Energy Storage Challenges and Solutions

It seems that every day, emerging technologies and energy solutions are getting more advanced and closer to being more mainstream. Solar and wind power, for instance, used to be more theoretical than practical; now, that is no longer the case.

Michael Goggin pointed out that wind energy now provides enough electricity to power the equivalent of 15.5 million average American homes, while Iowa and South Dakota produced more than 25% of their electricity from wind last year. These innovative uses of natural energy are economical and sustainable, offering numerous advantages.

But they are not without their faults. One of the greatest challenges within the realm of energy production is energy storage, now considered a major hurdle. Wind energy, for instance, produced by wind generators, either needs to be fed into the grid for immediate use, or must be stored. Likewise, solar energy must be properly stored; after all, what do you do when the sun isn’t shining?

The problem is there just isn’t enough capacity for all of this storage. Typically the energy storage involves various batteries, including lithium-ion, carbon, and even saltwater battery chemistries. Battery power is reliable, but typically these batteries don’t have enough capacity to store the energy while remaining charged, thus the challenge. The industrial/energy storage applications for which batteries are relied upon are unfortunately not quite cutting it.

So is all hope lost? Is there a solution? Thankfully, we believe there is. By using the battery technology available today, and the technology being introduced on a daily basis, and combining it with high-current battery chargers, there just might be an effective, appropriate solution. High-current chargers, such as the ones we offer, are high-performance and highly reliable, and can be built to meet the specific needs of energy-storage batteries.

During off-peak times, the chargers can fully charge the batteries to maximum power, allowing them to discharged during peak operating hours. Battery chargers and dischargers offer a powerful solution to this industrial challenge.

The possibilities for alternative energy are great, and we think the solutions are as well.

About PCTI

PCTI designs and manufactures leading edge power electronic equipment in the highest power ranges. PCTI’s engineering staff has in-depth knowledge in the key areas of power conversion such as power semiconductor analysis and application, thermal exchange, magnetic design, packaging, DSP (digital signal processor) control for inverters, frequency converters, DC power supplies, battery chargers and dischargers. PCTI is a certified DBE woman-owned business. Contact us for more information on our products, applications assistance, or pricing.