Innovation and technology are continuously changing our life. New technologies and innovative ideas allow us to have a more comfortable life and build a better future for our planet.
Many industries are changing their working ethics, and one of those industries in the electricity sector. Nowadays the way energy is produced, transported and used is moving to a more efficient and clean position. In order to reach our final goal of having a clean grid in which renewables have a key role, an important technology is power storage.
Storing power for a long time was almost impossible a few years ago, when condensers where the only devices able to store energy for a short time. However, today different kinds of new batteries and ways of clean energy storage are starting to boost. Some of the new ways to store power in a clean way are:
- Wind-Hydrogen System: This technology consists of a wind farm that uses its surplus power to produce hydrogen (H) from water using an electrolyser, which liberates the produced O2 and stores H2. The produced hydrogen is stored in order to use it later to burn it together with Natural Gas, an action that has no negative effect on the quality of the natural gas, obtaining electricity or heat from it. The stored H2 could be also used for hydrogen cars. This technology enables us to store potential energy (H2) for a long time after obtaining it from a clean source. Wind-Hydrogen Systems have a great potential but are still under development. We can nowadays find two small trial plants, where investigation takes place in order to implement this technology in bigger plants, in Galicia, Spain, where 60 Nm3/h of hydrogen can be produced, and Brandenburg, Germany.
- Wind-Hydro-Pumped Station: This technology is based on using the surplus wind power coming from a wind farm to pump water to an upper pool. Therefore, the existing hydro-electrical plant can use the stored potential energy of water. An example of this technology is currently working in El Hierro Island, a small island of the Canary Islands, Spain. That project consists on two tanks with a total capacity of 530.000 m3 connected through a 6 MW pumping plant. The wind farm is made up of five 2,3 MW aero generators. Using this, El Hierro, which is a small island without electrical connection to other islands, has been able to save the consumption of 6000 tons of diesel annually, its source of energy before this plant was installed.
- Batteries: Last but not least, there are different types and sizes of batteries. They are usually big batteries prepared for businesses and utilities. However, Tesla has also launched a battery for homes, the Powerwall. The Powerwall is a 14 kWh battery that can be easily installed indoor and outdoor. With that power, it can power a two-bedroom home for a full day.
Many new ideas that make our world greener are continuously arising. Can you think of a different one?
Can you think of a clean technology that can be implemented in a real world project? Go on and show it in our challenges.