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Energy Storage Technology

Lee Layton, P.E.

Course Outline

The course begins with a discussion of how energy storage systems can be used to benefit the electric generation market.  The benefits to the electric transmission and distribution infrastructure and end-users are also covered.

The section on battery technologies covers are variety of battery types including lead-acid batteries, Ni-Cads, nickel metal hydride, vanadium, sodium sulfur, Zebra, and lithium-ion batteries.
The next section discusses non-chemical storage systems such as pumped storage hydro systems, compressed air energy storage systems, thermal energy storage systems, flywheels and supercapacitors.

The final section discusses how plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEV) may have a future in assisting the storage capability of the electric utility market.

This course includes a multiple-choice quiz at the end, which is designed to enhance the understanding of the course materials.

Learning Objective

After taking this course you should:

Intended Audience

This course is intended for engineers who want to know more about how the electric utility industry operates.

Benefit to Attendees

Taking this course will give you a good overview of the various types of energy storage systems being considered for the electric utility industry and how energy storage may change the basic operation of the electric markets.

Course Introduction

Electricity is one of the major commodities in our economy and it is one of the few commodities that never had an economical or practical method to store the product.  Electric power is produced and delivered at virtually the instant it is demanded.  Generation and transmission systems must be designed to meet the peak instantaneous demand that may occur on the system.  Considering a little extra capacity for reliability, this has resulted in a model where the capacity factor of the entire system is less than 50%.  Although it is difficult to store electricity directly, electric energy can be stored in other forms, such as potential, chemical, or kinetic energy.  Advanced energy storage technologies based on these principles are emerging as a potential resource in supporting an efficient electricity market. 

The term energy storage refers specifically to the capability of storing energy that has already been generated as electricity and controllably releasing it for use at another time.

Course Content

This course content is in the following PDF document:

Energy Storage Technology

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Course Summary

Except for pumped storage hydro and perhaps compressed air energy systems, utility-scale energy storage systems are not widely deployed.  However, with the restructuring of the electric utility industry and the increase use of variable energy sources such as wind and photovoltaics, utility-scale energy storage systems are receiving a lot of interest.

Batteries, thermal storage, flywheel storage, supercapacitors, pumped storage hydro, compressed air energy systems, and even plug-in hybrid electric vehicles are all potential storage mechanisms for utility scale energy storage systems.


Once you finish studying the above course content, you need to take a quiz to obtain the PDH credits.

DISCLAIMER: The materials contained in the online course are not intended as a representation or warranty on the part of PDH Center or any other person/organization named herein. The materials are for general information only. They are not a substitute for competent professional advice. Application of this information to a specific project should be reviewed by a registered architect and/or professional engineer/surveyor. Anyone making use of the information set forth herein does so at their own risk and assumes any and all resulting liability arising therefrom.