Saturday, March 15, 2008

Alternative Energy - Power Towers?

There has always been one problem with such "free" energy sources as wind and solar power. What do you do when the wind stops blowing or the sun goes down. One answer has been to store the energy in some sort of battery system.

The drawback to this is that batteries would have to be huge, would only release DC power to an AC world, would contain pollutants that would have to eventually be disposed of, and would have other logistical problems attached.

It's not that there is not excess energy generated by wind and solar power generators, but rather how to effectively store that excess energy for later use.

One solution is by the use of "power towers". During peak times of wind and solar energy generation, some of the power generated could be used to lift weights, similar to those used in cuckoo clocks, up a tower. Wheh the wind is still or the sun has gone down, those weights can be released to descend under the power of gravity, turning a generator through a gearing system on their way down.

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