Newsletter No. 2 - SCCER Heat and Electricity Storage
The phasing out of nuclear power plants and the expansion of solar and wind energy mean that electricity production is becoming more volatile. New storage systems are needed to ensure that electricity is available as and when it is required.
A promising technology for this purpose is adiabatic compressed air storage. It uses excess electricity from solar and wind energy systems to compress ambient air and store it in an underground cavity. When it is required, the compressed air is expanded again, driving a turbine and generating electricity once more. As the heat which was generated during compression is used for this process, the efficiency level stands at 65% to 75%, which is similar to that achieved by pumped-storage systems. The environmental compatibility of compressed air energy storage (CAES), in terms of the potential for emitting greenhouse gases and the damage inflicted on ecosystems, is also comparable to that of pumped-storage systems.
CAES systems are technically feasible. Important components such as turbomachinery and heat accumulators are either already available on the market or have been tested in a pilot plant. The process for constructing cavities is also well-developed due to the experience gained in tunnel and cavern construction.
Adiabatic CAES therefore represents an efficient, environmentally friendly and technically feasible storage solution. The economic feasibility strongly depends on the economic conditions and the legal framework.
New Web Tool on Levelized cost of solar photovoltaics and wind supported by storage technologies to supply firm electricity
Related to a recent publication of the University of Geneva on Levelized cost of solar photovoltaics and wind supported by storage technologies to supply firm electricity, a web tool was created. This allows users to know the real cost of solar and wind technologies providing electricity on demand for various demand profiles, e.g. peak load and base load, supported by storage technologies in Switzerland.
(Depending on your firewall settings, the link might not open.)
The web tool also allows to compare residential, utility and bulk installations across various cantons. Its key features are explained in the blog below:
Due to the current situation regarding Corona, we recommend to check the corresponding web page of the individual event whether it takes place.
36th Swiss Electrochemistry Symposium -Seasonal Energy Storage: The Role of Electrochemistry
April 29, 2020, Kultur & Kongresshaus, Aarau, Switzerland
One of the challenges in electricity generation scenarios with a large share of inherently intermittent sources, such as wind and solar power, is the storage of energy over long periods of time. Especially here in Europe, a large surplus of electricity is expected in summer, whereas periods of low electricity supply in winter have to be adequately bridged.
The seven distinguished speakers of this year’s Swiss Electrochemistry Symposium will take you on a journey to the science and technology of electrochemical devices in the context of seasonal energy storage.
Registration is open: https://www.psi.ch/ec20
International Summer School Power to 'Value': Fundamentals and Applictions of Modern Electrosynthesis
August 24-28, 2020, Eurotel Victoria, Villars-sur-Ollon, Switzerland
The so-called Energy Transition denotes the fundamental change of the current energy use that is still based to a large extend on fossil and nuclear sources toward "renewables" such as solar, hydro and wind power. A major technological challenge in context of this paradigm shift is related to the highly discontinuous production of electricity in particular from wind and solar sources thus causing tremendous stability issues to the entire power supply system (grid).
Various electrosynthesis approaches are currently considered as promising alternatives/supplements to the classical battery storage approaches, which have limited capacity. The basic idea behind these schemes is not only the (temporary) storage of electricity in form of added-value chemicals, e.g. high energy density fuels, but also a new paradigm to produce chemical feedstock from abundant resources (power-to-X approach).
This International Summer School aims at providing an overview about the status quo in the current electrosynthesis research relevant to this energy transition. Possible starting materials of this (catalytic) electrosynthesis approaches might be, but are not restricted to, CO2, N2, H2O and even more complex organic reactants. Not only fundamentals of these electroconversion processes shall be discussed but also concepts how to implement them into current and future industrial applications.
For this purpose internationally renowned researchers from academia as well as industry present their work. During the whole Summer School there will be plenty of room for exchange and discussions.
For more information click here.
The 9th and final SCCER Heat and Electricity Storage Symposium
October 21, 2020: Kultur & Kongresshaus, Aarau, Switzerland
The large volume of electricity production capacities from the fluctuating sources, wind and solar, installed in recent years is the first step towards a CO2 and nuclear waste free energy future. Nevertheless, to transform this vision to reality, a strong focus needs to be set on storage for the sake of grid stability and independence.
The SCCERs have reached their foreseen end and this conference will present a summary of the results obtained in the past seven years.
Please save the date, more details to follow.