Ground Breaking Energy Storage

One of the challenges
with wind and solar power is that they depend on the wind and the sun which may not be available when we need the power. That is why electrical energy storage is one of the key components of the transition towards a world powered predominantly by renewable energy resources.

There are many grid-scale storage technologies, but pumped hydroelectric storage (PHS) accounts for more than 95% of the present installed capacity. This is despite the fact that few networks can accommodate PHS, which requires a terrain suitable for moving water between large reservoirs with a significant difference in elevation.

The GBES (Ground-Breaking Energy Storage) approach aims to meet or beat PHS commercial and performance benchmarks. More importantly, it has much lower environmental/social impact and does not need mountains. It can be located near load centers or other strategic points in the transmission network. It can be constructed in flat or hilly terrain, in deserts, or even under water. It can be used in stand-alone storage projects or integrated with large-scale renewables, public water supply or flood control schemes.

If successful, GBES would improve supply security, load management and asset utilization. It could also cope with unprecedented levels of variable renewables - say >50% of capacity.
GBES uses pumped hydro techniques to store energy by elevating a large geological working mass. Since we live on a rocky planet, we might be able to make a comparable disc quite cheaply by excavating a tiny amount of material from around and under a disc shape, thus the name ground-breaking energy storage.
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A similar principle but on a much smaller scale is Gravity Power initially based on relatively small diameter pistons fabricated from high density concrete, moving a considerable vertical distance in very deep shafts.




BeijingSifang June 2016