Germany successfully tested the underwater system of energy storage

Preservation of the received energy for the subsequent use is an extremely promising branch of the electric power industry development. One of the simplest ways is to store energy by pumping into the tank above the turbine of the generator, ordinary water. The liquid is pumped during peaks of low energy consumption and is pumped out as the demand for electricity increases. But recently experts from the Fraunhofer Institute of Wind Energy and Energy Systems modified this technology and successfully completed a series of tests.

In the development of German scientists, reservoirs, which are spheres with a diameter of 30 meters, are not on the water surface, but fall to the bottom of the reservoir together with the turbine of the generator. Excess energy in the system is used to pump water out of the sphere, but at the time of filling the sphere, there is an accumulation of energy obtained from the rotation of the turbine of the generator. Such a sphere, when immersed at a depth of 700 meters with a 5 MW turbine can accumulate up to 20 MW / h. The process of filling the reservoir takes about 4 hours.


Schematic representation of the principle of energy storage


Test sample sphere

The new technology will perfectly complement the already existing wind farms located on the high seas. In a series of tests, scientists made a miniature copy of a 3-meter-diameter tank with a turbine on board and placed it at a depth of 100 meters in the waters of Lake Constance, which also has another name – Lake Constance. In the course of the experiment, the technology proved to be successful, and the data obtained will be used in the future when developing a full-scale project of an underwater power plant. Although the development is only at the earliest stage, it has already attracted the attention of investors from the energy sector, and the Ministry of Economics and Technology of Germany even financially supported the start of the survey.