Mechanical Energy Storage
Monday, 25 February, 2019
Energy storage is becoming increasingly important, especially in energy-management schemes, because it provides the capability of using off-peak power, generated by highly efficient base-load units to supply peak-period demands. Peaking power is usually generated by those units on a utility system that are least efficient and more costly to operate.
So far, only pumped-hydro energy storage has been able to satisfy the high-capacity requirements of the electric utilities. But sites for such plants are becoming increasingly scarce or are being ruled out by environmental considerations, so other energy storage methods are being actively considered, particularly in government funded research projects.
In the field of mechanical energy storage, compressed air found a permanent place among other mechanical energy storage possibilities, such as flywheel for example, because it can be implemented on a large scale in the utility systems already today. Air storage plants have been discussed for almost two decades, but they have not been used because no suitable machine has ever been specifically developed for this unique application. The advent of high pressure machines made the Air Storage System Energy Transfer (ASSET) Plants a commercial feasibility.
This paper will be devoted to the mechanical energy storage achievements by means of ASSET plants as of today and as planned in the future.
Mechanical Energy Storage is the largest form of energy storage around the Globe. It is comprised of systems such as, pumped hydro storage, compressed air energy storage and flywheels. These systems are widely used and are helpful on large scale in various industrial, commercial and residential uses.
Energy storage technologies store the energy generated by wind and solar energy sources in shorter timeframes. These technologies could switch fossil fuels and reduce greenhouse gas emissions. The global energy demand is experiencing a huge upturn due to booming population across the globe. Owing to the long distance between generation and consumption of energy, there is often a chance of supply interruption and network failures which further induces high demand for mechanical energy storage.
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