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Storage Systems

Storage Systems | ABB Battery

Energy storage technologies are of great interest to electric utilities, energy service companies, and automobile manufacturers (for electric vehicle application). The ability to store large amounts of energy would allow electric utilities to have greater flexibility in their operation because with this option the supply and demand do not have to be matched instantaneously. The availability of the proper battery at the right price will make the electric vehicle a reality, a goal that has eluded the automotive industry thus far. Four types of storage technologies (listed below) are discussed in this section, but most emphasis is placed on storage batteries because it is now closest to being commercially viable. The other storage technology widely used by the electric power industry, pumped-storage power plants, is not discussed as this has been in commercial operation for more than 60 years in various countries around the world.

  • Flywheel storage
  • Compressed air energy storage
  • Superconducting magnetic energy storage
  • Battery storage

Flywheel Storage

Flywheels store their energy in their rotating mass, which rotates at very high speeds (approaching 75,000 rotations per minute), and are made of composite materials instead of steel because of the composite’s ability to withstand the rotating forces exerted on the flywheel. In order to store enegy the flywheel is placed in a sealed container which is then placed in a vacuum to reduce air resistance. Magnets embedded in the flywheel pass near pickup coils. The magnet induces a current in the coil changing the rotational energy into electrical energy.

Flywheels are still in research and development, and commercial products are several years away.

Compressed Air Energy Storage

As the name implies, the compressed air energy storage (CAES) plant uses electricity to compress air which is stored in underground reservoirs. When electricity is needed, this compressed air is withdrawn, heated with gas or oil, and run through an expansion turbine to drive a generator. The compressed air can be stored in several types of underground structures, including caverns in salt or rock formations, aquifers, and depleted natural gas fields. Typically the compressed air in a CAES plant uses about one third of the premium fuel needed to produce the same amount of electricity as in a conventional plant. A 290-MW CAES plant has been in operation in Germany since the early 1980s with 90% availability and 99% starting reliability. In the U.S., the Alabama Electric Cooperative runs a CAES plant that stores compressed air in a 19-million cubic foot cavern mined from a salt dome. This 110-MW plant has a storage capacity of 26 h. The fixed-price turnkey cost for this first-of-a-kind plant is about $400/kW in constant 1988 dollars.

The turbomachinery of the CAES plant is like a combustion turbine, but the compressor and the expander operate independently. In a combustion turbine, the air that is used to drive the turbine is compressed just prior to combustion and expansion and, as a result, the compressor and the expander must operate at the same time and must have the same air mass flow rate. In the case of a CAES plant, the compressor and the expander can be sized independently to provide the utility-selected “optimal” MW charge and discharge rate which determines the ratio of hours of compression required for each hour of turbine-generator operation. The MW ratings and time ratio are influenced by the utility’s load curve, and the price of off-peak power.

For example, the CAES plant in Germany requires 4 h of compression per hour of generation. On the other hand, the Alabama plant requires 1.7 h of compression for each hour of generation. At 110-MW net output, the power ratio is 0.818 kW output for each kilowatt input. The heat rate (LHV) is 4122 BTU/kWh with natural gas fuel and 4089 BTU/kWh with fuel oil. Due to the storage option, a partial-load operation of the CAES plant is also very flexible. For example, the heat rate of the expander increases only by 5%, and the airflow decreases nearly linearly when the plant output is turned down to 45% of full load. However, CAES plants have not reached commercial viability beyond some prototypes.

Superconducting Magnetic Energy Storage

A third type of advanced energy storage technology is superconducting magnetic energy storage (SMES), which may someday allow electric utilities to store electricity with unparalled efficiency (90% or more). A simple description of SMES operation follows.
The electricity storage medium is a doughnut-shaped electromagnetic coil of superconducting wire. This coil could be about 1000 m in diameter, installed in a trench, and kept at superconducting temper- ature by a refrigeration system. Off-peak electricity, converted to direct current (DC), would be fed into this coil and stored for retrieval at any moment. The coil would be kept at a low-temperature supercon- ducting state using liquid helium.

