Development of Experimental-Industrial LWS began in February this year. By that time the project had passed a series of expert reviews including those of the Ministry of Energy, Ministry of Education and Science, the Skolkovo Innovation Center and others. As a result, the development have been directly supported by the National Technology Initiative, the Russian Government’s fund RVC, ROSNANO and a number of big industrial companies.
As Anatoly Chubais noted in his interview, the Skolkovo Innovation Center has been selected as a place to build the LWS in, so in the end of October our team presented the project at the Center’s Planning Council meeting. Such meetings take place once a month to discuss the architectural concepts of future buildings.
At the meeting architect Daria MIkhailova presented our vision of Experimental-Industrial LWS that accounted for Skolkovo’s concept of creation of a new innovative ecosystem. Thanks to its cylindrical shape and a special loading — distribution system the building of 80 m in height (the height of industrial-size LWS can reach 300 m) becomes well — protected from winds. The cover will be reinforced with the so-called Shukhov’s net, and the storage’s basement will be 32 meters in diameter. The cover will host the bearing structure, weights and recuperative lifts. The complex will also include a two-store building to place control and presentation rooms. The LWS’s expected power and capacity will be 4 MW and 0.5 MWh respectively. These are enough to test the industrial-size elements of the storage system and demonstrate their effectiveness.
The Council’s meeting was attended by renown architects such as Sergey Kuznetsov (Moscow’s Chief Architect), Boris Bernaskoni (the Bernaskoni Bureau), Matsuura Hiroki (Maxwan Architects + Urbanists), Etienne Trico (AREP) and others. All the participants view the project favorably and made valuable proposals concerning the considered architectural concept. Besides the architectural solutions, the participants also wanted to learn more about the LWS technology, and its advantages if compared to pump hydro. Detailed answers to their questions were given by Sergey Soloboev, our Director for Development.
The ENERGOZAPAS Company’s current What to Do list includes consideration of the recommendations given by the participants of the Council meeting; conclusion of a land lease agreement with the Skolkovo Innovation Center; and performing engineering and geodesy survey, so by the summer of 2019 we will have obtained a construction license and started building the Experimental-Industrial LWS.
We just came back from the AtomExpo International Forum that took place in Sochi on May 14-16. The event brought together the leaders of the nuclear industry to discuss the industry’s current state of affairs and future development.
Sochi received the tenth AtomExpo that has already earned its reputation of a renowned international platform for knowledge share and establishing contacts in the industry. This year it has summoned 6000 participants from 60 countries.
At the event we had a chance to acknowledge ourselves with the cut-edge developments and trends in the industry and discuss cooperation opportunities with those who expressed their interest in the ENERGOZAPAS project, including such companies as ROSATOM, Doka, Belleli Energy, I2EN and others.
We were also able to discuss such issues as growing demand for energy storage in the context of RES industry in the Persian Gulf countries; and development of energy storage solutions for nuclear-power plants to provide flexible load management. The discussions have confirmed our assumptions there is a growing interest in high-capacity storages having no specific requirements for their placement.
In the end of April our team visited the WIRE trade fair in Dusseldorf. Our goal was to get familiarized with the companies and their products as well as a search for potential subcontractors to produce wires and belts as they are one of the key elements of LWS.
Our team visited the stands and exchange contacts with the representatives of the companies that produce wires and ropes, extrusion equipmentand different gauges. We acquired for test articles of wires and ropes, so we could estimate their quality.
The goal of the trip has been achieved, so now we are preparing experimental stands to test the acquired articles, and continuing to discuss different technical and economic issues with the producers.
We have just come back from an international energy storage trade fair that summoned participants from 61 countries. The event took place from the 13th to the 15th of March and brought to the public a variety of electrical, thermal, chemical and mechanical techniques of energy storage that no other exhibition had managed to present. "No other trade fair in the world covers the entire spectrum of energy storage solutions. Every year, new players enter the still young market with innovative solutions - often with new technological approaches to energy storage", says Hans Werner Reinhard, Managing Director of Messe Düsseldorf.
German Energy Storage Association энергии (Bundesverband Energiespeicher e. V. - BVES) estimates that in 2018 the industry will grow by about 11 percent to reach 5.1 bln Euro with medium-sized companies being the key drivers of this growth.
The participants demonstrated their innovative projects and shared their experience and knowledge of the market. Our delegation has managed to set a number of useful contacts. For example, we had a very interesting talk with the Gravity Energy AG representative who told us last year in Germany 5 PSP project had been declined and presented their innovative concept. Gravity Energy AG has been developing an ecologically-friendly gravity storage in which a metal piston moves underground. The company is currently building a demonstrator of 92 meters in depth and 11 meters in diameter. As in exchange, we told them about the LWS project.
If nothing is done in advance to secure an LWS weight while it travels vertically, the motion may produce axial and lateral vibrations with quite a negative effect on the whole structure. Our task is to exclude such vibrations and make sure the weight “kisses” the hinges when fixed at the top and bottom of a shaft, for example, the solution used in LWS Prototype to kill the lateral vibrations was metal pipes as vertical guides. But after scaling, this solution will significantly increase the total cost of LWS.
As an alternative, our engineers suggested using fiberglass guides. Theoretically, such guides won’t be able to mitigate low-amplitude lateral vibrations since they don’t have high lateral stiffness. On the other hand, there is a hypothesis saying this requirement is farfetched. The clear-cut answer requires an experiment and this is one of the cases when its cost is lower than the one of numerical modeling since the last would require a complete computation of the whole system’s dynamic stiffness with account for the electric motor’s pulley vibrations. However, in this particular case, we have all the needed facilities to carry out the experiment and scale its results for Industrial pilot LWS with the high degree of accuracy.
As a preparatory step for the experiment, our team has developed a fatigue test stand to test fiberglass reinforcements. The stand will help us understand the degrees fiberglass’s wear and tear after sliding friction against different materials and select an appropriate combination for the reinforcements. During the tests, the stand’s replaceable breaks adhere to a fiberglass rod moving lengthwise. The design of the stand enables us to change both the breaks’ adhesion degree and the rod’s velocity. The counter shows the number of cycles performed, while the changing mass of the rod allows estimating the guide’s useful life. When the tests are over, we select the best combination of the materials to carry out a live experiment for weight vibration at LWS Prototype.