July 5th, 2012

Ann Vole

an idea for grid energy storage

The most useful energy storage is close to the users but land is expensive. For traffic safety, it would be handy if street lights had a backup system. Batteries typically produce explosive gases so should be located outside. Many new light technologies work best in Direct Current (and many of the old ones too). Putting a battery pack inside the columns of street lights can provide a local frequency and voltage regulation as well as storage for covering peak energy usage times and for the use of renewable energy like roof-top solar PV. For brown-outs due to shorts and lightning arrest fuse breakers, this can keep more customers powered by isolating the problem with more sensitive problem detecting breakers and sources of power in isolated islands of users. These publicly owned fixtures placed everywhere in urban environments will not need to change appearance or location to house this storage and the wiring is already in place.