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How about a variation. Using your garden pond as the lower reservoir, you can install a pump to return the water to the roof level tank using surplus solar power from your panels. Then that's your power storage system. No battery needed!

Not sure how our frog would like it though.
 

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How about a variation. Using your garden pond as the lower reservoir, you can install a pump to return the water to the roof level tank using surplus solar power from your panels. Then that's your power storage system. No battery needed!

Not sure how our frog would like it though.
A kind of back garden Norway.
 

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Norway is a lot colder than France, more heating required.
 

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Maybe I can come up with something that using the energy produced will pump the water back up... :)

That's me with a task for this evening.
Not quite as daft as it sounds. There used to be a hydro electric plant that used the same water pumped back up again to the reservoir as a way of using off-peak surplus generation to produce extra energy at peak times. There’s a similar idea around to have heavy weights in mine shafts wound up and let down in a similar way.
 

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See, out of a thread of maddening circles comes some brightness!

Power storage using mechanical methods is a greatly overlooked element of home renewable energy. Storing all potential energy from solar is in some countries a good idea. Anyone with a hill and two ponds could have quite the battery on their hands!
 

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Not quite as daft as it sounds. There used to be a hydro electric plant that used the same water pumped back up again to the reservoir as a way of using off-peak surplus generation to produce extra energy at peak times. There’s a similar idea around to have heavy weights in mine shafts wound up and let down in a similar way.
Hydro electric plants indeed still do this... pumped hydro electric storage. It makes up a substantial amount of grid energy storage around the world. Hence the back garden Norway comment. Norway with a large hydro capacity has ambitions to be a load balancer and giant battery for its neighbours in Northern Europe.
 

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Discussion Starter #33
You guys are brilliant.
Now, we could create some highlands games in rolling boulders up the hill and use them to create energy while rolling down again.
Not only be producing cheap energy but keeping folks healthy :D
 

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See, out of a thread of maddening circles comes some brightness!

Power storage using mechanical methods is a greatly overlooked element of home renewable energy. Storing all potential energy from solar is in some countries a good idea. Anyone with a hill and two ponds could have quite the battery on their hands!
Not much new there though. Among the experiments I saw listed here over the years, there was one in california where an old railway leading to a high-up closed mine was used, with trains loaded with stones, as electricity storage.

The most unconventional, and either genius or mad (or both) was a German company looking at cutting a 2 miles diameter circle in the ground, and pump water to get it up to 800m up for energy storage. There are a few advantages to their solution over the hill and 2 lakes one:
  • You don't need a hill (and when your cylinder of land is 800m up, you almost have a mountain anyway)
  • The density of standard land is about 4.7, so you have much denser storage
  • The land area needed is much lower as you don't need 2 lakes
Of course, you have to find a 2miles radius area that can be disconnected from the rest of the area, as roads, water pipes, and the likes might dislike being stretched 800m up and down.

But large scale energy storage is certainly something that will help the switch to renewable energy. Chemical storage is currently the most practical, but if mechanical storage can be done cheaply, it will have its use too. I don't think it's overlooked. It's already used where cheap and practical. Solutions like the huge lan jack will have to pass the cheap and practical test, but they may happen.
 

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Not quite as daft as it sounds. There used to be a hydro electric plant that used the same water pumped back up again to the reservoir as a way of using off-peak surplus generation to produce extra energy at peak times.
Bit less of the past tense required here! If you google "electric mountain' you can read about Dinorwig, a purpose-built hydroelectric storage facility here in Wales. It provides about 2 complete sets' worth of power, for a few hours, but it's best trick is that provided the turbine blades are kept spinning, it can be brought up to about 1300MW in 12 seconds.

It's used routinely for surges in demand in the grid, such as when adverts come on in popular programs, but it's real purpose is to supplement nuclear power stations. Most types of power station go down in a semi-graceful sort of way, allowing gas or diesel generators to be started up to bridge any gaps, but when a nuclear power station has an issue it's just gone straight away - 2 sets are immediately lost - and Dinorwig is there to help bridge that gap.

It's a massive bit of engineering, built into a mountain, and if you're in North Wales it's apparently well worth visiting.

I've not been because I live in West Wales, and it's about as easy for me to get to London as it is to North Wales!
 

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Bit less of the past tense required here! If you google "electric mountain' you can read about Dinorwig, a purpose-built hydroelectric storage facility here in Wales. It provides about 2 complete sets' worth of power, for a few hours, but it's best trick is that provided the turbine blades are kept spinning, it can be brought up to about 1300MW in 12 seconds.

It's used routinely for surges in demand in the grid, such as when adverts come on in popular programs, but it's real purpose is to supplement nuclear power stations. Most types of power station go down in a semi-graceful sort of way, allowing gas or diesel generators to be started up to bridge any gaps, but when a nuclear power station has an issue it's just gone straight away - 2 sets are immediately lost - and Dinorwig is there to help bridge that gap.

It's a massive bit of engineering, built into a mountain, and if you're in North Wales it's apparently well worth visiting.

I've not been because I live in West Wales, and it's about as easy for me to get to London as it is to North Wales!
Places like Dinorwig are also there as 'Black Start' power stations. These are used to restart the whole grid after a power down. They don't need any energy input to start generating (as long as there is water in the top reservoir).
Other Black Start sites are Drax (gas turbines started by battery). There is a wealth of information on the internet about this little known and understood backup system.
 

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Bit less of the past tense required here! If you google "electric mountain' you can read about Dinorwig, a purpose-built hydroelectric storage facility here in Wales. It provides about 2 complete sets' worth of power, for a few hours, but it's best trick is that provided the turbine blades are kept spinning, it can be brought up to about 1300MW in 12 seconds.

It's used routinely for surges in demand in the grid, such as when adverts come on in popular programs, but it's real purpose is to supplement nuclear power stations. Most types of power station go down in a semi-graceful sort of way, allowing gas or diesel generators to be started up to bridge any gaps, but when a nuclear power station has an issue it's just gone straight away - 2 sets are immediately lost - and Dinorwig is there to help bridge that gap.

It's a massive bit of engineering, built into a mountain, and if you're in North Wales it's apparently well worth visiting.

I've not been because I live in West Wales, and it's about as easy for me to get to London as it is to North Wales!
And the rest. I think UK has about seven if these with a new one under construction in Wales somewhere.
Dinorwig is the biggest I believe. Google Pumped Storage Hydro for all the details.
We need more but suitable sites are quite rare. Also occasionally fouled up by our free market system and it's ill-conceived rules. These schemes actually generate little new electricity so thet don't attract green brownie points for the operator. So the latest new scheme in Scotland was a straight hydro (green) occupying a perfect Pumped Hydro site. Nice high drop into Loch Ness.

Planning - what planning?
 
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