Weight as a battery?

gnubie

Photon Sorcerer
Joined
Sep 20, 2019
Messages
3,851
To me the crushingly large amounts of energy that need to be stored to provide baseload when the sun isn't shining leave few viable grid scale options, with pumped water and thermal being the winners.

Our electricity networks are not built to accommodate distributed storage. Think about the space to do baseload storage for a substation's area, and put that in relation to your local substation. If you live in the inner city that substation may well be in an underground vault. If you live in a lower density area the substation it is probably above ground open air but surrounded by other buildings or constraints. The lack of space in the suburban / city context means large scale storage will have to be done outside of these areas on the high voltage transmission network which means very high energy storage at a few points around the network.

My own state's consumption in the hours that solar isn't doing a lot is in the order of 60GWh for 5 million or so people (eyeball of graphs publicly available real time graphs). That's an awful lot for any sort of chemical battery storage.
 

FilterGuy

What, me worry?
Joined
Nov 26, 2019
Messages
5,627
Location
Los Gatos CA
You are absolutely right @gnubie. The amount of energy we are talking about is huge. Right now most (all?) of the 'grid scale' chemical battery deployment is being deployed as 'short term' storage that addresses real-time dips in available storage. (Example: Clouds go over a major solar farm and the output suddenly dips. They use the batteries to boost the output while other long term sources can be ramped up) This takes relatively small banks of batteries because they are only trying to deal with dips in the load.... not the whole load.
 

Hedges

I See Electromagnetic Fields!
Joined
Mar 28, 2020
Messages
11,005
There are options like a flywheel, but don't underestimate the dangers of a system that stores energy in a mechanical fashion like that.

One thought is carbon fiber. Weight is less important than strength, because stored energy is proportional to weight x velocity^2.
Beacon does that. I think I read they prefer to put them underground for noise. Yea, right!


I would also orient their axis to match the Earth's to avoid precession loads on the bearings.

Then I started to thing about really high velocities. What could you store in CERN, Large Hadron Collider?
My math came up with a few car batteries worth of power. At least with the amount of particles they were moving.
 

Guda

Superstrut Strut
Joined
Nov 19, 2019
Messages
516
One thought is carbon fiber. Weight is less important than strength, because stored energy is proportional to weight x velocity^2.
Beacon does that. I think I read they prefer to put them underground for noise. Yea, right!

Carbon Fiber Flywheels | Beacon Power
I would also orient their axis to match the Earth's to avoid precession loads on the bearings.
Nothing for sale yet tho.


Then I started to thing about really high velocities. What could you store in CERN, Large Hadron Collider?
My math came up with a few car batteries worth of power. At least with the amount of particles they were moving.
Thats pretty impressive math.

If you took your typical garage wall & made a void the size of the wall. Then fill that void with a weight. How much power could you store?

I am kinda keen on experimenting with this technology. I have a 40' shipping container that got burned in the fire that I've been planing on standing up on its end. Going to put a observation deck on top, a couple wind turbines & will probably clad the sides in PV. It would be perfect to hang some weights off.
 
Top