Energy Storage


The role of an electric power storage as well as of each storage is to collect surplus whenever possible and release it whenever needed. Large-scale energy storage is exceptionally difficult and troublesome, however, given the right operations of electrical grid – it is very much recommended.

One of the greatest challenges of electrical grids is the mismatch between generation and consumption of power. During consumption peaks the grid load rapidly increases only to drop during the times of high generation and low consumption. Power grid specialists very much dislike these loads and are eager to turn to various methods to mitigate them.

An extreme example of a load peak is a phenomenon that in the UK is called TV pickup, when hundreds of thousands of electric kettles rapidly increase power demand during commercial breaks.

During the highest peak of this type, on 4 July 1990, during the commercial break before penalty shots in a world championship semi-final game between England and Germany, the demand on the British Islands increased by 2,8000 megawattsI)https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/TV_pickup.

One of the most effective tools to resolve this issue is the use of power storage of pumped-storage power plants. When generation exceeds the demand, such a power plant uses the power to pump water from the bottom to the upper reservoir. When the power demand increases, the water from the upper reservoir flows down and powers up the turbines and releasing the stored power.

However, construction of such facilities requires a special terrain layout. Many countries do not have proper terrain conditions to build a bigger number of such facilities. As the storage need remains, there is room for using more or less traditional batteries.

Australian example

The state of South Australia for quite some time contended with power shortages. In September 2017, as a result of another shortage, over 1.7 million Australians lost their access to electricity. The country suffered another blackout earlier this year. The blackouts were most commonly attributed to the shutdowns of all remaining coal-run power plants in the state and the total conversion to renewable energy and gas. The biggest share in the state’s power mix is constituted by solar energy. However, the blackouts were also contributed to by grid failures. State authorities decided to invest in an energy storage. Tesla was contracted to build an installation of 100 MW power and 1,219 MWh capacity and the company constructed the facility in record timeII)http://gramwzielone.pl/magazynowanie-energii/29003/powstal-najwiekszy-na-swiecie-bateryjny-magazyn-energii. This, however, is not an isolated example. Other giants like German EWE and Korean LG have also invested in their own power storage technologies.

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