(ORDO NEWS) — In the mountains of Switzerland lies an elegant solution to the problem of excess power generated by power plants.
14 years after the start of construction in the Swiss Alps, a battery at the Nantes-de-Drance hydroelectric plant has started working. This plant can now store enough energy to charge 400,000 car batteries.
The Nantes-de-Drance hydroelectric power plant is one of the new solutions for storing large amounts of excess energy generated by a very powerful hydroelectric power plant.
This is not a completely new idea, but, nevertheless, its effectiveness is quite high.
During periods when renewable energy sources produce more energy than needed, the excess energy is used to pump water into the Vieux Emosson reservoir.
The water can then be used by a hydroelectric plant downstream when the energy demand increases. This water can be used to power turbines – the liquid passes through them at a speed of 360 cubic meters per second.
This idea has been called the “water battery” because the energy is “stored” in the form of water, only at a slightly higher altitude than it used to be.
Although the efficiency of this system is not at an ideal level, it is much better than letting excess power go to waste.
Such an installation would be able to provide electricity storage for most of Europe, not just Switzerland. Now it is fully operational, one of the most powerful power plants on the continent.
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