temperature" superconductors.

    There have also been reports about supercapacitors as energy storage for quite a while now. I think it's already used in a way already done to balance electricity production and electricity consumption. The used capacitors are huge, though, and can't really store all that much. It's more of a low pass filter on energy consumption than real energy storage.

    Researchers are also working on microturbines for portable devices that work on fuel, just like a big power plant. One problem is that those turbines have to spin at very high speeds (500 000 rpm), which is difficult. Another is that a turbine obviously gets quite hot, which isn't exactly ideal for a portable device either.

    Another option isn't really storage, but low power devices can already be powered by harvesting energy from motion, body heat...
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