People are increasingly becoming more and more interested in storing energy in their home. In fact, there are those out there who will generate, store and sell their electricity to turn a profit, forming a makeshift business out of their supply. You too might be interested in doing this yourself, or you may be wanting to store energy for conservation, self-sufficiency or for environmental reasons.
However, what’s referred to as storing energy isn’t often really, well, storing it. This is because it all practically moves at the speed of light and can’t just sit stagnant in a jar or box in your cupboard until you want to use it. Consequently, most times energy needs to be repurposed and converted into some other form – unless you use capacitors from RS Components which can store an electrical charge for some time.
Consequently, here’s how to otherwise ‘store’ energy in your home.
High speed flywheel
Flywheels have enjoyed multiple uses through the years in engines and machinery, originating in the industrial revolution. They produce and store power at high speeds in their spinning, with the latest iterations trying to counter things like air resistance and friction with magnets to keep them spinning for longer periods of time. Still, they don’t last too long, but can store energy for a limited time.
Like other technologies, flywheels have grown to be more compact and efficient as the years have gone by. They used to be bulky metal wheels during the industrial revolution, and now they’re smaller and made of carbon fibre, easily fitting inside a home. The faster a flywheel spins, the more energy it can store, so keep that in mind when building or buying your own. They’re highly flexible and adapt based on your needs but will only store energy for short bursts until they stop spinning.
Solar energy storage
You can store solar energy at home by investing in solar batteries, which’re only useful if you have solar panels installed. These innovations can be installed with the panel, and feed from the excess energy the panels produce instead of it being sent back to the national grid. When the battery is fully charged, the rest of the power will go back to the grid as usual. Only when they’re fully depleted will they begin to recharge.
This is obviously very handy when there’re consecutive days of no sun. Having drank in the excess power to full charge, these batteries can then be used to power your appliances and overall home through bad weather, night-time and even local power outages. Consequently, storing thermal energy this way is obviously incredibly useful.
Thermal energy storage
Thermal energy storage tends to be a bit more limited and primitive in its functionality. Additionally, there’s more physical and busy work involved, and it’s certainly not to everyone’s taste. This is because it’s used mostly for temperature control from start to finish. That said, it’s not without its perks either!
There’re many convoluted ways to store thermal energy, but for a home the simplest ways are likely best. Using an ice storage cooling system, a tank filled with water, a heat exchange coil and a fan, electricity can chill the water and use all the other components to cool the air. For now, this is one of the only practical ways to utilise thermal energy, but given its nature, it’s only really helpful during the warmer months.