Solar power due to its popularity is rapidly gaining momentum. The cost of a kilowatt of “green” energy is gradually becoming lower, but it is significantly hampered by the lack of an economically viable energy storage technology. The generation of clean energy from renewable sources is intermittent and depends on a number of conditions (including weather conditions). To stabilize the energy supply from RES, scientists around the world are working hard to create new technologies in the field of energy conservation. At the moment, there are the following ways to preserve the “green” energy:
Hydroaccumulation. This method has been described more than once, and it is the most popular. This method is in the accumulation of water in special tanks. When electricity is needed, water from the upper reservoir is released and rotates the turbine. When energy is enough, its surplus is used to pump water back into the upper reservoir.
Accumulation of energy through the use of compressed air. We have already written about this method in more detail. If briefly – the method is to compress the air by cooling it. With a lack of energy compressed air is released into a special compartment, where it rotates the turbine.
Use of molten salt. The salt, which is in a molten state, is capable of storing heat energy for a fairly long time. It is used in the work of solar thermal plants. Heliostats accumulate thermal energy and thereby increase the temperature of the special fluid inside the structure. This liquid is salt in the molten form. Further, this liquid is collected in a reservoir. The next step in the process is the use of the steam generator and molten salt to start the turbine, which generates electricity. An undeniable advantage of the technology is the possibility of salt to work at elevated temperature (above 500 ° C). This characteristic of the material makes it possible to increase the productivity of the turbine itself.
This way of saving energy allows you to extend the working hours or serve as heating the buildings. In addition, it is possible to generate electricity by using salt at night, when heliostats do not function.
This technology is already used in the work of SES, united in a single network (the largest in the world) in the city of Dubai.
Application of flow-through redox systems. By flowing batteries are meant large sized containers containing electrolyte. Electricity is created by passing the electrolyte through a special membrane. As an electrolyte, vanadium, zinc, chlorine or water containing a certain percentage of salt is used. Such a way of accumulating clean energy is quite simple in application; the time of using the installation is long.
At the moment, this method has no commercial projects. Research technologies suggest a total power of 320 megawatts. The main advantage of this method is the prolonged delivery of energy (about four hours). Minus – large dimensions and the inability to safely dispose of after the period worked.
In the plans of the EWE power plant from Germany to build the world’s largest installation with flowing batteries for 700 megawatt-hours. They want to locate it in a cave that was previously used to store natural gas.
Use of traditional accumulating systems. These energy storages are batteries (their prototypes are used to save energy in small equipment: laptops, telephones, etc.) of industrial size. Such a method of energy conservation is widely used at VES and TESla SES.
Preservation of energy through thermal storage. This method is used to cool houses without the use of conditioning equipment. At night, the water in special tanks passes from the state of ice, and in the daytime it thaws and brings coolness to the living quarters. This approach allows to significantly reduce electricity consumption in regions with a hot climate.
This technology is actively implemented by the company “Ice Energy” from California. The firm introduces ice technology in the Australian market. Active sun makes it possible to produce large amounts of electricity from the sun, and thermal storage facilities minimize energy costs for cooling the housing in the region.
Application of the flywheel. The essence of the super-flywoman’s work is the accumulation of energy through inertia. The kinetic energy accumulated in the flywheel is converted into electricity. The transformation of one type of energy into another takes place with the help of a dynamo machine. If you need to get electricity, the design slows the flywheel.
There are quite a few directions in the accumulation of the energy of the sun and the wind. Inventors from all over the world have a place to turn around to discover the most economically feasible way. The cheapening and popularization of solar energy largely depends on this kind of technology.