Nowadays, energy production technology is rapidly advancing. Simultaneously, the lack of sufficient energy storage systems is a major problem in energy production and storage. It is considered one of the biggest problems in energy production.

In a continuous effort to make a solution for this problem, Ocean Grazer, a Dutch startup has invented an Ocean Battery. Ocean battery is an energy storage system that follows the same principles as a hydroelectric dam.

It is an energy storage solution that is designed to install at the bottom depths of the sea. There must be offshore wind turbines or floating solar farms near the sea.

The main components of the Ocean Battery system: the flexible bladder (top left), the concrete reservoirs (bottom left) and the machinery units (yellow, center) containing pumps and turbines
Ocean Grazer

The system mainly consists of three key instruments which are, a flexible bladder, concrete reservoirs, and the machinery units containing pumps and turbines. In low-pressure, the concrete reservoir can store up to 20 million litres (5.3 million gallons) of freshwater or seawater. The pumps and turbines are used to connect this concrete reservoir to a flexible bladder which is located on the seabed.

The system works by using excess electricity from the surrounding solar farm or windmills, the water from the concrete reservoir will be pumped to the flexible bladder. If the energy demand raises, the flexible bladder will release the water aided by the pressure of the above seawater. Then the bladder squeezes its water back into the reservoir.

A diagram of the Ocean Battery system. When charged (left), the bladder is full of water and the concrete reservoir is empty. When the battery is discharged (right), the bladder is empty and the reservoir full.
Ocean Grazer

On the way back to the reservoir, the kinetic energy of the water spins the set of turbines and thus the turbine will act as a generator by generating electricity. The electricity will be fed into the grid. Massachusetts Institute of Technology(MIT) also showed a concept like this using hollow concrete spheres.

The team who designed the system claims that this system provides an efficiency of 70 to 80%. The turbine could run an unlimited number of cycles and it’ll generate an unlimited amount of electricity over its lifetime of 20 years. After 20 years, the system must be modified or replaced. The system has a capacity of 10 MWh and it can be scaled to increase general capacity.

If more energy output is needed, extra units of instruments like pumps and turbines can be added. This is just like upgrading the capabilities of your smartphones. Constant up-gradation of the system will help in increased energy production.

Source: News Atlas

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