A perfect way of storing electricity generated by wind turbines has been elusive so far. Ideas like super-sized batteries, compressed air and hydroelectric storage have all been floated. One company though thinks the answer could be as simple as making ice.
Calmac has come up with a storage system called IceBank that uses the energy generated at off-peak night-time hours to make ice. That stored ice is then used for cooling purposes during high-demand daytime hours. The company claims that reducing electricity demand for cooling can cut energy costs by 20 - 40 percent. That reduction also means fewer emissions from power plants.
This a great solution for harnessing wind power that might otherwise go to waste during night-time hours. And it's pretty low-tech - no need for lithium or rare earth minerals - just a souped up ice maker.
written by Shane, November 21, 2009
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