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Store Solar Energy Now And Use It Later

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By Author: Sun Lover
Total Articles: 5
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The number of environment-conscious people opting for renewable sources of energy, like solar energy, for their electricity needs is steadily on the rise. However, the fact remains that sun, though an infinite source of energy, doesn’t shine at night.

It is also a fact that one requires more energy during the evenings, whether it is at home or office.

So, the optimal way to use the energy produced by the photovoltaic panels during the day is by efficiently storing it and bringing it to use in the evenings when the demand is at its peak.

In this article, we will see the different ways of storing solar energy in the best possible way.

Ways to store solar energy

There are three predominant ways to store solar energy:

Thermal storage
In this system, liquids like water or molten salt are used to store heat. The heat is stored in an insulated tank until the energy is required. This stored energy can be used directly for heating and cooling, or to generate electricity. ...
... For this, the heat is used to boil water and the steam produced by this drives a turbine, thereby generating electric power. Thermal energy storage is useful in Concentrating Solar Plants, (CSP) which generate solar power using mirrors or lenses to concentrate a large area of sunlight onto a receiver.

Battery
Electrochemical batteries, like those found in laptops and cellular phones, are another way to store solar energy. When electricity is pushed into the battery, there is a chemical reaction within the battery, which helps store the energy. A reversed chemical reaction, which creates voltage between two electrical contacts, allows the energy to come out of the battery for use when required. Cost-effective Lithium-ion batteries are the most common type of electrochemical batteries used in residences. Nickel-based and lead-acid batteries are other electrochemical storage batteries that are widely used.

Mechanical storage
Mechanical energy storage works with the energy of an object to produce electricity. It first converts surplus electrical power into mechanical power, which is then converted back into electricity for later use. It is a good option for commercial operations.

There are three types of mechanical energy storage systems:

Flywheel
Here, surplus electricity is used to spin a flywheel – a heavy wheel attached to a rotating shaft. It stores energy in the form of kinetic energy and works by revving up a rotor to very high speeds and maintaining the energy in the system as rotational energy. This energy can be obtained by attaching the wheel to an electrical generator. Though a fast way of providing power, they can store only limited energy.

Pumped hydro
This is a storage method based on water. In this method, electrical energy is used to pump water uphill to a reservoir situated above turbine generators when the energy demand is low. The water then flows back through the turbines to generate electricity when required. This technique of energy storage has been in use in the US since 1929. This technology however requires large landscapes and a sizeable capital investment to be implemented.

Compressed air
As the name suggests, here compressed air is pumped into large vessels or tanks. This air is then released to generate electricity.

How effective is solar energy storage?
Apart from the energy loss during transfer, solar energy stored mechanically lasts as long as potential energy is maintained. Meanwhile, a standard solar battery will store energy for the last one to five days, depending on usage, and the battery itself has a lifetime of 15-30 years.
If you are keen on solar and want to find ways to effectively store solar energy, don’t hesitate to contact us for more information.

Want to know more about solar installations and their benefits? Solar Power nation, one of Australia’s leading solar retailers and warriors of clean energy and sustainability, are committed to helping you out.

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