Energy Storage and Delivery

Energy Storage and Delivery


Storage – All forms of energy are either potential energy or kinetic energy (thermal energy). Examples for potential energy are chemical, gravitational or electrical energy. A battery stores readily convertible chemical energy to power our lap tops for example. A hydroelectric dam stores energy as a gravitational potential energy. Chemical fuels such as coal, gasoline, diesel fuel, natural gas are form of energy storage. However, these produce greenhouse gases when used. Carbon-free energy carriers, such as hydrogen, or carbon-neutral energy carriers, such as cellulosic ethanol, biodiesel, are needed to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Some of the Storage Methods are:

  • Chemical: Hydrogen, Biofuels
  • Electrochemical: Batteries
  • Electrical: Capacitor
  • Mechanical: Hydroelectric energy storage
  • Thermal: Solar Pond

Hydrogen is the most abundant element on earth. But it doesn’t occur naturally as a gas. It’s always combined with other elements. Hydrogen can be produced from a wide variety of domestic resources and be burned as a fuel or converted into electricity. Hydrogen has very high energy for its weight, but very low energy for its volume requiring new technology for its storage and transportation. Fuel cells harness the chemical energy of hydrogen to generate electricity without combustion or pollution.

US DOE Clean Energy Demonstrations Office initiated Regional Clean Hydrogen Hubs program to establish six to 10 regional clean hydrogen hubs across America.

Clean hydrogen hubs will create networks of hydrogen producers, consumers, and local connective infrastructure to accelerate the use of hydrogen as a clean energy carrier that can deliver or store tremendous amounts of energy. One of the goals is to reach 100 percent clean electrical grid by 2035 and net-zero carbon emissions by 2050.

Hydrogen energy has the power to slash emissions from multiple carbon-intensive sectors and open a world of economic opportunity to clean energy businesses and workers across the country. Getting hydrogen right would mean unlocking a new source of clean, dispatchable power, and a new method of energy storage. It would mean another pathway for decarbonizing heavy industry and transportation.

Some of the FESC faculty focused on leading edge hydrogen research and technology development in the past through NASA Glenn Research Center grant ($31M). The program was managed by UF and FSEC. Some of the research focus areas were Fuel Cells, Hydrogen Production Processes, Cryogenic Transport, Storage and Cryofuels, and Hydrogen Leak Detection via Distributed Micro-sensors and Laser Instrumentation. The links below provide more information:

Renewable Energy Delivery – One of the challenges facing the electric power industry is harnessing the renewable energy and delivering them in a useable form. Many renewable energy resources such as solar, wind, and ocean energy are intermittent. They are not available on a continuous basis. For example solar energy is available during day time but not at night. Having the capability of storing renewable energy sources off-peak and releasing it during on-peak periods allows supply to more closely match demand. For example, a storage system (batteries) attached to a solar panel could store energy captured during day time. The stored energy can then be utilized at night time making solar electricity to be used both day and night.

Information Links

Energy storage (Wikipedia encyclopedia)
U.S. Department of Energy’s Energy Storage Program