Energy Storage - Looking for New Ideas

How about listing some ways to store energy:

We do not want to use fossil fuels and batteries have weight,cost and life problems. So how about listing some other possibilities?

I am trying NOT to say one is any better (or even works) just trying to list some ideas.

I will start off with the “Normal” methods.

Please add some new and exciting methods that may be useful to power our Non-ICE Autos.

  1. Gasoline (all fossil fuels)

  2. Storage Battery (all seem to work about the same - some better than others )

  3. Compressed Air.

  4. Hydrogen (Kinda in the Fossil area)

  5. Flywheel

  6. Ultra-Capacitors

there are some others, but they are being worked on at the moment and I dont think they are quite ready to be released to the public yet. One hint i can give you though is that all living things have, produce, and are capable of storing energy. (varrying ammounts)

as far as the ones i know of that i can share here online there are things like ethonal (which is retarded and a waste of time and money using corn) and Fungal sugars that end up burning in a direct meathod (cheap and easy to come by/produce).

[B]Pedal power…:D[/B]

[QUOTE=MikesTrikes;4332][B]Pedal power…:D[/B][/QUOTE]

he is looking for ways to store power. that would be the body. But it is definately a powerful and useful energy source.

you should like this…


you should like this…[/QUOTE]

beat me to it:

beat me to it:[/QUOTE]

its ideas like this that make me happy… keep it simple, cheap, and yet highly effective… :slight_smile:

Hmmmm. Lets see what we can do to break this down? We want to store energy for later use. Energy comes in many forms. Electricity is what most of us think of as energy but heat is by far the most abundant form of energy. Our bodies consume more organic fuel making heat than it does making motion.

Converting any one form of energy to another always results in an energy loss.

So let’s look at ways we can store various forms of energy.

  1. Electricity can be stored:
    a. Chemically in various battery technology
    b. Statically such as in a wool sweater or a capacitor
    c. converted to motion, such as a fly wheel or…
    d. compression, Air, steel spring, composite spring or rubber band
    e. Electrolysis, cracking Hydrogen or other atoms from chemical compounds such as water.
    f. ?

  2. Heat can be stored in:
    a. Chemically, i.e. think heat packs for medical use and food heaters.
    b. thermally, heat any mass such as water or a rock or lava insulate and store it.
    c. ?

  3. Motion:
    a. Fly wheel
    b. Compression,
    c. Gravity while not really a form of energy can be used to store motion:
    Lift a given weight a given height using energy source of your choice. Convert the motion of the descending weight back to energy minus the loss from the conversion
    d. ?

  4. Light is a form of energy:
    a. Chemically, like glow-in-the-dark stickers
    b. Chemically, convert light to sugar, i.e. photosynthesis
    c. Electrically, convert photons to electrons then store the electrons
    d. ?

  5. Radio/Micro waves:
    I can not think of any way to store radio waves

  6. Radiation, Gamma, Beta alpha, X-ray:
    a. some hard radiation can be stored in objects with mass, extremely inefficient. Best done inside a huge fusion reactor such as a star.
    b. ?

  7. Chemical energy:
    a. Organically in fats and sugars. Organic life uses this form of energy storage.
    b. as oil, gasoline, alcohol, and explosives

  8. Sound
    a. sound is a form of motion energy carried in waves through the air. It can be recorded on various forms of media but it is difficult to store the sound waves directly.
    b. ?

I’m sure I am missing some stuff here. This has been a fun little exercise. Can anyone add to the above and replace some of those question marks?

polygonfla - Thanks for a great answer. Thats what I was looking for.

You seem to be right on track.

To bad most of those ideas / methods are very difficult to store in a EV for use when needed.

Isn’t it odd after the last 100 years or so of the ICE engine and a gallon of gas is still very difficult to beat even with its poor efficiency.

Everytime I try to think of some useful method to store energy for an EV it still comes back to a battery. Lead acid at the low cost in $$ end but high cost in weight and many new types of very $$$$ exotic batteries with mostly unproven track records and few homebuilders with enough $$$ to try them out.

Hydrogen / Fuel cells - Many feel this is the next best thing. I think it is a joke. They forget there is no easy source of hydrogen.

If Honda manages to get say 100 of their $600 per month Hydrogen lease cars on the road in Calif. Sadly I predict there will be a nasty hydrogen event. 5000 psi hydrogen and the public do not mix well.

You missed beer and a water spun generator. :smiley:

There should be no worries about hydrogen storage, those tanks are pretty tough. There would need to be some sort of regulation with them like requiring periodic inspections and replacement. The air cars out on the market report that in testing, the air tanks are the least likely part to be damaged, and even when the tank is purposely damaged they are designed so as to crack and spew rather than detonate. I’d not want to be around a cracked and spewing hydrogen tank in case of a fire, of course, but if you really think about it fire is fire whether it’s hydrogen or gasoline fueled. If the hydrogen caught, it would at least be quick.

Hey, how about moon juice? Remember, I coined the phrase “moon juice” as a reference to helium-3 first. :smiley:

The thing about hydrocarbons and petrol chemicals in general, is the energy density. All those prehistoric microbes each absorbed its little bit of energy from the sun and used it to combine the carbon with the hydrogen in their environment and released a bit of oxygen at the same time. In the process they changed the world by increasing the free atmospheric oxygen levels to the point where life could leave the oceans and live on land.

More than 99% of those little suckers never became oil. They decomposed and released their carbon back into the environment. But the ones that where lucky enough to get buried in the right places where compressed through geologic activity and transformed in to what we call light sweet crude. An elixir that contains so much energy density, in such a useful form that no matter how inefficiently it is used it still out performs all its’ competitors.

We are using the energy that was stored over many millions of years in a span of around 100 to 150 years. The ironic thing is, those little microbes that changed the world, did it again 100 years ago when we discovered they burn so nice and they just might do it again with the carbon they add to the atmosphere.

I have a love hate relationship with trillions and trillions of microbes.