Tag Archives: Energy

Battery Backup

I was listening to the radio a few days ago and they were talking about the difficulties of building a power grid that is sized to handle the peak load in the middle of the day. For 18 out of the 24 hours the electric needs are relatively low and then in the middle of the business day the load can grow another 80%.  One idea might be to use solar or wind to cover the peak, but they aren’t always reliably available.

My first thought was to build a giant battery, charge it up at night and let it discharge during the day. I imagine that the batteries would have to be immense, multitudes of them, each the size the Pentagon. Might be none too feasible, potentially unsafe and esthetically challenging.

The next day, they were talking about the upcoming future of electric cars. Especially intra-city commuter vehicles. Then I had a vision of parking garages full of batteries. Just sitting there plugged into the grid topping off. They could be the peak power reservoir.  The Utilities would actually have an incentive to distribute recharging stations to every parking slot in every garage in the city.  Drivers could get free electricity in exchange for the use of their batteries for the day.  The report ended with a blurb that some city planners were already thinking of using the car batteries that way. Drat, another idea stolen.