To date, a primary consideration in the development of RES is the storage of electricity, because the energy derived from such sources has a periodic nature. Scientists from all over the world are constantly searching for ways to eliminate this problem, and some of them are already offering their revolutionary solutions. For example, Google Corporation intends to store energy derived from RES using salt.
Google presented a new solution for the storage of electricity from RES. This technology involves the use of tanks with salt and some liquid hydrocarbons to store energy and then return it to the power grid.
The principle of the system operation is as follows: the system receives electricity, which is converted into separate streams of hot and cold air. Further, the hot air heats up the salt, and the cold air cools the antifreeze. The energy is stored in this state to when it needs to be returned back to the grid. When returning, an inverse transformation process takes place, in which hot and cold air create powerful gusts that spin a turbine connected to a generator. Due to the properties of salt to conserve heat for a long time, the system can store energy for many hours and even days, depending on how well the salt tank is isolated.
At this stage, the company has already built a conceptual version of equipment in Silicon Valley (the U.S. technology center) and is looking for business partners to finance and construct a commercial prototype that can be connected to a real power grid.
According to a preliminary estimate, the storage of energy with the use of salt can become a cheaper alternative than lithium-ion batteries. Even at early stages of development the project looks very challenging, but it currently needs financing.