One of the current issues faced by the use of renewable energy is that they have to be stored in batteries when the sun does not shine or there is no wind.
In a world that is moving towards renewable sources, like solar energy or wind turbines, taking into consideration all possible factors is fundamental. Despite their low impact, their immense efficiency, and their cheaper costs, sometimes we might have a cloudy week or the wind might not blow. This is where the Ocean Battery steps in.
The Dutch company Ocean Grazer has developed an ocean battery that will allow the storage of renewable energy underwater. This prototype was presented in the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas, USA this past 5th of January.
“No one has resolved the global energy storage problem in a scalable, reliable and affordable way - up till now! Ocean Grazer offers a brilliant yet simple solution, based on existing technology, enhancing marine life along the way.” -Ocean Grazer’s press release.
According to the company, the Ocean Battery will resolve the societal challenge to provide access to renewable power generation without hindering our efforts to meet the climate goals. This battery is a pumped hydro-system in a box that provides an eco-friendly approach to energy storage with up to GWh scale with their underwater turbines energy storage technology.
The mechanism is based on hydro dam technology, which has proven to be reliable and efficient for over a century. It stores energy by pumping water from the rigid reservoirs into the flexible bladders on the seabed. Then, energy is stored as potential energy in the form of water that is under high pressure.
When there is demand for this energy, water flows back from the flexible bladders to the low pressure rigid reservoirs. Driving these multiple hydro turbines will be producing electricity for large scale projects. Moreover, eolic turbines, floating solar panel farms and systems that use ocean movement will be placed in the area.
One of the principal challenges faced by the use of clean energy is that they need to be backed up by a storage system that works even when the sun is not shining or the wind does not blow.
According to Frits Bliek, executive director of the company, the Ocean Battery has an efficiency of around 80% of energy storage. This means it should operate without difficulties for over 20 years. Moreover, they plan to place the first battery underwater in 2025 and one inland in the Netherlands in 2023.
Image from the Ocean Battery from Ocean Grazer's webpage