These days, energy storages are one of the leading trends of power engineering. The world leaders in energy production keep increasing energy storage capacities.
According to Navigant Research, Japan, the USA, and China are current world leaders in the application of grid-scale energy storages. Annual investments into building of energy storages have exceeded 10 billion USD.
How are storages used in modern grids, and why have they become one of the key factors of grids development?
Power engineering industry of developed countries shows an increasing trend of switching to RES. However, renewable energy sources are still highly weather-dependent. At this point, an energy storage system can be very useful: it can accumulate RES energy when the demand is low and give it away when the demand is high.
Obsolete TPP facilities are replaced with energy storages. Facilities that are still in use will operate at constant power, which will ensure minimum wear and maximum efficiency. Such a strategy can cut the annual repair cost, increase the return on assets, and reduce environmentally harmful emissions.
As NPP facilities operate at constant power, the construction of new power plants requires interregional flows increase. Energy storages make it possible to save the excessive NPP energy and release it when needed thereby reducing the required amount of interregional traffic.
Energy storages lower the failure rate balancing the load on power plant equipment. Moreover, they can be an alternative to the hot-standby condition maintained at TTP facilities, which will reduce the fuel consumption rate.
Industrial production expansion causes power surges that overload electric power substations. Use of energy storages can smooth the peak demands significantly reducing the overload.
An energy storage can be used to accumulate electricity in one grid during off-peak hours and to deliver it to another grid when it is needed.
In the PHS, the energy is consumed to pump water from the lower basin to the higher basin and is released when water flows to the lower basin under gravity.
However, PHS technology has its limitations. Construction of a cost-effective PHS requires:
There is no way PHS plants can cover domestic demand for energy storage systems. We have made it our goal to develop a solution free from geographical limitations typical for the PHS technology while preserving its advantages.