The time between charging and discharging could be as little as 20 ms with a round-trip AC–AC efficiency of over 90%.

Developing a commercial-scale SMES plant presents both economic and technical challenges. Due to the high cost of liquiud helium, only plants with 1000-MW, 5-h capacity are economically attractive. Even then the plant capital cost can exceed several thousand dollars per kilowatt. As ceramic superconductors, which become superconducting at higher temperatures (maintained by less expensive liquid nitrogen), become more widely available, it may be possible to develop smaller scale SMES plants at a lower price.

Battery Storage

Even though battery storage is the oldest and most familiar energy storage device, significant advances have been made in this technology in recent years to deserve more attention. There has been renewed interest in this technology due to its potential application in non-polluting electric vehicles. Battery systems are quiet and non-polluting, and can be installed near load centers and existing suburban substations. These have round-trip AC–AC efficiencies in the range of 85%, and can respond to load changes within 20 ms. Several U.S., European, and Japanese utilities have demonstrated the application of lead–acid batteries for load-following applications. Some of them have been as large as 10 MW with 4 h of storage.

The other player in battery development is the automotive industry for electric vehicle application. In 1991, General Motors, Ford, Chrysler, Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI), several utilities, and the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) formed the U.S. Advanced Battery Consortium (USABC) to develop better batteries for electric vehicle (EV) applications. A brief introduction to some of the available battery technologies as well some that are under study is presented in the following (Source:http://www.eren.

Battery Types

Chemical batteries are individual cells filled with a conducting medium-electrolyte that, when connected together, form a battery. Multiple batteries connected together form a battery bank. At present, there are two main types of batteries: primary batteries (non-rechargeable) and secondary batteries (rechargeable). Secondary batteries are further divided into two categories based on the operating temperature of the electrolyte. Ambient operating temperature batteries have either aqueous (flooded) or nonaqueous elec- trolytes. High operating temperature batteries (molten electrodes) have either solid or molten electrolytes. Batteries in EVs are the secondary-rechargeable-type and are in either of the two sub-categories. A battery for an EV must meet certain performance goals.

These goals include quick discharge and recharge capability, long cycle life (the number of discharges before becoming unserviceable), low cost, recycla- bility, high specific energy (amount of usable energy, measured in watt-hours per pound [lb] or kilogram [kg]), high energy density (amount of energy stored per unit volume), specific power (determines the potential for acceleration), and the ability to work in extreme heat or cold. No battery currently available meets all these criteria.

Lead–Acid Batteries

Lead–acid starting batteries (shallow-cycle lead–acid secondary batteries) are the most common battery used in vehicles today. This battery is an ambient temperature, aqueous electrolyte battery. A cousin to this battery is the deep-cycle lead–acid battery, now widely used in golf carts and forklifts. The first electric cars built also used this technology. Although the lead–acid battery is relatively inexpensive, it is very heavy, with a limited usable energy by weight (specific energy). The battery’s low specific energy and poor energy density make for a very large and heavy battery pack, which cannot power a vehicle as far as an equivalent gas-powered vehicle. Lead–acid batteries should not be discharged by more than 80% of their rated capacity or depth of discharge (DOD). Exceeding the 80% DOD shortens the life of the battery. Lead–acid batteries are inexpensive, readily available, and are highly recyclable, using the elaborate recycling system already in place. Research continues to try to improve these batteries.

A lead–acid nonaqueous (gelled lead acid) battery uses an electrolyte paste instead of a liquid. These batteries do not have to be mounted in an upright position. There is no electrolyte to spill in an accident. Nonaqueous lead–acid batteries typically do not have as high a life cycle and are more expensive than flooded deep-cycle lead–acid batteries.

Nickel Iron and Nickel Cadmium Batteries

Nickel iron (Edison cells) and nickel cadmium (nicad) pocket and sintered plate batteries have been in use for many years. Both of these batteries have a specific energy of around 25 Wh/lb (55 Wh/kg), which is higher than advanced lead–acid batteries. These batteries also have a long cycle life. Both of these batteries are recyclable. Nickel iron batteries are non-toxic, while nicads are toxic. They can also be discharged to 100% DOD without damage. The biggest drawback to these batteries is their cost. Depend- ing on the size of battery bank in the vehicle, it may cost between $20,000 and $60,000 for the batteries. The batteries should last at least 100,000 mi (160,900 km) in normal service.

