Energy Conversion Demo
Currently without renewable energies involved, many homes solely receive their power from the electric utility grid. Much of the power supplied by utilities comes from limited fossil fuels even though the world’s energy consumption continues to grow. To help meet this increased energy need a global movement towards renewable energy is in progress. Grid-level energy storage can be used to allow renewable energy sources to be effectively integrated into the modern energy grid. During low power demand times water can be moved from a lower reservoir to an elevated reservoir. Here the water holds potential energy due to its height and can be stored until needed. When the demand for power increases, the water can be released through a turbine to create power and supplement what is being received from the utility grid. The purpose of this project is to design a demonstrative prototype of a pumped-storage hydroelectricity system to demonstrate grid-level energy storage. The methodology that has been employed for this project involves fluid flow analysis, structural analysis, pump/turbine analysis, and efficiency calculations. The prototype includes a solar powered pump that moves water from a lower reservoir, to an upper reservoir where it can be stored. The water will then have the ability to be released through a turbine to collect the stored potential energy. This is a demonstrative device that will help teach the concept of grid-level storage, and possibly spark the interest of renewable energy in students.