These Concrete Gravity Trains May Solve the Energy Storage Problem

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Energy grids fluctuate throughout the day as demand and production increase and decrease. Usually, during peak hours, the demand for electricity is close to or exceeds the production capacity at that time. During off-hours, generally in the night, production capacity far exceeds what is being drawn from the grid. This results in a natural unsteadiness to the energy grid, and experts have been experimenting with ways to make sure that the lights always stay on. One of the most common ways that energy is stored in large scale for the grid is through pumped hydroelectric storage dams. The Taum Sauk reservoir is one of these types of "physical batteries" that essentially stores excess energy through potential energy in water mass. When there is excess power, water is pumped to the high elevation of the reservoir. When there is too little power, water is released thus generating electricity again. While this is a current solution, it is only suitable in the perfect geographical location. One California company has come up with another solution, the Advanced Rail Energy Storage System, or ARES for short. Source: ARES This technology is essentially a land-based train that takes excess electrical energy and stores it […]

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