Nickel Metal Hydride Batteries

Nickel metal hydride batteries are offered as the best of the next generation of batteries. They have a high specific energy: around 40.8 Wh/lb (90 Wh/kg). According to a U.S. DOE report, the batteries are benign to the environment and are recyclable. They also are reported to have a very long cycle life. Nickel metal hydride batteries have a high self-discharge rate: they lose their charge when stored for long periods of time. They are already commercially available as “AA” and “C” cell batteries, for small consumer appliances and toys. Manufacturing of larger batteries for EV applications is only available to EV manufacturers. Honda is using these batteries in the EV Plus, which is available for lease in California.

Sodium Sulfur Batteries

This battery is a high-temperature battery, with the electrolyte operating at temperatures of 572°F (300°C). The sodium component of this battery explodes on contact with water, which raises certain safety concerns. The materials of the battery must be capable of withstanding the high internal temper- atures they create, as well as freezing and thawing cycles. This battery has a very high specific energy: 50 Wh/lb (110 Wh/kg). The Ford Motor Company uses sodium sulfur batteries in their Ecostar, a converted delivery minivan that is currently sold in Europe. Sodium sulfur batteries are only available to EV manufacturers.

Lithium Iron and Lithium Polymer Batteries

The USABC considers lithium iron batteries to be the long-term battery solution for EVs. The batteries have a very high specific energy: 68 Wh/lb (150 Wh/kg). They have a molten-salt electrolyte and share many features of a sealed bipolar battery. Lithium iron batteries are also reported to have a very long cycle life. These are widely used in laptop computers. These batteries will allow a vehicle to travel distances and accelerate at a rate comparable to conventional gasoline-powered vehicles. Lithium polymer batteries eliminate liquid electrolytes. They are thin and flexible, and can be molded into a variety of shapes and sizes.

Neither type will be ready for EV commercial applications until early in the 21st century.

Zinc and Aluminum Air Batteries

Zinc air batteries are currently being tested in postal trucks in Germany. These batteries use either aluminum or zinc as a sacrificial anode. As the battery produces electricity, the anode dissolves into the electrolyte. When the anode is completely dissolved, a new anode is placed in the vehicle. The aluminum or zinc and the electrolyte are removed and sent to a recycling facility. These batteries have a specific energy of over 97 Wh/lb (200 Wh/kg). The German postal vans currently carry 80 kWh of energy in their battery, giving them about the same range as 13 gallons (49.2 liters) of gasoline. In their tests, the vans have achieved a range of 615 mi (990 km) at 25 miles per hour (40 km/h).

SOURCE: Rahman, Saifur “Electric Power Generation: Non-Conventional Methods”

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Galaxy 7000 UPS 250-500kVA by APC

Galaxy 7000 UPS 250-500kVA by APC

Three-phase Galaxy 7000, 250 to 500 kVA (up to 4 MVA in parallel configurations), includes cutting-edge technologies for high-power applications.

Calling on over 40 years of experience in the Critical Power and Cooling Services division of Schneider Electric, the leader in complete, high-quality electrical power solutions, Galaxy 7000 offers optimised performance for data centers, infrastructure and industrial processes. The compact size, back-to-back or back-to-wall installation enables more room to be utilised for other equipments in the technical room than traditional UPS systems. The UPS can be upgraded to ensure available and secure power infrastructure for current as well as future demands.


Galaxy 7000 increases the productivity of these applications by providing continuity of service through secure supply solutions that are flexible, adaptable and upgradeable. Galaxy 7000 provides high-quality energy, compatible with all loads, with a very high level of availability. The variety of architectures meets the specific needs of each installation and allows easy upgrading. The communication capabilities and proactive services provided by Schneider Electric, the most complete and available worldwide, make for highly effective maintenance.

