Wind and Solar Farms are scattered across the World. As the power output of these sites continue to grow, they are faced with an ever growing problem of energy storage. Both wind and solar power production fluctuates. The biggest problem facing these utilities as they feed power into the grid is finding a way to keep the power they produce flowing when the wind stops and the sun isn't shining.
The utility companies need to provide electricity in a dependable, efficient and reliable manner. Solar and Wind Farms usually provides this when the sun shines and the wind blows. Most of the time, utility companies are able to use and resale all of the energy delivered to them. When the amount of power produced exceeds consumption rates, they must have a method to store their excess energy. Batteries and pumped water are the primary ways of storing power today. Pumped air into underground caverns, material heat transfer/storage and even pushing loaded box cars up a hill is also being researched.
Ground based Lifter Systems consisting of Lifters, Gravity Banks and Carousels may be built using a Lifter configured with vertical supports. A modified Lifter designed to move the Carriage up an inclined plane such as a hill or mountain might be used instead. The modified Lifter design would require less vertical support hardware, but more real estate to implement. However the operational requirements would remain the same.
A Lifter combined with a Gravity Bank and a Carousel would provide a clean and efficient method for energy storage. Using Powered Lifters would enable every Wind, Solar and offshore power producers a means to store energy
Using Lifters in combination with a Carousel has many advantages to a single Lifter, but there may be a time and place where many single Lifters would be easier to build and maintain. A field of Lifters could be constructed and operated with a rhythm based on solar and wind cycles. A truly inertial system would perform like plants opening in the morning to capture solar energy, releasing that energy at night as the Carriages descend, only to repeat the cycle over again the next day.
Consider a field of Liters as show in the drawing to the left. There are two plots with 60 Lifters in each plot. Each Lifter may have one or more Carriages, working their way up the Vertical Support. As an example of the energy storage capacity lets assume that each Lifter has three Carriages and that the Carriages are longer than they are high and each Carriage holds 2000 lbs. For this example, lets say that the Vertical Support has an operating height of 60 feet.
120 Lifters x 3 Carriages x 2000 lbs = 720000 lbs. or 360 tons and would provide an approximate output for the following drop times.
16 kw for 1 hour = 300 watts for 55 homes
8 kw for 2 hours = 150 watts for 55 homes
4 kw for 3 hours = 75 watts for 55 homes
Lifter Farm Powered by Wind and Solar
Lifter Pole Farm
Assuming something as dense as concrete was used in the payload above, the Carriage payload could have these dimensions 1.1 x 6 x 2 ft. The sizing of the Carriage and the height of the Vertical Support is dependent upon how many tilts it would take to move a Carriage up to the desired height. This in turn would be dependent on the availability of the energy storage source and its quantity. The output may be increased by increasing the weight of the payload in the Carriage and/or increasing the height of the Vertical Supports.
One has to be reminded that this is stored energy. The Lifters do not produce any energy unless they have energy applied to them. The energy they store is energy that would have been wasted if it had not been stored. Whether the energy comes from an existing power grid or from some other source, the energy would end up being stored by the Lifter. So if these Lifters collected solar power and used it to tilt Carriages up a Vertical Support during the day, it would be available for consumption at night or to supplement the existing power grid when additional power is needed.