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Markus Dirnbacher's picture
Director, ENcome Energy Performance

AMA - I‘ll be happy to answer all questions. For information upfront please check my LinkedIn profile. All the best, Markus

  • Member since 2020
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  • Oct 6, 2021

Continuously changing the power infrastructure from primary energy to secondary energy comes with some downfalls. The biggest challenge to overcome for these rather momentary power sources is the imminent need to consume the generated electricity or heat. As in contrast to fossil fuels, control is another characteristic renewable energy sites usually don’t provide. Due to this, some argue that the application of battery farms to renewable generation sites is the best solution. However, in this blog post, we will look at other, often underrated, long-term storage options.  

Matt Chester's picture
Matt Chester on Oct 6, 2021

A benefit of some of the smaller battery / storage options is they can be placed closer to the source of consumption, reducing losses in a way that massive builds can't always do. 

Markus Dirnbacher's picture
Markus Dirnbacher on Oct 6, 2021

Indeed, Matt. Consumption at/around the generation site is brilliant. Hence, I’m a big fan of prosumers on the micro-scale, and on-build battery farms to existing renewable generation sites, on a bigger scale.

Bob Meinetz's picture
Bob Meinetz on Oct 7, 2021

"This new technology proposal might sound odd in the beginning, but it is brilliant. By stacking colossal cement blocks on top of each other to form a circle around the lifting tower, energy can be used when available and released when needed."

Markus, I first read of a proposal for storing energy by hoisting concrete blocks into the air at least 30 years ago. It generated a flurry of excitement, then disappeared. Like a brood of cicadas it re-emerged from the ground every thirteen years or so, until recently. Now it's more or less an annual event.

It sounds promising until you do the math. Example: a 55-gallon oil drum, when filled with concrete, will weigh roughly .655 metric tonnes. If you hoist it atop another such drum, and do it with perfect efficiency, you will have stored 5,708 joules of potential energy - less than one-third of the energy storage capacity of your cellphone. Not so brilliant, after all.

The last thing we need at this stage of the game is another desperate attempt to justify the intermittency of solar and wind energy - they're losers. For their proponents to take their ball and go home is long overdue.

Markus Dirnbacher's picture
Markus Dirnbacher on Oct 8, 2021

Very intersting numbers, Bob. We will amend the blogpost soon via implementing electricity to electricity benchmarks and try to work out the efficiency this way. 


I didn't know that this is a reoccuring technology; thank you for that. 

Jim Stack's picture
Jim Stack on Oct 8, 2021

Markus, A very interesting and timely topic. The GRID has not have good storage options for 100 years but as you show the need is very big to balance the changing loads and demand. You mention QUOTE= long-term storage options. Yet from what I have seen the biggest needs are for fast acting energy exactly when needed. It is usually not long therm.

    So for good Return on Investment and power that matches the needs in nano seconds are Lithium batteries. They can be deployed anyplace, they react in nano seconds and don't take up a lot of room. Today in 2021 they have 10 year warranties and that is getting better with each new version.  

Markus Dirnbacher's picture
Thank Markus for the Post!
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