  • Data Centers
    The strategic and economic importance of data centers made it necessary to set up the ANSI/TIA site typology (TIER I to IV). It presents the necessary functions of the major components, including supply via UPSs, to ensure consistency and obtain a high level of overall availability.
    Galaxy 7000, through its design and many possibilities for parallel connection, as well as its compatibility with STS (static transfer switch) systems, meets TIER IV requirements for fault-tolerant sites offering the highest level of availability (99.995%).
    Combined with STS units, Galaxy 7000 can supply energy via two or three different channels for dual or triple-attach applications and also offers supervision, network administration and remote-control solutions. Galaxy 7000 is ideal for the large (over 500 square metre) data centers of banks, insurance companies, internet and colocation services, telecoms, etc. where 24/365 operation is mandatory and preventive maintenance and upgrades must not require system shutdown.
  • Fig. 2. Applications such as data centers, infrastructure and industrial processes.

    Fig. 2. Applications such as data centers, infrastructure and industrial processes.

  • Infrastructure and buildings
    Service continuity is also required for infrastructure (airports, ports, tunnels) as well as the operation and technical monitoring (via SCADA and BMS systems) of shopping centres, hospitals, office buildings, etc. Galaxy 7000 is perfectly suited to the needs of these communicating, frequently upgraded applications thanks to its power ratings, extension possibilities and communication capabilities.
  • Industrial processes
    Operation in industrial environments requires equipment capable of maintaining processes, without failure, under difficult conditions, including dust, humidity, vibrations, major variations in temperature, etc. Due to its high electrical and mechanical level of performance, Galaxy 7000 meets these specific needs.
    Technical files are available for all the applications specified by design offices, including Ni-Cad batteries for the chemical and petrochemical industries, high IP values, heavy-duty reinforced cabinets, dust filters, marine configurations, rated voltages up to 440 V, etc. The MGE UPS SYSTEMS design office, in conjunction with a specialised industrial organisation, can also handle uncommon conditions, e.g. outdoor installations, anti-vibration bases for marine applications, special paints with the corresponding labels, etc.
  • Colour
    Light grey RAL 9023

Strong Points

Galaxy 7000 design combines the best technology (double conversion) with the most recent innovations to supply high-quality power, available 24/365, to high-power applications, whatever the situation in the distribution system.

  • Double conversion technology (VFI as per IEC 62040-3/EN 62040-3).
    This is the only technology that insulates the load from the upstream network and completely regenerates the output voltage, thus providing high-quality, stable power.
  • IGBT-based, PFC sinusoidal-current input rectifier. The rectifier draws sinusoidal current, without any reactive power, thus avoiding disturbances upstream by reducing harmonic reinjection.
    • Very low current total harmonic distortion THDI, less than 5%.
    • Input power factor (PF) greater than 0.99 from 50% load upwards.
    These performance levels, combined with the three-phase input not requiring neutral, offer substantial savings in terms of cables and equipment.

    Fig. 3. Three-phase, PFC sinusoidal-current rectifier, with DualPack IGBTs.

    Fig. 3. Three-phase, PFC sinusoidal-current rectifier, with DualPack IGBTs.

  • Battery charger separated from the AC input. The chopper is supplied via the rectifier output and is thus protected against fluctuations on the AC input. Battery recharge is adjusted as a function of the temperature.
  • A check on the phase sequence is run to protect the power system from the effects of incorrect connections.
  • Wide input-voltage (250 to 470 V) and frequency (45 to 65 Hz) range. This is made possible by double-conversion technology and the PFC rectifier which is compatible with all sources and with disturbed distribution systems (voltages as low as 250 V for 30% load).

    Fig. 4. Wide input-voltage range.

    Fig. 4. Wide input-voltage range.

  • Soft start. This system provides total compatibility with gensets through gradual start of the rectifier, in addition to a PF of 0.99. It makes it possible:
    • when AC power is absent, to progressively transfer the load from the battery to the genset
    • when the normal AC source returns to tolerances, to delay transfer from the battery to the rectifier, thus avoiding excessive variations on the AC source.
    • in a parallel system, to set up sequential start-up of the inverters.

