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A totally new concept in electricity Storage
#11
Pumped hydro storage currently makes up the largest share of energy storage systems in the world. But finding a good spot to build a regular hydro dam is getting difficult enough. And for pumped hydro, you need 2 big dams in close proximity yet with as much altitude separation as possible - that's damn hard to find. And of course you enough consistent water inflow to at least keep up with evaporation and seepage, which is a very tall order for many places in the world.

These alternate systems with concrete blocks / heavy trains / gravel / etc are interesting because they can be constructed just about anywhere with a steep hill and some empty space. And adding capacity is as simple as adding more blocks.
I think in the future, these mechanical solutions will provide cheap bulk storage, and battery systems will provide expensive but instant response grid stabilization systems.
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#12
For using hydro, I've been thinking of using one of these:



I collect pallets for various projects, and figure to build a platform from them, place the tote on top, then plumb it in. The totes have at least 1.5" outlet. Some even have 2 or 2.25" outlet. Not sure if that'd be high enough to produce enough pressure to run anything worth while, though. 

Altho, pallets are free for me, and the totes cost about $50 a piece around here. So I can always build more water towers  Wink
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#13
From The Engineering Toolbox:
"A body of 1000 kg is elevated 10 m. The change in potential energy can be calculated as
Ep = (1000 kg) (9.81 m/s2) (10 m)
= 98100 J
= 98 kJ
= 0.027 kWh"

And that's before taking into account any pumping and turbine losses.
I doubt containers on towers will ever make sense vs a simple battery system. One really needs 2 dams and a mountain for this to be competitive.
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