Alternatives to Storing Electric Power

Hydraulic, pneumatic and mechanical energy storage systems as alternatives to the battery

Energy storage systems are a central component of the energy transition because the yield from renewable energies, like wind and sun, can only be planned to a limited extent. They take up surplus energy and feed it back into the grid later on whenever necessary. Besides the tried and proven pumped storage power plants and the relatively costly accumulators, there are other technically and commercially attractive alternatives: Hydraulic, pneumatic and mechanical energy storage systems.

Solutions of this type have already been used successfully in the automotive segment – such as mechanical flywheel accumulators in motor sport and in buses. And even many years ago IAV successfully integrated a hydraulic storage system with high power density into a “hydrohybrid" concept vehicle. The focus here was on recuperating braking energy. We also want to use this experience for new high-capacity energy storage systems and for stationary operation. This is where we benefit from our broad-ranging expertise in configuring systems and in open and closed-loop control for hydraulic, mechanical and pneumatic energy storage systems.

These alternatives to accumulators can be used in regions generating surplus electricity at certain times – such as in areas with high sunshine levels or in coastal regions – and provide stable grids there. Also conceivable are special-purpose applications with specific demands on power output and energy density of the type occurring, for example, in industrial plants with large and / or highly accelerated masses.