24 Apr '11, 12am

“Drill, Baby, Drill” Can Store Gigawatts of Renewable Energy

“Drill, Baby, Drill” Can Store Gigawatts of Renewable Energy

“At the bottom of the shaft is a large concrete piston fitted to the shaft, called the “weight stack.” Also bored into the ground is a parallel but smaller-diameter “return pipe” that is connected to the main shaft at the top and bottom. Finally, the entire volume is filled with water and tightly sealed—air is compressible and its presence reduces the system effectiveness. In essence, the position of the weight stack in the shaft determines the amount of energy stored. During the energy storage process, off-peak electricity is used to power a pump that pushes water down the return pipe that will raise the weight stack from the bottom of the deep storage shaft. During a peak electricity demand period, the weight stack is released, which pushes the water up the return pipe, reversing the direction of rotation of the pump-turbine and producing electricity, much as in a typica...

Full article: http://cleantechnica.com/2011/04/23/drill-baby-drill-can-...

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