One of the biggest problems of renewable energy is the issue of energy storage. The idea to meet this challenge was presented by the startup Ocean Grazer, who developed Ocean Battery – a type of battery operating on the seabed.
Many installations related to the production of green energy are in some way related to the sea. Large wind farms, floating photovoltaic plants or installations using the energy of tides or wave motion – all this infrastructure, along with numerous advantages, has a key disadvantage – it depends on external conditions and cannot operate continuously.
Energy storage at the bottom of the sea
They are to consist of a rigid, concrete reservoir located under the seabed, a system of pumps and turbines, and an external, flexible reservoir. In conditions of overproduction of energy, its excess is to be used to pump water from the concrete storage into a flexible reservoir.
When energy is scarce, it can be recovered by using the spontaneous, gravity-assisted flow of water from the reservoir to the warehouse located below the bottom, which drives the turbine assembly.
Underwater pumped storage power plant
The whole thing resembles the pumped storage power plants that have been known for years. Contrary to them, however, it does not depend on the favorable topography and does not have to be located in the mountains.
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According to the originators, one Ocean Battery installation is able to store up to 10 MWh of energy. Its efficiency – thanks to the possibility of regulating the water flow or installing additional turbines – is scalable.
The idea, developed since 2014, has recently been appreciated. At CES 2022, Ocean Grazer received the Best Of Innovation award for its underwater battery.