Sunday, February 17th, 2019

Seawater pumping as an electricity storage solution for photovoltaic energy systems

Publication date: Available online 16 April 2014
Author(s): Giampaolo Manfrida , Riccardo Secchi
The stochastic nature of several renewable energy sources has raised the problem of designing and building storage facilities, which can help the electricity grid to sustain larger and larger contribution of renewable energy. Seawater pumped electricity storage is proposed as a good option for PV (Photovoltaic) or solar thermal power plants, located in suitable places close to the coast line. Solar radiation has a natural daily cycle, and storage reservoirs of limited capacity can substantially reduce the load to the electricity grid. Different modes of pump operation (fixed or variable speed) are considered, the preliminary sizing of the PV field and seawater reservoir is performed, and the results are comparatively assessed over a year-long simulated operation. The results show that PV pumped storage, even if not profitable in the present situation of the renewable energy Italian electricity market, is effective in decreasing the load on the transmission grid, and would possibly be attractive in the future, also in the light of developing off-grid applications.

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