    Fig. 5. Soft start walk-in ramp with time delay.

    Fig. 5. Soft start walk-in ramp with time delay.

  • Cold start on battery power if the AC source is absent or disturbed, even in parallel systems.
  • High-quality output voltage (380, 400, 415 or440 V) for all types of loads with:
    • THDU < 3%
    • output PF = 09 for all types of load.
    The range is suitable for the most recent non-linear and computer loads, called capacitive loads, with a leading PF close to 0.9 and a high crest factor.
  • Output voltage adjustable to ± 3% of the rated value (in 0.5 V steps) to take into account voltage drops in long cables.
  • Excellent response to load step changes, < 2% for 100 to 0% or 0 to 100% and return to the ± 1% tolerances within 100 ms.
  • High current-limiting capacity for inverter short-circuits (2.5 In, 150 ms) to facilitate discrimination with downstream protective devices and accept high crest factors, 2.4:1 up to 3:1, depending on the voltage and power levels.
  • Intelligent thermal-overload capacity curve for better performance. The curve is adjusted as a function of the ambient temperature, 1.5 In / 30 seconds, 1.25 In / 10 minutes.

Advanced management to extend battery life

Galaxy 7000 proposes backup times from 5 minutes to 2 hours with a rapid charger (recharge < 6 hours for 10-minute backup time). Backup time remains available due to digital battery management and the protection systems.

  • The standard “DigiBat™” system monitors the battery to forward information and maximise performance. Based on a large number of parameters (percent load, temperature, battery type and age), DigiBat controls the battery charge voltage and continuously calculates:
    • the real available backup time
    • the remaining battery life (1).
    DigiBat also offers:
    • automatic entry of battery parameters
    • test on battery status to preventively detect operating faults
    • automatic battery discharge test at adjustable time intervals
    • protection against deep discharge taking into account the discharge rate, with a circuit breaker to isolate the battery. The breaker opens automatically after double the specified backup time plus two hours (sleep mode to provide vital functions)
    • limiting of the battery charge current (0.05 C10 to 0.1 C10)
    • gradual alarm signalling the end of backup time
    • numerous automatic tests.Fig. 10. Digibat.
  • The B1000 battery monitoring or “Cellwatch” option monitors all battery strings 24/365 and displays a failure prediction for each block.

User-friendly interface for more dependable operation

Galaxy 7000 has a control and display interface offering intuitive functions. Based on graphs and pictograms, the interface can be set up in 19 languages including Chinese, Korean, Thai, Indonesian, Turkish and Greek. It includes a graphical display for time-stamped events and useful operating statistics. For operating personnel, that is an essential aspect in facilitating decisions. Simple and user-friendly, the interface enhances safety and comfort.

  • Graphical display with HD, B&W touch screen (SVGA).
  • Animated mimic panel.
  • Menu keys and direct access to display functions.
  • Buzzer.
  • Remote supervision that can run under many BMS systems and network
    supervisors via the communication cards.
  • Time-stamping of last 2500 events.
  • On-line help to assist with the displayed messages.
  • Multi-mode for parallel units (modular UPSs in parallel, parallel UPSs with SSC, frequency converters in parallel), i.e. it is possible to read the measurements of any unit on any unit, or to read system data.Fig. 11. HMI with display, LEDs, keys and mimic panel

Advanced communication

Galaxy 7000 offers the entire MGE UPS SYSTEMS range of communication systems designed to meet three essential needs.

