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A new report recommends the DOE develop a strategy for grid-level energy storage. Potentially...

A new report recommends the DOE develop a strategy for grid-level energy storage. Potentially positive news for AES (AES -3.3%) and A123 (AONE -2.6%), whose lithium-ion systems help meet fluctuating demand; Beacon Power (BCON +11.4%), which uses "flywheel storage" to keep the grid stable; and American Superconductor (AMSC -0.6%), which sells superconducting cable.
Comments (2)
  • mdmrjsds
    , contributor
    Comments (502) | Send Message
     
    Wouldn't it be easier to create closed systems that use the renewable electricity to convert purified water to hydrogen and oxygen at a centralized location, store them, and when they reach at least an hour of run time, feed fuel cells to run generators. The water that is output is recaptured for reuse.

     

    That way, the fluctuations are taken care of in the catalytic conversion of water to H and O, and the scheduling of renewable can be simplified (it is known at any time by the computers controlling the grid minimum run time remaining so other resources don't have to be instantaneously available). And instead of increasing fluctuation on the grid, they reduce it.

     

    Sure, some efficiency is lost, but the gain is that they just slot right into the current grid and a greater variation of wind and sun can be utilized.
    23 Nov 2010, 07:50 PM Reply Like
  • kmi
    , contributor
    Comments (3984) | Send Message
     
    Beacon is doing a project in my area.

     

    The technology is very niche and it seems to have seriously tremendous potential, I am a big fan of this company and what they do.

     

    The "big battery" concept for grid level storage, although there are places starting to employ it, I don't think it will take off. Batteries are batteries and over time they lose efficiency, I feel Beacon will be very competitive in this space if it markets effectively.

     

    In terms of improving the grid there's a few good ideas out there (Bloom Boxes) but I suspect solutions of this type will gain momentum over time.
    24 Nov 2010, 02:59 AM Reply Like
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