Some technologies provide short-term energy storage, while others can endure for much longer. Bulk energy storage is currently dominated by hydroelectric dams, both conventional as well as pumped.
Energy storage systems are the key to the future of our energy system. The ability to store excess power from renewable sources for times when the sun doesn’t shine, the wind doesn’t blow or the rain doesn’t fall, is crucial to the move away from fossil fuels.
Further to the renewable energy needs, our energy grid infrastructure is under strain as it has to be built to cope with peak demands which happen for very small proportions of the time & is inefficient use of resources. To be able to store energy locally to demand, reduces the costs & inefficiencies of a heavy-duty centralised grid.
Nowadays, everyone just thinks of batteries; AAs, Phone batteries or Electric Vehicle batteries. However, energy comes in multiple forms including radiation, chemical, gravitational potential, electrical potential, electricity, elevated temperature, latent heat and kinetic. Energy storage involves converting energy from forms that are difficult to store to more conveniently or economically storable forms. Other types of energy storage include hot water, compressed air, hydroelectric dams, which stores energy in a reservoir as gravitational potential energy, and ice storage tanks, which store ice frozen by cheaper energy at night to meet peak daytime demand for cooling.
It is important to explore and use all forms of Energy storage, not just rechargeable batteries & when using rechargeable batteries, not to just throw Lithium Ion at every solution. At ZLC, we consider the embodied energy & whole life footprint prior to recommendation of a solution.