  • Inform on UPS operation and its environment, warn users, wherever they may be, concerning any potential and existing problems.
  • Protect server data by automatic, clean shutdown of operating systems
  • Actively supervise an entire set of UPSs.
    These functions are carried out by hot-swappable communication cards running
    under different protocols, depending on the environment in which Galaxy 7000 is
  • Standard relay card with programmable dry contacts (4 logic inputs and 6 logic
  • INMC (Industrial Network Management Card) communication card with two
    • JBus/ModBus RS485/RS232 protocol for communication with a BMS
    • Ethernet 10/100 Mbps protocol using the Https standard (secure connection) for
    supervision via the web.
    Each UPS then has its own IP address making it possible for the user to:
    • supervise and control the UPS via a simple browser (HTTP)
    • interface with an SNMP administration system (HP Openview, etc.)
    • communicate with shutdown modules installed on the protected servers
    • set up external temperature and humidity monitoring (sensor environment)
    • receive e-mail alarms.
  • NMTC (Network Management Teleservice Card) communication card with three
    • JBus/ModBus RS232/RS485
    • Ethernet 10/100 Mbps using the Https protocol.
    The functions are identical to the INMC card, with in addition:
    • a modem connection may be used to connect the UPS to the MGE Teleservice
    centre for remote monitoring.
  • Life Cycle Monitoring software for optimised maintenance.
  • Compatible with CPSOL software from Schneider Electric for complete
    installation design.


Galaxy 7000 uses the latest technical and mechanical advances in terms of electrical components and power electronics. The greatly reduced number of components offers:

  • an overall solution that is very compact, but high accessible for maintenance
  • integration of many functions in a single cabinet. The batteries, installed in a
    separate cabinet, can be hot-swapped (with the UPS supplying the load).

The UPS can be installed in both technical and computer rooms.

  • The UPS can operate correctly back to the wall or back to back, but it is preferable to leave some space (> 600 mm) for easier maintenance.
  • Leave one meter of free space in front of the UPS for door opening.
  • At least 500 mm of clearance above the UPS is required.

Equipment and diagrams

Galaxy 7000 UPS units offer the following equipment and functions.

Standard configuration

  • IGBT-based, PFC three-phase rectifier
  • Phase-sequence check on input
  • Chopper for battery charging, insulated from AC input, charge adjusted for ambient temperature
  • Static switch (except parallel UPS units)
  • Manual bypass (except parallel UPS units)
  • Three-phase IGBT inverter with freefrequency PWM chopping
  • Redundant ventilation for power components
  • HMI with graphical interface, 19 languages, menu, function and ON/OFF keys
  • Mimic panel with status LEDs
  • Time-stamping of last 2500 events
  • Battery protected against deep discharges by a circuit breaker
  • Cold start on battery power
  • Soft start with walk-in ramp and sequential start in parallel configurations
  • EMC, level B
  • Parallel connection of modular or parallel UPS units
  • DigiBat digital battery monitoring and calculation of true backup time
  • Programmable relay card, dry contacts, 4 logic inputs, 6 logic outputs


  • Connection through the top
  • Isolation/voltage matching transformer
  • Synchronisation module
  • B1000 or Cellwatch battery-monitoring system for block by block management
  • Lightning arrestor (built into the UPS cabinet)
  • Backfeed protection
  • Synchronisation module
  • Multi-standard communication cards:
    - Jbus/Modbus + Ethernet 10/100
    - Jbus/Modbus + Ethernet 10/100 + Modem
    - 2 ports with dry contacts and/or remote shutdown
  • Battery circuit breaker unit
  • Supervision and shutdown software:
  • Enterprise Power Manager V.2

Electrical characteristics

Electrical characteristics


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Wind power storage development is essential for renewable energy technologies to become economically feasible. There are many different ways in which one can store electrical energy, the following outlines the various media used to store grid-ready energy produced by wind turbines. For more on applications of these wind storage technologies, read Solving the use-it-or-lose-it wind energy problem

Electrochemical Batteries

Familiar electrochemical batteries include nickel-cadmium (NiCad), lithium-ion (Li-ion, and others. Electrochemical batteries consist of two or more electrochemical cells. The cells use chemical reaction(s) to create a flow of electrons – electric current. Primary elements of a cell include the container, two electrodes (anode and cathode), and electrolyte material. The electrolyte is in contact with the electrodes. Current is created by the oxidation-reduction process involving chemical reactions between the cell’s electrolyte and electrodes.

Familiar electrochemical batteries include nickel-cadmium (NiCad), lithium-ion (Li-ion, and others

Familiar electrochemical batteries include nickel-cadmium (NiCad), lithium-ion (Li-ion, and others

When a battery discharges through a connected load, electrically charged ions in the electrolyte that are near one of the cell’s electrodes supply electrons (oxidation) while ions near the cell’s other electrode accept electrons (reduction), to complete the process. The process is reversed to charge the battery, which involves ionizing of the electrolyte. An increasing number of chemistries are used for this process.

Flow Batteries

Some electrochemical batteries (e.g., automobile batteries) contain electrolyte in the same container as the cells (where the electrochemical reactions occur). Other battery types – called flow batteries – use electrolyte that is stored in a separate container (e.g., a tank) outside of the battery cell container. Flow battery cells are said to be configured as a ‘stack’. When flow batteries are charging or discharging, the electrolyte is transported (i.e., pumped) between the electrolyte container and the cell stack. Vanadium redox and Zn/Br are two of the more familiar types of flow batteries. A key advantage to flow batteries is that the storage system’s discharge duration can be increased by adding more electrolyte (and, if needed to hold the added electrolyte, additional electrolyte containers). It is also relatively easy to replace a flow battery’s electrolyte when it degrades.


Capacitors store electric energy as an electrostatic charge. An increasing array of larger capacity capacitors have characteristics that make them well-suited for use as energy storage. They store significantly more electric energy than conventional capacitors. They are especially well-suited to being discharged quite rapidly, to deliver a significant amount of energy over a short period of time (i.e., they are attractive for high-power applications that require short or very short discharge durations).

Compressed Air Energy Storage

Compressed Air Energy Storage

Compressed Air Energy Storage

Compressed air energy storage (CAES) involves compressing air using inexpensive energy so that the compressed air may be used to generate electricity when the energy is worth more.

To convert the stored energy into electric energy, the compressed air is released into a combustion turbine generator system. Typically, as the air is released, it is heated and then sent through the system’s turbine. As the turbine spins, it turns the generator to generate electricity. For larger CAES plants, compressed air is stored in underground geologic formations, such as salt formations, aquifers, and depleted natural gas fields. For smaller CAES plants, compressed air is stored in tanks or large on-site pipes such as those designed for high-pressure natural gas transmission (in most cases, tanks or pipes are above ground).

Flywheel Energy Storage

Flywheel electric energy storage systems (flywheel storage or flywheels) include a cylinder with a shaft that can spin rapidly within a robust enclosure. A magnet levitates the cylinder, thus limiting friction-related losses and wear. The shaft is connected to a motor/generator. Electric energy is converted by the motor/generator to kinetic energy. That kinetic energy is stored by
increasing the flywheel’s rotational speed. The stored (kinetic) energy is converted back to electric energy via the motor/generator, slowing the flywheel’s rotational speed.

Pumped Hydroelectric

Key elements of a pumped hydroelectric (pumped hydro) system include turbine/generator equipment, a waterway, an upper reservoir, and a lower reservoir. The turbine/generator is
similar to equipment used for normal hydroelectric power plants that do not incorporate storage. Pumped hydro systems store energy by operating the turbine/generator in reserve to pump water uphill or into an elevated vessel when inexpensive energy is available. The water is later released when energy is more valuable. When the water is released, it goes through the turbine which turns the generator to produce electric power.

Superconducting Magnetic Energy Storage

The storage medium in a superconducting magnetic energy storage (SMES) system consists of a coil made of superconducting material. Additional SMES system components include power
conditioning equipment and a cryogenically cooled refrigeration system. The coil is cooled to a temperature below the temperature needed for superconductivity (the material’s ‘critical’ temperature). Energy is stored in the magnetic field created by the flow of direct current in the coil. Once energy is stored, the current will not degrade, so energy can be stored indefinitely (as long as the refrigeration is operational).

Thermal Energy Storage

There are various ways to store thermal energy. One somewhat common way that thermal energy storage is used involves making ice when energy prices are low so the cold that is stored can be used to reduce cooling needs – especially compressor-based cooling – when energy is expensive.

SOURCE: Overview of wind power storage media


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