US wants big, revolutionary energy storage systems

Renewable energy places many challenges on electrical grid

Looking for a major new ways to harness wind, solar and other evolving renewable energy, the US Department of Energy today issued a call for advanced large-scale energy storage system technology.

The DOE said the goal of its solicitation is to identify and prove new concepts for applied research in materials chemistry, battery components, battery designs and any technologies that will lead to breakthroughs in grid energy storage.

10 hot energy projects that could electrify the world

Such technology will be focused on novel materials, electrodes, electrolytes, membranes and other components, along with new concepts for ultra low cost, high efficiency and long lasting energy storage systems. Emphasis is placed on highly innovative research proposals in areas that have the potential to have strong impact on large-scale energy storage in the future, the DOE stated.

The DOE went on to say the variable and stochastic nature of renewable sources makes solar and wind power difficult to manage.  To effectively use the intermittent renewable energy and enable its delivery, large-scale electrical energy storage is required. For example, storage systems operating near an intermittent, renewable wind energy source can smooth out wind variability and, if of sufficient scale, store off peak wind energy, the DOE stated.  

Big energy storage is an effective tool to improve the reliability, stability, and efficiency of the envisioned electrical grid of the future.  This grid will be significantly impacted by new demands, such as plug-in electrical vehicles, increased use of renewable energies, and smart grid controls. Large scale storage technology could shave the peaks from a user or utility load profile, increase asset utilization and delay utility upgrades, decrease fossil fuel use and provide high levels of power quality, while increasing grid stability. In addition, distributed energy storage near load centers can reduce congestion on both the distribution and transmission systems, the DOE stated. 

Follow Michael Cooney on Twitter: nwwlayer8  

Layer 8 Extra

Check out these other hot stories:

Three wicked cool car teams split $10M X Prize for advanced, fuel efficient vehicles

Former Yahoo exec. tries to outwit, outplay, outlast Survivor

FTC: Springsteen fans screwed by TicketMaster Web deception get refunds

Boeing teams with Space Adventures for spaceflight trips

NASA looks at horizontal, railgun-like rocket launcher

Security absurdity: US in sensitive information quagmire

Spaceflight formation flying test bed takes off

NASA Mars rover halfway to the promised crater

Supernova shrapnel slammed into meteorite

DARPA looking for extreme wireless interference buster

Military mobile apps store gets $6.4M to open

NASA preps ultimate Sun mission

Join the Network World communities on Facebook and LinkedIn to comment on topics that are top of mind.

Copyright © 2010 IDG Communications, Inc.

SD-WAN buyers guide: Key questions to ask vendors (and yourself)