The Anonymous Widower

New Energy Storage “Water Battery” Breakthrough: Look Ma, No Underground Powerhouse

The title of this post, is the same as that of this article on CleenTechnoca.

Pumped hydro storage as used at Dinorwig power station or Electric Mountain in the UK is a good way to store electricity.

But it is expensive to build and one of the major costs is building a large underground powerhouse. This is Wikipedia’s description of the construction of the powerhouse at Dinorwig.

Twelve million tonnes (12,000,000 long tons; 13,000,000 short tons) of rock had to be moved from inside the mountain, creating tunnels wide enough for two lorries to pass comfortably and an enormous cavern 51 metres (167 ft) tall, 180 metres (590 ft) long, and 23 metres (75 ft) wide[10] known as “the concert hall”. The power station comprises 16 kilometres (9.9 mi) of tunnels, one million tons of concrete, 200,000 tons of cement and 4,500 tons of steel.

That is big, but on the other hand, it reportedly paid for itself in two years.

According to the article, a company called Obermeyer Hydro Inc has come up with a new design of pumped storage turbine., which eliminated the need for an underground powerhouse.

  • Cost savings of 45 % are claimed.
  • Reading the full article, I get the impression, that a radical redesign of the reversible turbine will be a game-changer.
  • I suspect, it could be of benefit in small countries like the UK, where pumped storage is expensive and faces strong opposition in certain areas.

It is also significant, that this appears to be successful innovation in an area, where it was thought we had reached the ultimate design.

 

August 25, 2020 - Posted by | Energy, Energy Storage | , ,

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