Storing Electricity with Rail Storage Potentially – Literally

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Compared to the mechanics of chemical batteries, the idea behind rail storage is simple. During periods of low electricity demand, power is dispatched from the nearby grid to pull a chain of weighted train cars uphill.

And there they will sit—losing no power to degradation—until the grid has a period of high power demand. Then they are sent rolling downhill. Their momentum sends electrons back to the grid through a system of regenerative braking that uses the turning power of the wheels to generate electricity.

ARES predicts its operation will cost only half of what a pumped hydro project with similar energy output would require, and should have a much smaller environmental footprint.

This is actually very clever in that it covers up one of the gaping holes of the modern power grid – uneven availability. We flick on the lights, never pausing to think that that energy isn’t usually stored in batteries (that would be prohibitively expensive), but instead is simply shifted around the grid as needed.

Nifty gadgetry by ARES (Advanced Rail Energy Storage).
Quoted text via Scientific American.

This entry was posted in Gadgets by Heretic. Bookmark the permalink.

About Heretic

I design video games for a living, write fiction, political theory and poetry for personal amusement, and train regularly in Western European 16th century swordwork. On frequent occasion I have been known to hunt for and explore abandoned graveyards, train tunnels and other interesting places wherever I may find them, but there is absolutely no truth to the rumor that I am preparing to set off a zombie apocalypse. Nothing that will stand up in court, at least. I use paranthesis with distressing frequency, have a deep passion for history, anthropology and sociological theory, and really, really, really hate mayonnaise. But I wash my hands after the writing. Promise.

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