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View Diary: This Week in Renewable Energy News: Low Cost Thermal Storage (47 comments)

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  •  I realize that it's technically possible (1+ / 0-)
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    But is it an efficient enough method of storing excess energy to make it worth implementing commercially, and is it actually in use anywhere on a more than experimental scale? I can see a lot of inefficiency given how much energy conversion and transfer has to take place in both storage and release.

    "Liberty without virtue would be no blessing to us" - Benjamin Rush, 1777

    by kovie on Sun Nov 18, 2012 at 06:40:01 AM PST

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    •  Apparently, yes, it is operating now. (2+ / 0-)
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      jamess, Sandino

      Renewable Energy World: Balancing the Grid with Pumped Storage

      Profiles of current pumped-storage activity in representative countries worldwide indicate the type of work being undertaken and the potential for this technology to continue to expand. The following represents only a fraction of the total work under way worldwide.


      Pumped-storage activity is strong, with several utilities working on new construction and rehabilitation projects.

      German utility EnBW Kraftwerke AG is advancing construction of the 270-MW Forbach project at Schwarzenbach Dam. The utility plans to expand the century-old 70-MW Rudolf Fettweis project by adding an upper reservoir of 1.8 million m3 above the existing Schwarzenbach Reservoir of 14 million m3, adding an underground lower reservoir, and installing two powerhouses. This work is part of a multi-year programme by EnBW to expand and modernise existing hydro plants.

      Meanwhile Vattenfall Europe Generation AG awarded a contract to Stellba Hydro to refurbish pump-turbine sets at the 80-MW Wendefurth project in Saxony-Anhalt State. The utility plans to refurbish two 40-MW units, including modification or repair of turbine parts.

      In other activity, Schulchseewerk AG commissioned a consortium headed by ILF Consulting Engineers to provide design services for the 1400-MW Atdorf plant in Baden-Wurttemberg. ILF will include tender design, construction design, construction, site supervision and supervision of start-up. The plant, scheduled to begin operating in 2019, is meant to help improve the integration of renewable energies into the energy supply system and contribute to the future security of supply.

      In a unique twist on traditional pumped storage, RWE and RAG signed a letter of intent in December 2010 to co-develop integrated pumped-storage hydro and wind projects at RAG's coal slag heap sites. The concept would integrate intermittent wind output with the flexible response of pumped-storage hydro to provide steady, dependable power. The planned combined plant will use wind power at times of high output to pump water to a reservoir on top of the waste heap, some 50 metres higher up. A pilot project at RAG's waste dump at Halde is proposed.

      This article has a nice map, if you want to start calling around. Hydro Review Policies & Regulations: What's So Hard about Licensing a Pumped-Storage Project?

      -7.75 -4.67

      "Freedom's just another word for nothing left to lose."

      There are no Christians in foxholes.

      by Odysseus on Sun Nov 18, 2012 at 10:03:56 AM PST

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