It takes creative transformations to produce and store electricity because energy cannot be created or destroyed. Some ideas seem more absurd than others, such as the plan to revive defunct mine holes and transform them into massive batteries. Sand is the only thing they require (or an equivalent heavy enough material).
The strategy is quite straightforward and makes use of established technology. High places contain potential energy. You can change the potential energy into kinetic energy by moving them down to a lower level. Typically, that energy is what is extracted. Sand would be loaded onto a hoist that would descend a shaft in a gravity battery, and energy would be collected via regenerative braking.
Many cars utilize regenerative braking to recharge their batteries, and electric and hybrid cars also employ this technique to recharge the batteries that power their engines. Even though they don’t perfectly replicate friction breaking, they are efficient at slowing the car down over longer distances and dissipating energy. Additionally, it is utilized in public transportation, such as on the trains of the London Underground. The lift will be sent back up empty after depositing the sand at the bottom, using only a small portion of the electricity produced.
“In order to decarbonize the economy, we must reinvent the energy system using creative approaches that make use of already-available resources. One example of the numerous solutions that already exist around us and can be used is converting abandoned mines into energy storage, according to co-author and researcher Behnam Zakeri of the International Institute of Applied Systems Analysis.
Due to their reliance on variables like the weather, many renewable power facilities cannot consistently deliver electricity. To store the energy, batteries are required. Sand can be raised from the storage area deep inside the mine to the area for storage when energy is readily available and reasonably priced (or near enough). The sand is sent back down when more energy is required.
There are probably millions of mining pits in existence, but not all of them can be converted into locations for Dark Matter detection. Finding sustainable reuse methods can benefit the environment and the neighborhood communities.
“Thousands of workers are laid off when a mine closes. Communities that only depend on the mine for their economic production are completely destroyed by this. According to Julian Hunt, a researcher in the IIASA Energy, Climate, and Environment Program and the study’s principal author, UGES would result in a small number of openings as the mine would provide energy storage services once it ceases operations. The implementation of UGES plants is greatly facilitated and the cost is dramatically reduced because mines already have the necessary infrastructure and are connected to the power grid.
This strategy was covered in a paper that appeared in the journal Energies.