The Infrastucture Report - 7 views
Not only can we have sustainable energy, but more food and oxygen. Never before has a plan integrated all these things. www.st1llc.org The Infrastructure Report
A single 25-meter sphere at a depth of 400 meters could store up to 6 megawatt-hours of power, so a large offshore wind farm with hundreds or even thousands of those could become a giant on-demand battery, potentially producing as much power as large power plants (it all depends on how far you scale up the idea). These anchor/storage spheres could be built on land and then brought out to sea. No need for too much super-expensive deep sea construction.
Preliminary estimates indicate that one such sphere could be built and deployed at a cost of about $12 million, Hodder says, with costs gradually coming down with experience. This could yield an estimated storage cost of about 6 cents per kilowatt-hour — a level considered viable by the utility industry.
There’s a promising new entry in the race to build cheap batteries for storing energy from solar panels and wind turbines. Stanford researchers led by Yi Cui, a professor of materials science and engineering, have demonstrated a partially liquid battery made of inexpensive lithium and sulfur. Cui says the battery will be easy to make and will last for thousands of charging cycles.
Cui believes that the material and manufacturing costs of the battery might be low enough to meet the Department of Energy’s goal of $100 per kilowatt-hour of storage capacity, which the DOE estimates will make the technology economically attractive to utilities. Existing batteries can cost hundreds of dollars per kilowatt-hour of capacity, although several companies are working to commercialize cheaper ones (see “Ambri’s Better Battery” and “Battery to Take On Diesel and Natural Gas”).