An aging transmission line built in 1948 is the only link between the U.S. power grid and the little city of Presidio in West Texas. So Presidio has invested in a single huge battery that can power the entire town and serve as emergency backup for the frequent outages caused by the line going down, NPR reports.
The huge battery began charging up this week and can store up to four megawatts of power for up to eight hours. It represents the first NaS battery in Texas and the biggest in the U.S., and has already earned the local nickname of BOB (big-old battery).
Before BOB's arrival, the Texas town had an agreement with the Mexican government that allowed it to transfer the town's electrical load over to Mexico -- but that took time and left people without power for a certain period.
Similar room-sized sodium sulfur (NaS) batteries have already found growing use among U.S. utility companies that want to put off expensive upgrades for the power grid or building new transmission lines. USA Today notes that the batteries, built by NGK Insulators of Japan, store energy and can help ease blackouts for cities.
Electric Transmission Texas helped put the battery project together for around $25 million. But the utility has also agreed to build a second 60-mile transmission line to Presidio for about $44 million by 2012.
Such a battery could also serve as a test bed for utility companies to see how the devices can help with energy storage regarding renewable energy, such as wind power or solar power. That sounds good to us, as long as utility companies don't simply lean on the batteries as a technological crutch to avoid giving the power grid its much-needed makeover.
Interesant. Idea mea de baterie este ridicarea si coborarea unei greutati f. mari ~ 1000t . Nu am facut calculele dar la o prima imaginare pare realizabila. Energia este inmagazinata in energie potentiala similar cu energia unui lift.
Good idea. 25 million to make a battery though? I know it's a big battery but, 25 million is pricey.
for $25 Mil they couldn't just update the transmission lines????
Because zinc-air batteries must be open to the air, the water inside them eventually evaporates, limiting their life span. But future cells could use electrolytes made of ionic fluids, which do not evaporate. The potential exists for rechargeable zinc-air batteries with 10 times the capacity of today’s cells.
So what happens when the Sodium and Sulphur combination reach the point of non viable condition for this battery to become dysfunctional or the charging capacity untenable as in case of all batteries big or small ( end of life span ).
The US and other western countries are already too fond of throwing away or scraping then fxing in preference to replacing. In this case it will be this monster being abandoned as we see the past negligence of toxic pollution all over this country. A fair comperison is the depleted and dangeous atomic fuel menace and such other dumping that no body wants in the their back yards. The big hole in Yuma Arizona has already cost the US taxpayer over some $10 billion, not to mention the EPA super fund something over a trillion dollars, and yet States like NV, LA, KY, TN, SC, NJ are polluted hell holes. The planet earth has already a junk yard in the sky.
cover that building with the next gen solar receivers and... good to go!
Well so far the battery is a no show. We have had multiple outages from a few seconds to several hours. Sadly even the biggest event in the lives of our seniors, graduation was delayed because of power failure and battery not working. The "experts" have been unable to fix it to this point.