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Creative ways to store energy

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J
Juranium Nov 03, 2021
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Necessity

Is the problem still unsolved?

Conciseness

Is it concisely described?

As you heard many times, solar energy generation is getting cheaper, but storage remains the most expensive component of building solar systems. Until now, energy could be stored:
  • in batteries (most common solution for commercial use)
  • in supercapacitors (storing large amounts of electrical energy in the form of electrostatic charges)
  • by pumping the water up in the reservoir (hydroelectric)
  • by compressing air and later decompression
  • by flywheels and kinetic energy
  • by thermal energy storage (chilling ice and later using it as a cooler, or by melting salt)
  • by producing pure hydrogen from hydrocarbons
  • by rail energy storage (heavily loaded trains are sent uphill and generate electricity via regenerative breaking systems when they go down)
Do you have any modern or futuristic ideas that would help store energy in a sustainable, long-term fashion?

PS if you know an energy storage solution I didn't mention, please comment it and I'll add it to the list

[1]https://arstechnica.com/information-technology/2017/10/a-world-tour-of-some-of-the-biggest-energy-storage-schemes/

[2]https://www.epa.gov/energy/electricity-storage

[3]https://www.discovermagazine.com/technology/9-ways-to-store-energy-on-the-grid

[4]https://www.iberdrola.com/environment/efficient-energy-storage

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Creative contributions

Storing energy as multi-purpose ice glaciers

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J
Juranium Nov 03, 2021
This idea was inspired by the article describing ice stupas - small glaciers that bring water to the needed ones. People use this water for irrigation, drinking
My idea would be to use the excess power generated in the solar, wind, or any other power plants to freeze the water in the shape of glaciers. Glaciers could be small or big, depending on the amount of excess power. They should be created up in the hills to make the cooling process easier and could serve multiple purposes:
  • for irrigation and drinking
  • for cooling the electric systems and engines during extreme heat periods (ice storage air conditioning)
  • for energy generation via hydroelectric systems (melting of the glaciers during warmer periods; the method described in the session text)
  • for energy generation via Darko Savic's idea described here
  • alternatively, they could be made in different shapes (like described here) and become a cool tourist attractions
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Povilas S
Povilas Sa month ago
Maybe it won't be an efficient method when it comes to storing of the energy, but it could perhaps be used as a sort of "environmental buffer" for trying to reverse or at least slow down the impact of global warming, namely the melting of the glaciers. I got this idea from this contribution by Shubhankar Kulkarni. A certain part of "green" electrical energy could be used to freeze back the glaciers and complete the eco-cycle.
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