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Hollow wind turbines which store water

Energy-generating wind turbines can also store energy for when its needed by sucking water up from the sea
  [vote for,

So wind turbines, often to be found at sea, farm the natural energy of the wind and convert it into electricity to be used on the land via a dynamo. But it is well known that energy requirements fluctuate according to time of day and other variables which the wind is largely oblivious to, meaning power has to be stored or wasted when demand is low. Some hyrdopower systems even pump water up a mountain during off-peak times, storing it as potential energy to unleash at peak times, though this clearly doesn't represent a green solution.

Perhaps the answer could involve storing the energy inside the turbines themselves? If you look at them, the are like giant straws, while the windmill at the top likely has the power to suck water up through that straw to the top.

While demand is low, the turbines can switch modes and become a pump, sucking sea water up inside its shaft to be stored there. Later, when electricity is required and the wind is dormant, the water can simply be flushed down, turning another dynamo inside, with the flow set according to how much energy we need. Additional tanks or height could be added to the top to accommodate extra water. The turbines now essentially have their own 'batteries' storing potential energy at its source for use at our convenience.

TheBamforth, Jun 08 2020


       A useful weight of water at a useful height will put enormous additional strain on the supporting structure of the wind turbine.   

       A pump and a hydro-turbine built into each wind turbine will involve much duplication of moving parts, many of those moving parts being in constant contact with corrosive salt water, even when not in use.   

       The bulk of the structure which holds the head of water may be so great as to impair the airflow on which the wind turbines depend.   

       Is it possible that all the turbines of a given wind farm might share a single "water tower" with a single pump and a single hydroelectric generator? Is it possible that they could all be mechanically connected to this single structure without extravagant wastage of energy in mechanical transmission, using yet more high-precision components which, again, must be protected against the salt water?   

       If not, then you might be better off just drawing electrical current from the wind turbines, which would then drive a pump at some quite separate hydroelectric site.
pertinax, Jun 09 2020

       [pertinax]; on the one hand, a pump is a turbine, so you could just have the one & run it in the required direction.
On the other; yes, it would probably be more efficient to have a "separate" hydro-battery system, driven electrically by the wind-turbines.
neutrinos_shadow, Jun 09 2020

       This idea would work better upside-down, pumping air into big underwater diving-bell-like contraptions.
pocmloc, Jun 09 2020

       I'm listening: how do you then extract the energy from the big bubble?
pertinax, Jun 09 2020

       The "big bubble" is created by and maintained under pressure. Releasing that pressure can drive a turbine.
kdf, Jun 09 2020

       This is very clever.   

       The only criticism is would it be easier to just take that excess energy and pump the water into a lake inland to store the water?   

       Just saying that the water storage tanks on the windmills would be pricey.   

       Still, clever idea.
doctorremulac3, Jun 09 2020

       Or you pump the water out of the diving bell and then its exactly like this idea but the opposite
pocmloc, Jun 09 2020

       //This idea would work better upside-down, pumping air into big underwater diving-bell-like contraptions.//   

       That's brilliant! Cheap and workable.   

       But instead of a diving bell, or external tanks, turn the whole thing into a cylinder under water to utilize that water pressure as a storage device. Taking the base, which is presumably hollow anyway, shaping it into a cylinder open to the ocean at the base. When you need to recover that stored energy, just let the water pressure push that cylinder back up.   

       Thing is, you could dig a deep well and have that cylinder go down hundreds of feet and have pipes feeding the pressurized water to the base. That pressure would increase the deeper the well.
doctorremulac3, Jun 09 2020


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