Frequently Asked Questions
Why is energy storage needed?
Energy storage is a solution for times when electric generation does not match the demand for energy. Societies need for electricity continues even when the sun is not shining or the wind is not blowing and renewable resources can’t meet demand. Today this function of balancing supply and demand is performed by fossil fuel power plants but in order to make a meaningful shift away from gas, coal and oil it needs to be performed in another way. Batteries can perform a balancing function but cannot be built in the scale needed to replace power plants and also add undesirable instability to the electric grid. ARES technologies can be made large enough, use no toxic elements or fossil fuels and can get this job done. Click HERE to read more about “Storage needs”.
What is gravitational energy storage?
Gravitational energy storage is performed by converting electrical energy to the potential energy of a large weight. As a weight is lifted in earths gravitational field its potential energy is increased by the force required to lift its mass. The most common form of gravitational energy storage is Pumped-Storage Hydro where water is pumped from a lower reservoir to an upper one to store energy and later released to turn a turbine regenerating electricity. Due to environmental and other concerns it is very difficult to permit and operate new Pumped-Storage Hydro facilities.
What is grid scale energy storage?
Grid scale is storage on a large scale that is interconnected to the electric grid at the transmission level as opposed to small scale systems connected at a city or town’s distribution grid or behind the meter at a customer’s facility.
How does ARES provide energy storage for the electrical grid?
ARES represents a breakthrough gravity-based energy storage technology that will permit the global electric grid to more effectively, reliably and cleanly assimilate renewable energy while providing significant stability to the electrical grid. ARES has combined proven electric railroad technology with modern power electronics to raise and lower heavy concrete containers full of rocks embedded in sand. The electric energy driving the locomotives motors is converted into the potential energy of the weights raised elevation. Later the potential energy is converted back to electricity as the weights are lowered to their original elevation driving the motors in reverse as generators. Click HERE to read “All about ARES”.
What are ancillary services or regulation energy management?
Ancillary services are the specialty services and functions provided to the electric grid that facilitate and support the continuous flow of electricity so that supply will continually meet demand. Regulation Energy Management is a new procured service that balances supply and demand for energy storage facilities and is the specific function of ARES Nevada. As more and more renewable energy resources are introduced, the transmission grid must adapt to increasing fluctuations in generation which require additional ancillary services.
What is Regenerative Braking?
Regenerative braking is commonly used on electric vehicles to convert the energy of braking to electricity to recharge a car’s batteries. The vehicles electric motors used to propel it can also be efficiently used as generators to slow the car. ARES uses regenerative braking to produce electricity during discharge.
Are ARES systems noisy and polluting?
No, ARES electric drives are quiet and use no fossil fuels or hazardous materials. Operating at only 18 miles per hour, ARES Nevada’s trains can barely be heard at a distance of a few hundred feet.
Are ARES facilities safe?
ARES is operated automatically by its own computer system after being given charge or discharge instructions from a utility. There are many redundant systems making it a very reliable energy storage technology and human supervisors in the control center that oversee all operations via video and other sensors. It is very similar in operation to an airport tram delivering passengers to their gates.
Why do you unload the weights from your vehicles?
Our train’s task is to move all of the weights from one storage yard to the other, thus charging or discharging our facility. By unloading the weights after a delivery trip the train is free to go back and pickup another load. In this process a small number of trains can make many round trips during a cycle delivering thousands of weights.
Who needs energy storage?
Grid scale storage is becoming a necessity due to societies desire to shift away from the use of fossil fuels for electricity production. Utilities and Balancing Authorities who control electric grids will be the ones responsible for balancing the integration of storage.
How do I get more information?