As true as it could get, renewable energy sources generally tend to get adversely affected due to the intermittent nature of wind and solar power generation. While offshore wind could render sufficient electricity, the intermittency caused by solar energy induces unpredictability as well as mammoth inconvenience. To help solve the intermittency problems of offshore wind, researchers at MIT have recently conceptualized a new approach that could mitigate the problems by rendering floating wind energy storage technology.
The new concept for offshore wind would basically enable electricity generation by floating wind farms to be utilized thoroughly and then used adequately. Although further details are yet to be divulged on the technology, the floating energy storage by MIT researchers anticipates to eliminating the intermittency issues of offshore wind through its huge concrete spheres – which can be considered as a key to the concept.
Weighing thousands of tons apiece, the spheres would be located on the seafloor under floating wind turbines and help anchor the turbines when needed. In fact, the energy storage system would also help store energy for the turbines for the later use – which certainly appears to be a remarkable accomplishment.
However interestingly, if the wind turbines induce power in excess or more than it is actually needed, the energy storage concept would efficiently divert the extra power to drive a pump attached to the underwater structure – helping pump seawater from a 30 meter diameter hollow sphere.
Subsequent to which, when the wind passes on and power is needed, a valve would open to permit the water back into the concrete spheres – but by the virtue of a turbine that drives a generator to create electricity. Well, although the MIT floating wind turbine concept looks promising to trim down the intermittency problems of offshore wind, it also hopes to be economically feasible at depths as shallow as 200 meter – contributing massively to declining the overall cost structure eventually!