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Energy Storage Technologies and Their Outlook for the Future

Transparency Market Research Report Added "Energy Storage Technologies Market" to its database.


Albany, NY -- (SBWIRE) -- 03/11/2015 -- Typically, power producing companies have to plan about the amount of energy to be generated and distributed on the network. This is done by predicting how much power will be used by consumers on a typical day based on historical data and trends or by referencing the amount of energy used on the same day of the earlier year. These estimates are then modified relative to weather forecasts for the next day and by using complex formulas that produce demand estimates for a particular city or region.

Sounds daunting, doesn't it? With a topic such as energy distribution, things are as daunting as they sound. The network of energy supply, called the grid, is responsible for delivering electricity to every customer at a fixed frequency. With some complex predictive models as the means to estimate the amount of electricity to be generated, power production units end up creating less or more energy than is required on any typical day, resulting in many problems. Some sources of energy can be easily turned on and off, for example, disconnecting the solar panels from the grid, but some sources, such as nuclear power plants or fossil fuels, require a long time and a considerable cost to turn on and off.

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Supplying the right quantity of electricity to the end users is very important to the grid infrastructure – less amounts of electricity can result in brownouts and service disruptions whereas too much of it can destroy electronic equipments.

To avoid producing energy based on estimates, to store it safely and efficiently, to regulate the output and to regulate the exact frequency of energy distribution, energy storage technologies are the prime requirement of energy industry.

Currently, a wide array of technologies have been invented and deployed to ensure that the grid can appropriately meet the energy demands. Examples of these technologies include magnetic flywheels, advanced chemical batteries, compressed air storage and pumped hydro-power.

These diverse equipments have been providing long-term benefits to grids for many decades now. As we continue to advance in developing even better grid infrastructure, energy storage mechanisms will play a gradually more important role in delivering energies of varied sorts of the future.

More importantly, energy storage technologies are resource neutral, i.e. they can efficiently store energy produced from any form of source. Whether it is energy created from wind energy or from a nuclear power plant or from a hydro-power station, these technologies are capable of capturing energy for use whenever demand arises.

Efficient mechanisms for energy storage brings a myriad of benefits such as improved management of on-demand energy supply, proper management of sudden spikes in demand substantial cost savings. Energy storage on a large scale also allows more efficiency in running today's electrical systems and the greater efficiency thus achieved helps in reducing emissions, prices and allows for the production of more reliable power.

Traditional sources of energy such as coal and natural gas need to be turned on and off according to the fluctuation in energy demands and are almost always performing at levels quite lower than their peak capability. This directly effects in higher energy costs and greater rates of pollution, which should ideally result from our typical energy demands.

Also, the slow build up of energy from these bulk energy generation facilities result in an ill-response to occasions of sudden rise in demand, potentially leading to a poor quality of power and brownouts in the complete network or substantial parts of it.

The use of energy storage mechanisms is also on high demand due to the widespread adoption of renewable sources of energy. It is well known that renewable sources of energy such as solar power, wind energy, thermal energy, etc. are intermittent in nature. For instance, solar energy can only be produced while the sun is shining. By storing this energy at the time it is produced and supplying it according to the demand, these natural and clean energy technologies can easily continue to power energy grids even when the sources are not available or feasible, such as when the sun is not shining.

But storing energy generated from diverse sources for use according to demand is not the only application of energy storage technologies. They regulate the frequencies thus improving the quality of the power, allow for energy production when it is most efficient and cheapest and provide un-interruptible power for many critical services and infrastructure.

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