Tags

, , , ,

So I was just doing some reading for my Energy class and I was on the chapter about renewable energy generation.  Solar, wind, hydro…I knew the deal.  But then I started reading and I learned a bit more about their efficiencies, costs, and limitations.  I never knew hydroelectric was so efficient!  It can reach levels pushing 80%…like 3-4 times above fossil fuel plants (non cogeneration).  And of course wind is cheap and actually pretty straightforward, but it’s too intermittent to contribute a large proportion of energy.  Citing is always a problem but the government can create incentives to work around that.  So why not combine these two? What if we generate electricity from wind during the day and use it immediately to lower peak demand.  Energy generated at night, when demand and price are low, could be used to pump water vertically into a storage container.  That water would then be dropped down during the day to create hydroelectric power.  Since wind turbines are pushing 50% efficiency and hydro is pushing 80%, we could be looking at about 40% efficiency (discounting the pumping machinery which I’m unfamiliar with) which is entirely clean!  I need to look into this.  Potential capstone?  Maybe.

Advertisements