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Gravitational (potential) energy storage
wolf_gray wrote in ideas_free

The hottest topic of nowadays is energy shortage. There are a lot of discussions about alternative sources, conservation and the ways of saving.
One of the unsolved problems is energy storage in a large quantity which cause to non renewable losses, necessity in spare power and its maintenance.
According to the author opinion the best energy storage device for nowadays is Gravitational Accumulator (GA) that is a goods elevation and subsequent energy generation during its lowering...

The advantages of GA as compared with other devices are:
a)      It doesn’t pollute the environment as chemical accumulators.
b)      The efficiency is higher than hydraulic and pneumatic accumulators.
c)      There are no capacity limitations.
d)      Not dangerous like flywheel.
e)      Inexpensive maintenance.
f)        Energy keeping time is unlimited!
There are a lot of advantages as we could see, but a method is using in large measure only in Pumped storage hydroelectricity. Pumped storage hydroelectricity is a method of storing and producing electricity to supply high peak demands by moving water between reservoirs at different elevations. Correspondingly to Wikipedia {1} not more than 70% to 85% of the electrical energy used to pump the water into the elevated reservoir can be regained, because evaporation losses from the exposed water surface and conversion losses. Also we will know from the article that the technique is currently the most cost-effective means of storing large amounts of electrical energy.
But, besides the low efficiency the way is very expensive in construction. Low density of water occupies a large areas and damages the environment.
An another way described in US patent {2}. The invention relates to a system for generating electrical power using hydraulic supports on which a building structure is mounted. A pump injects fluid into the supports to raise the building structure and thereby store energy in the elevated structure. A valve can be opened to deliver fluid under pressure to a turbine to generate electricity. The method, apparently, isn’t implemented because limitations in a weight of a building, its stiffness and lifting height.
  In order to eliminating forenamed disadvantages author proposes to use GA in acting or closed mines and their infrastructure. Function of potential energy accumulate mass will execute heavy materials from concrete to lead. The burden stores on mine’s carriages on railways on land and below in mine. The elevator loads-unloads by simple mechanisms (for example, from heavy industry automatic equipment). There isn’t necessity in manpower. At night, while there is a plenty of energy, the loaded carriages lifting up on land surface and in the day time possible to bring them down with returning energy to network. At the acting mines it is possible utilize energy of sink carriages directly for elevating of coal (ore) without transformations potential energy to electricity and back. For reference: only in USA there are more than 600 thousands abandoned mines.
For example with existent mine elevator. Output – 2090 kilowatt. Raising velocity is 55 kilometer per hour. Carrying - 34,000 kg. Moving of two lifts simultaneously (one up and other down) allow raising 7,000 ton during 10 hours for mine, that depth is 1 km. Burden sinking will return to electric network 19,000 kilowatt hours.
 Admit that 19 kilowatt hours are average day family (four people) consumption of electricity.  Then, the energy accumulated in our example enough for 4,000 habitant’s town. 
 The consumer is far from mines? This isn’t problem: maybe it close to canyons or mountains. Steep electric railways are suitable too!
tilizing of GA in areas with artificial or natural altitude differences allow quick, cheap and no environment damage - decrease energy cost.
Used sources:   - Article in Wikipedia about the Pumped-storage hydroelectricity
Patent US6860068: Potential energy storage system
The author of this concept - SD&D firm - is looking for investor for this idea. We spent some time in development of the idea and (according to our ability) and we want to continue the work. So, if you like the idea and want to contribute your opinion, money or something other - you are welcome.



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