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What is over 4 miles long, is full of dirt and has a potential power output of 50 megawatts? If you're stumped, don't worry—not many people have heard of energy-storage-by-rail, a concept soon to be launched on the southwestern edge of Nevada. But its architects have high ambitions for a project they say could go a long way toward stabilizing the regional power grid.
If you're stumped, don't worrynot many people have heard of energy-storage-by-rail, a concept soon to be launched on the southwestern edge of Nevada. But its architects have high ambitions for a project they say could go a long way toward stabilizing the regional power grid.
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 sitlosing no power to degradationuntil 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.
“They go up, they go down, Slinky fashion,” said Francesca Cava, chief operating officer at Advanced Rail Energy Storage North America, the …
Much attention is likely to be devoted to California’s experiences with its storage mandate and whether this is successful in economically adding capacity to the grid and nurturing the still-nascent industry. In that, Roberts said, “We’re going to see different types of energy storage systems deployed for different uses,” which will increase visibility for the various roles storage can play.
Please Read Article At ScientificAmerican.com