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During the tests conducted at the Institute of wind energy (Germany), performed research underwater pressure, which is the area of concrete placed at a depth of 200 meters.
Traditional use of pumped storage power plants connected to the use of cheaper electricity to create the water supply (water by means of pumps is fed into the tank above the turbines). As the load increases in electricity and electricity price hike, the water is passed through a turbine and produces more expensive energy. Such cycles are most commonly associated with daily peak loads that occur day and night, quieter loads on the electricity network.
In the experiment, were investigated with a ball of concrete with a diameter of 3 meters. In November 2016 in the Alps, scientists plunged to the bottom of the lake Constance, the complex consisting of turbine, pump and concrete areas. The experiment took place according to the work schedule of a traditional pumped storage plants – water was pumped into a sphere at low network load, when electricity was cheaper. At a time when there was a peak load on the network, and electricity is expensive, water is released from the sphere to rotate the turbine and generating power.
According to calculations, the real PSP should be placed at depths of over 700 metres, and the diameter of the spheres should be 30 m. Located on the bottom of the ocean sphere with a turbine of 5 MW can generate electricity of 20 MW*h at full operation for 4 hours.
If you create a set of spheres that are connected to wind farms located in the sea nearby, it is possible to significantly improve the reliability and efficiency of the use of pumped storage plant of this type. Economic efficiency is achieved when using a large number of areas, according to developers, there should be no less than 80 pieces. The Institute plans to conduct research in the areas of larger diameter and a longer period of time. The idea of an underwater pumped storage power plant is already actively interested investors, despite the fact that before real implementation of the development requires about five years.
In Germany, in Hamburg it is planned to use accumulating energy complexes located in places without disturbing others. For these purposes, the authorities of Hamburg are planning to use a natural underground reservoirs, which in summer will be pumped warm water, and in winter it will be used for heating.