The Anonymous Widower

How To Store Excess Wind Power Underwater

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

The article talks why batteries are needed and then describes the Ocean Battery.

But one firm, which won a 2022 Best of Innovation award at the CES technology show earlier this year, believes it has the solution.

Dutch startup, Ocean Grazer, has developed the Ocean Battery, which stores energy below the wind farm.

When there is excess electricity the system pumps water from an underground reservoir into tough, flexible bladders that sit on the sea bed. You could think of them like big bicycle inner tubes.

The water in those tubes is under pressure, so when it is released the water flows quickly and is directed through turbines, also on the sea bed, generating electricity when needed.

“The Ocean Battery, is effectively based on the same technology as hydro storage, where water is pumped back through a dam in a river, though we have transformed it into something you can deploy on the sea bed,” says chief executive Frits Bliek.

There is a visualisation of the system and a picture of their prototype.

September 21, 2022 Posted by | Energy, Energy Storage | , , | Leave a comment

Cummins Shows Hydrogen Internal Combustion-Engined Concept Truck At IAA Transportation Exhibition

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

These are the first two paragraphs.

Cummins believes hydrogen internal combustion engines (H2-ICE) will be suitable for the 10- to 26-tonne GVW range, and showed a concept vehicle at the IAA Transportation exhibition.

The truck, which is based on a Mercedes-Benz Atego 4×2, is fitted with Cummins’ new 6.7-litre B6.7H engine. It is rated at 290hp, has a peak torque of 1,200Nm, and a range of up to 500km.

Alison Trueblood, Cummins executive director – on-highway business Europe, is extensively quoted in the article and it is worth reading what she says.

I believe that by providing a hydrogen infrastructure and converting trucks to hydrogen, by using similar techniques to Cummins could be a quick and effective way to improve air qualities in urban areas.

September 21, 2022 Posted by | Health, Hydrogen, Transport/Travel | , , , | Leave a comment

UK Cleantech Consortium Awarded Funding For Energy Storage Technology Integrated With Floating Wind

The title of this post, is the same ass that of this page on the UK Government’s Catapult Offshore Renewable Energy Web Site.

This is the introductory paragraph.

STORE, a UK-based cleantech consortium led by RCAM Technologies Limited, has been awarded £150,000 of funding to develop an advanced subsea energy storage technology manufactured using 3D printed concrete that could help offshore wind farms produce a steady and predictable energy output to the electricity grid.

This paragraph talks of the concept of Marine Pumped Hydro.

STORE is assessing the feasibility of integrating Marine Pumped Hydro (MPH) technology, which stores energy using hollow concrete spheres fitted with a hydraulic turbine and pump, with floating offshore wind plants in UK waters. In addition, the project advances the design of MPH systems and plans a prototype demonstration in the UK.

Note.

  1. The hollow concrete spheres are 3D-printed in concrete using the technology of RCAM Technologies.
  2. Spheres are structurally very strong.
  3. 3D printing of concrete is now mainstream technology and has been extensively used on the Elizabeth Line as I wrote about in The Story Behind The Concrete Panels On The Elizabeth Line.
  4. There is a visualisation on the Catapult web page, which shows several floating turbines, a floating sub station and several concrete hemispheres sitting on the seabed.
  5. The energy storage medium is sea water and air, which must be environmentally-friendly.

The technology is described in detail on this page of the STORE consortium web site.

  • The spheres are fifteen metres across.
  • The spheres can be installed at depths between 150 and 2000 metres.
  • The system has a round-trip efficiency is up to 70%, which is similar to pumped storage hydro.
  • The design life is 50 to 80 years.

I think that this system has possibilities.

This last paragraph in the Catapult web page gives a look into the future.

As well as improving the reliability and predictability of energy to the electricity grid, the project will support the cross sector transfer of UK offshore expertise and port infrastructure for use in renewable energy and create high-value UK jobs in engineering, construction, and operations and maintenance. This energy storage solution is ideally suited to coupling with floating wind plants and for powering offshore oil and gas assets from renewable energy. The 3D printed concrete also facilitates localized manufacturing and enables low cost fabrication of new and complex shapes that were previously not practical.

I also feel that if the concrete sphere energy storage can be made to successfully work, then the technology can surely be fitted to any offshore wind farm, by just adding the right number of spheres and connecting them to the offshore sub station.

The STORE Consortium

The STORE consortium has a web site, which has a heading of Innovative Subsea Energy Storage.

It describes the technology in this paragraph.

STORE is advancing a subsea energy storage technology called Marine Pumped Hydro (MPH). MPH uses large hollow concrete spheres on the seafloor to store mechanical energy in the form of pressure. MPH charges when seawater is pumped out of the spheres and releases energy to the grid when high-pressure water flows back into the spheres through a turbine. MPH features a patent-pending multi-sphere pod to increase the amount of energy stored and uses efficient 3D concrete printing to reduce manufacturing costs.

It sounds like an engineer with children, has been playing with them and their plastic toys in a bath and has had an Archimedes moment.

The project and its funding is described in this paragraph.

STORE was awarded £150,000 from the Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy Longer Duration Energy Storage Demonstration (LODES) competition. Phase 1 will deliver a Feasibility Study focused on the design and analyses for the UK. Phase 2, if awarded, will design, manufacture, and operate a prototype system at TRL 6.

Note that TRL 6 is Technology Readiness Level 6 and is fully defined on this NASA web page, as having a fully functional prototype or representational model.

There is also an interesting link to the ScotWind N3 wind farm. that I wrote about in ScotWind N3 Offshore Wind Farm.

  • This is an unusual floating wind farm with a floating substation.
  • Technip and Loch Kishorn port are involved in both the wind farm and STORE.
  • Loch Kishorn has a history of building immense concrete structures.

I wouldn’t be surprised if this wind farm would be the location of the prototype system.

Conclusion

This is a brilliant concept.

  • It is the ideal energy storage system for offshore wind, as it can turn a wind farm with a variable output into one with a much more constant output.
  • It can be retrofitted to existing offshore wind farms.
  • It will work with both fixed and floating wind farms.
  • The concrete storage spheres can be fully assembled with all their electrical gubbins on shore and towed out, before sinking in the required position.

It also looks like the Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy have got involved and helped with the funding. Someone there seems to know a good idea, when they see it!

 

September 21, 2022 Posted by | Energy, Energy Storage | , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment