Dismiss Notice
Join Physics Forums Today!
The friendliest, high quality science and math community on the planet! Everyone who loves science is here!

Electrical Energy Storage

  1. Jun 24, 2007 #1
    Hi all

    I am totally new to this forum, so I do not know whether this has been posted before, and if so I appologize and hope that you can direct me to that thread.

    I am currently involved in a project regarding energy storage and I have found out that the major technology platforms are the following:

    Reversible fuel cells
    Electromagnetic fields
    Compressed air
    Thermal energy
    Pumped hydro

    My question is, if you know of some other types of energy storage technologies. It does not need to be fully developed and could be something that does not have a big potential now, but with some research could be a possible technology.

    Maybe you have heard of someone researching in another area than the ones mentioned above?

    Any suggestion will be appreciated :smile:


  2. jcsd
  3. Jun 24, 2007 #2


    User Avatar
    Science Advisor
    Gold Member

    It's not new but the nucleus of an atom has energy that can be tapped. i.e. nuclear power.
    Some where there was a discussion about wave energy from the ocean.

    P.S. Welcome to PF.
  4. Jun 24, 2007 #3


    User Avatar

    This example is a subset of thermal energy, but it's a
    bit distinctive in that the concept involves the load profile
    shifting of heavy industrial processes to do more work
    when there is a surplus of energy, and do less work
    when there is no surplus, so the industrial output itself is
    used as a 'battery' to even out the demand on the power
    Heat (or cold, as the case may be) is one form. It has
    gained some attention recently with respect to using
    large 'cold store' refrigerated warehouses' temperatures
    and heat capacities as 'storage' mechanisms for surplus
    energy such as wind or solar power. When an excess of
    instantaneously available cheap power from wind/solar
    is available, the cold stores activate their refrigeration
    systems and lower their temperatures consuming large
    amounts of the surplus of grid energy. They become
    a bit colder than necessary, and this excessively cold
    state holds sufficiently long as they very slowly warm up
    that the energy input to the facility can be reduced or
    eliminated during peak load times on the grid when a
    surplus of energy is not available.

    Also there's chemical / biomass energy stored from
    photosynthesis processes creating chemical energy that
    can be used later.

    There's kinetic energy other than a flywheel, for instance,
    using regenerative braking of an electric car / train as
    a generator converting the kinetic energy back into
    electrical energy.

    There's gravitational energy which would account for
    tidal energy, and also the source for certain high energy
    astrophysical jets, et. al.

    There's the energy flux of charged particles e.g. from
    the sun that are in motion, and this is something
    that's considered for some kinds of possible spacecraft

    There's vacuum energy and 'dark energy' which could
    be responsible for the universe's inflationary expansion
    or even the universe itself.... :)

    There are certain energies associated with phase changes
    of materials that are important e.g. in steam power,
    the hydrology cycles, et. al. heat of vaporization,
    heat of fusion / crystallization, et. al.

    There are quantum mechanical energy levels that
    are important technologically as well as physically,
    e.g. lasers.

    There's stress/strain energy which could be related
    to anything from a compressed spring to an
    earthquake fault.
  5. Jun 24, 2007 #4


    User Avatar
    Gold Member

    This is an article from science magazine. Your school should have access to their database. Here is the abstract:
    Baojin Chu, Xin Zhou, Kailiang Ren, Bret Neese, Minren Lin, Qing Wang, F. Bauer, and Q. M. Zhang
    Science 21 July 2006 313: 334-336

    If you need more papers on electric energy storage then scientific journals are a great place to look.
    Last edited: Jun 24, 2007
  6. Jun 29, 2007 #5
    That was exactly what I was looking for. I have been through a lot of scientific journals, but cannot find anything particularly new. And now I am kind of stuck. It would really help me a lot if you have heard about anything remotely related to energy storage...

Share this great discussion with others via Reddit, Google+, Twitter, or Facebook