Finding and developing renewable energy storage solutions is imperative to helping humanity reduce its dependence on fossil fuels and decreasing its carbon footprint. There is a lot of excitement around our shift to clean energy. However, if we want to create a greener future, there are some critical hurdles that we need to overcome.
Today, harnessing the power of the sun and the wind through solar panels and wind turbines is a common way to generate renewable energy in many parts of the world.
However, the sun isn’t always shining, just as the wind isn’t always blowing when we need electricity. Additionally, sometimes these sources produce more energy than is required.
Other renewable energy sources also face similar challenges. For many, batteries are the obvious solution to our environmental issues. While this storage solution has benefits, they too have its drawbacks.
Battery Energy Storage
Progress in renewables has put batteries at the forefront of viable energy storage options. The pitfall is that batteries are not necessarily a sustainable solution as it makes use of hazardous and non-renewable materials.
Lithium-ion, nickel, lead-acid, and sodium-based batteries are some of the most common batteries. The materials used in these battery options cause environmental concerns at various stages of production and even disposal. Additionally, batteries charge relatively slow and have a short lifespan which is subject to further degradation with each cycle. Most batteries need replacement within five years of installation. In the long run, this also increases the environmental footprint due to repeated transport and disposal.
The net effect of all these aspects is that battery energy storage doesn’t necessarily eliminate environmental impact. Instead, it simply relocates it.
Kinetic Energy Storage
When it comes to renewable energy storage solutions, kinetic energy technology presents a long-lasting and hopeful promise. Kinetic energy storage systems commonly known as flywheels, have progressed to reliable and sustainable solutions that come with low maintenance. As opposed to chemical batteries, flywheels are mechanical devices. They consist of a rotor that operates within a vacuum. Flywheels not only facilitate a greener alternative to batteries and other renewable energy storage solutions, but it does so while ensuring efficient performance.
Amber Kinetics Paves the Way for Kinetic Energy Storage
Amber Kinetics is the leading manufacturer and provider of long-duration kinetic energy storage systems. The company successfully developed flywheels to extend its lifespan, capacity, and discharge duration. Their flagship product, the M32 flywheel, features a power capacity of 8kW and a discharge duration of 4 hours. Apart from its technical abilities, the flywheel technology is considered as a more sustainable option as it is composed of recyclable steel and does not make use of hazardous materials. Amber Kinetics offers a promising energy storage solution that is sustainable and leaves a minimal environmental impact in the entirety of its lifecycle.