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Subhydro’s Energy Storage System Uses Ocean Depth Pressure Difference


image16A German engineer is planning to utilize the pressure difference between the seafloor and the sea surface in order to create a new highly efficient energy storage system.

Rainer Shramm, and co-founder of the company Subhydro AS, together experts from SINTEF, have applied for a patent of the technology.

The team is planning to develop a pumped storage power plant, which can be charged as water is moving up and down, and will be used as a battery. This power plant will be linked to a tank situated on the seabed.

The technology relies on a turbine to power the generator and produce electricity, as water flows through the valve. Once the tanks are filled with water, they will have to be emptied by reversing the turbine.

The system is not limited by its size. The number of tanks can be selected according to specific needs, but the experts estimate that an average sized system can easily produce enough power to supply 200,000 households for up to 8 hours. In addition, if the tanks and turbines are located at greater sea depth where the pressure is higher, then more energy will be stored.

The system would work particularly well in areas with deep waters. In Europe, these include the Scandinavian and Mediterranean countries, but the waters around the North and South America provide favourable conditions as well.

The team is certain that such plant in combination with renewable energy systems, such as solar and wind farms, could provide the winning combination for production of green energy.

The challenge that the experts are facing now is to find a way to bring down installation and operational costs, in order to make the process economical.




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