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  • energy storage material

    I have wondered of late what mechanical method of energy storage might be optimum, in a portable format. There are flywheels, springs, compressed gas- then there's batteries, but for this discussion batteries are out. A flywheel's energy will dissipate with windage and bearing losses, compressing gas loses energy due to heating and cooling effects- that leaves springs. Theoretically, a spring can be wound, accepting energy, then drained, releasing energy, without one of those typical lossy problems. You could wind it up today, and come back tomorrow, or next year to use it, and it's all there. I know a spring will weaken with age, but the basic concept is what I'm interested in. Is there some way to apply this mechanism of storage in a more effective way, in terms of a higher power to weight and size ratio?
    I seldom do anything within the scope of logical reason and calculated cost/benefit, etc- I'm following my passion-

  • #2
    Compression of gases. Only thing I know of that does not dissipate or lose energy via gravity or thermal conductance.

    ------------------
    David Cofer, Of:
    Tunnel Hill, North Georgia

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    • #3
      <font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Originally posted by ibewgypsie:
      Compression of gases. Only thing I know of that does not dissipate or lose energy via gravity or thermal conductance.

      </font>
      Nope, throttling losses, and/or the loss due to dissipating the thermal energy in the compressed gas. It heats when compressed, absorbing energy, then cools, so you lose that energy.

      Adiabatic compression is theoretically lossless, but not possible in practice.

      Isothermal compression is quite lossy.

      Springs aren't bad. You get the energy in a usable form (choice of linear or torsional) the mechanical and thermal losses are or can be made reasonably low.

      The immediate problem is that they store far less energy, and especially that they are limited in the total movement they can impart.
      1601

      Keep eye on ball.
      Hashim Khan

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      • #4
        Yeah, springs. Seems to me they were once used for timepieces; you know, before "energy cells" (yuk-yuk).

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        • #5
          For truly portable energy seems ya couldn't beat gravity.Reckon you could run a drill from the top of a tree.LOL
          If I got it right first time,everytime....I\'d have a real job!

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          • #6
            It's called entropy. A very basic concept in physics. Basicially, it means that you can't win and there is a heat penalty for trying. Even your springs have some heat generated when they are wound and unwound or compressed and uncompressed.

            It's just a question of which storage method generates the least losses for the application you have in mind. And how well the other physical attributes (size, weight, cost, etc.) will fit.

            I heard last night on the History Channel that some new buildings are installing HVAC equipment to make ice overnight when electric rates are lower and using it to cool the offices in the daytime. It's a form of energy storage. It's not perfect but is apparently economically feasable in that situation.

            Paul A.
            Paul A.

            Make it fit.
            You can't win and there is a penalty for trying!

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            • #7
              You can't beat antimatter. Still needs a bit of working out the storage wrinkles...
              Free software for calculating bolt circles and similar: Click Here

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              • #8
                Solar panels. Good return on energy input vs energy returned. JR
                My old yahoo group. Bridgeport Mill Group

                https://groups.yahoo.com/neo/groups/...port_mill/info

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                • #9
                  Solar panels??? Efficiency sucks, especially when the energy cost of production is included.

                  Besides, it's not a storage solution.
                  Free software for calculating bolt circles and similar: Click Here

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                  • #10
                    It IS a storage solution..

                    The energy expended during the entire manufacturing process is taken into account.
                    That IS the energy "stored".

                    The energy released is what is converted from the sun.

                    I don't know what the life span of modern cells are today but I think it is an efficient means of energy storage. JR
                    My old yahoo group. Bridgeport Mill Group

                    https://groups.yahoo.com/neo/groups/...port_mill/info

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                    • #11
                      Darn poor storage solution if it doesn't work at night...
                      Free software for calculating bolt circles and similar: Click Here

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                      • #12
                        There is a concept called SMES - superconducting magnetic energy storage. Storing energy in a magnetic field is pretty reversible and fairly low in loss - if you neglect the small problem of keeping the magnet cold in the first place. This was seriously studied by EPRI (electric power research institute) as a means to store power by during periods of low demand.

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                        • #13
                          Here is a simple example for you:

                          It was said springs were a good method for storing energy. Yes they are, as one person pointed out they used to run our clocks.

                          Then we went to batteries for the clocks or watches. Batteries are a fair storage devise. What replaced batteries? Solar cells.

                          I used to have calculators which ran on batteries (storage cells). Then I bought calculators with solar cells (Storage cells).

                          The cost for the calculator did not change because of the solar cell so for me there was no additional energy in. So for me that makes them (solar cells) more efficient than batteries which replaced springs. JR

                          My old yahoo group. Bridgeport Mill Group

                          https://groups.yahoo.com/neo/groups/...port_mill/info

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                          • #14
                            <font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Originally posted by Evan:
                            Darn poor storage solution if it doesn't work at night...</font>
                            Didnt know that was a concern. JR
                            My old yahoo group. Bridgeport Mill Group

                            https://groups.yahoo.com/neo/groups/...port_mill/info

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                            • #15
                              JR, you are playing with semantics. A solar cell is not a storage device, it is a conversion generating device. The energy used to manufacture the cell is not stored in the cell and without a later energy input it is useless. The manufacture of "high" efficiency solar cells is extremely energy intensive which accounts for the high cost. The energy cost of manufacturing an energy storage solution must be considered a debit unless some part of that energy is directly incorporated in the device in some recoverable way, such as chemical energy in a battery.

                              As for needing electricity at night, well, do you sit in the dark?
                              Free software for calculating bolt circles and similar: Click Here

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