Reviews of Solar Energy Storage Systems
The objective of this particular project is to review different methods that can be used to storage electrical energy generated by solar energy. Due to its unstable nature, electricity generated by solar power needs to be stored when the power generation is at its peak capacity. That stored energy then can be discharged when the demand for electricity is high. By storing the excessive electrical energy during peak hours, the system planners would not need to design the power generating system at its peak capacity, rather at its average capacity.
Electricity is neither easy nor cheap to be stored directly, but it can be stored in other forms and converted back to electricity when needed. The storage methods can be classified by the following:
- Electrical energy storage: Electrostatic storage, such as capacitors or Magnetic/current storage, such as superconducting magnetic energy storage.
- Mechanical energy storage: Kinetic energy, such as using flywheels or Potential energy such as pumped hydroelectric storage or compressed air energy storage.
- Chemical energy storage: Electrochemical storage, such as batteries, Chemical energy such as fuel cells, and Thermal chemical storage such as solar hydrogen.
- Thermal energy storage: Low temperature energy storage, such as cryogenic energy storage and High temperature energy storage, such as graphite, hot rock and concrete, and latent heat systems such as phase change materials.
These different methods of storing electrical energy will be reviewed and compared for different purposes. Some methods are good for large-scale energy storage; some others are good for short time bridging during power outages. The efficiency, storage duration, lifetime and cycle life, cost and environmental impact of each type of storage methods will also be investigated.