What are the energy storage devices?

Concepts of rational energy consumption are becoming increasingly relevant against the general background of technological development. This is due to the fact that energy efficiency as such has passed from the category of additional and often exclusive properties to the rank of one of the key consumer characteristics of the product. Suffice it to recall the simplest batteries that are used in digital technology, electrical equipment, power tool equipment, etc. There are more large-scale applications of energy storage systems, for which the economy of energy consumption is especially important. And this request responds to the specialized manufacturers who produce energy drives with improved performance.

energy storage

General information about energy storage

In nature, there are many permanent and inexhaustible sources of energy, which is used to serve the various needs of mankind.But for its final use, it must go through many stages of processing and accumulation. This function is performed by power stations and substations. The list of their immediate tasks includes the generation of energy with acceptable characteristics for use, as well as its conversion and distribution. The main infrastructure for energy supply of residential buildings, industrial facilities, engineering equipment and other responsible consumers is implemented through fixed-line power grids. They provide a constant supply, but today the demand for autonomous equipment, devices and electrical appliances is steadily growing. Especially for such consumers, a capacitive energy storage device is used, which is an independent power source, but conditionally - at certain intervals it should also be charged from the same fixed networks. The simplest example of such a drive is a telephone battery. For example, the element Li-Ion may have a capacity of about 2000-3000 mAh. It will be enough for several hours or days of autonomous operation of the serviced device, depending on its model.But after exhausting this volume, the battery must be connected to a 220 V outlet for recovery.

capacitive energy storage

Mechanical drives

This category of drives has the longest history of existence. To illustrate such devices, one can cite as an example gravitational systems. Today they are hardly used anymore, but previously, overhead gate with counterweights were widely distributed. They use the energy of the cargo, which is accumulated and at the right time returns in one form or another - it depends on the structural performance of the drive. In addition to the usual goods, the liquid acts as an active accumulating element. The advantages of such systems include structural flexibility. Engineers could use extensive network of pipelines, passing through which the water gave energy to the associated tanks. In our time, such energy storage devices are presented in the form of pumped storage stations. True, liquid accumulating devices are characterized by a short storage time, since water evaporates and requires regular updating.

electrical energy storage devices

Kinetic drives

This group is mainly represented by oscillatory mechanisms in which the accumulation process is realized through reciprocating, rotational or linear motions of the same load. A feature of such structures is that, if necessary, the return of energy will be carried out just as continuously, and in batches - in steps. A classic example of a kinetic drive is a mechanical watch. In this case, the “charge” is produced by means of the plant mechanism, followed by the gradual release of energy from the spring pendulum. A more modern interpretation of the kinetic mechanisms is a gyroscopic battery. The energy storage device in this case is based on a rotating flywheel with a shock function. Such systems are used in hydraulic and pneumatic technology.

Heat accumulators

energy store for the phone

From a technological point of view, this is the simplest example of the accumulation of energy, with the processes of which man is found everywhere. The metal fence, heated under the direct rays of the sun, is already becoming a heat accumulator, since it retains it in its structure.Other materials may also act as heat accumulators. The effectiveness of their work in this quality will depend on the specific and volumetric heat capacity. For example, the heat capacity of water is 4.2 kJ, and for steel it is small - only 0.46 kJ. And yet, when it comes to targeted accumulation, metal storage of thermal energy or oil is more often used. This decision is justified by the desire to optimize the design. Modern convectors and radiators are predominantly made of steel and aluminum. Again, some models are filled with more profitable materials in terms of thermal energy retention.

Electric energy storage

The most massive form of energy is electricity. Therefore, this category is developing most actively, offering new and more advanced solutions. At the moment, the most common battery of electricity is a radio capacitor. It is characterized by a high rate of recoil and energy storage, without limiting work processes to environmental conditions. For example, most models can be used in conditions of elevated or extremely low temperatures.And again, in order to optimize electrical energy storage devices are filled with special electrolytic cells with high specific capacity.

Chemical Storage

battery energy storage

In the process of such drives, a chemical reaction occurs. The source of energy in this case will be the organization of the conditions for this reaction and ensuring the activity of the components involved. Moreover, the output can form different types of energy. For example, hydrogen may be released from water during direct electrolysis. Most often with such methods of accumulation it is the fuel that is released. It can be transformed inside the complex providing a chemical reaction or transferred to the consumer in its original form. Therefore, energy storage devices can act as converters, although such an expansion of functions technically complicates the system.

Electrochemical drives

heat energy storage devices

This type of drives, as the name implies, is a combination or hybrid. Since chemical reactions are distinguished by a high degree of efficiency and low cost, they are logically combined with the task of generating the most demanded type of energy - electricity.The active element in such devices is the electrolyte. In particular, the energy storage device for the phone is usually made on the basis of lithium-ion or lithium-polymer elements. The same applies to battery packs for power tools. According to the characteristics it is quite profitable batteries, characterized by decent performance, high capacity and small size. But electrochemical batteries have a limited number of charge-discharge cycles, what is their main disadvantage.

Modern solutions

Advanced high-tech companies are promoting the direction of capacitive batteries. For example, Tesla engineers created a 122kg Powerwall 2 unit, based on the same lithium-ion batteries. This unit is modular and can store about 13.5 kWh. Similar development offers LG. For example, the Chem RESU system holds about 10 kWh, but in other performance qualities it is not inferior to the Tesla unit. This battery is a universal energy storage device that can be used both in everyday life and in industry for production.The main thing is that the power meets the requirements for consuming systems.

universal energy storage

Conclusion

In the segment of energy storage, there are also different directions of technological development. They unite only one thing - meeting the requirements of the final consumers. For example, the storage of electrical energy for small-sized equipment and equipment must meet the requirements of reliability and reliability. A wide market for digital technology is more likely to focus on compact drive sizes and increasing their capacity. It is obvious that it is not easy to combine all the listed qualities in one device, so developers still strive to initially orient their products to specific areas of application.

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