Alternative Energy Storage

December 29, 2012

in Energy

Most energy storage thinking includes thermal fuel sources such as gasoline and other combustible hydrocarbon fuels, electric energy and storage such as solar cells, generators, batteries, windmills, waterwheels and so on. It is also possible to collect and store energy in a variety of alternative means.

Kinetic Energy Storage – energy can be stored by raising something with weight to a height so that it can be later used to drive a generator by allowing the weight to be lowered. Water can be pumped into an elevated storage container and then allowed to flow out, driving a water wheel or turbine that spins a generator. A large suspended ballast weight can be lifted by gears and then used to drive a generator as the gears are turned backwards. Heavy flywheels can be spun by available energy, then used to drive a generator to produce electricity.

Compressed Air Energy Storage – an air compressor can store compressed air when energy is available to run the compressor, then the compressed air can be bled off and used to drive a generator to produce electricy.

Thermal Ballast – large objects (blocks of stone or concrete, water tanks) can be used to absorb heat during the day and radiate warmth into surrounding areas by night, likewise becoming cooler at night and exuding coolness during the day. This process stabilizes the temperature of the environment near the ballast device. This is essentially how GEO-THERMAL temperature systems work, using the earth as the thermal ballast.

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