Ultimately there will be a limit on the amount of power from variable sources of renewable
energy which can be absorbed by the electricity supply system and continue to remain stable
and secure. New technical solutions are required.
The development of energy storage technology could provide a potential solution. However,
all the current methods involve either a significant loss of energy during the process or are
unsuitable for the bulk storage of power.
The research work reviews current methods of energy storage and examines the supply chain
in order to resolve where energy storage should best be located. Most benefits could be gained
if the energy storage units were placed adjacent to the final customers. The power lost during
transmission and distribution could be minimised and the capital invested in the infrastructure
would be more productive. It would require energy to be stored in relatively small quantities
using simple technology, be remotely controJled and offer a long operational life. Few current
methods match these requirements. In order to support the analysis of benefits which may be delivered by storing energy, the
performance of a modem CCGT power station was monitored while it was operating with a
number of different output profiles. The consequences were recorded and analysed for fuel
used, C02 emitted, operational costs and maintenance as the plant produced power below its
The Flow Battery was identified as the technology likely to deliver most characteristics
required of an embedded energy store. However, the flow battery requires space to store the
electrolyte and can be expensive to employ in urban areas where land prices are high.
An enhancement of the hydraulic accumulator could be developed as an energy store. The
initial analysis suggests that it offers the potential technical characteristics required and could
be designed for minimum land requirements. Hence it could be located adjacent to existing
electricity sub-stations or even within domestic premises, industrial complexes and
commercial enterprises where land may already in the hands of the potential user.
A Doctoral Thesis. Submitted in partial fulfilment of the requirements for the award of Doctor of Philosophy of Loughborough University.