Underground Wind Energy Storage gaining in popularity
Okay, class, problem: Right when you need your house to be warmer, so does everybody else, because it's cold - so you're buying "peak hours" electricity, wind-derived or not.
You have two choices: store the electricity, or store the heat. With electric thermal storage, you use off-peak current to warm up special bricks, then use the heat throughout the day, through hot water, hot air, or both.
Thermal Energy Storage of Maine LLC sells hydronic heaters, forced air heaters, and modified heat pumps. In a world of ever-expanding rechargeable battery use, it's refreshing to see a storage technology that stores heat on purpose.
Want something a little more... upscale? Scientists are taking a fresh look at compressed air electrical storage (CAES). The concept: during high-wind (or peak-use) hours, use some wind energy to squeeze air down into rock formations, then let it back up to power turbines when the wind dies down or demand is higher. Check out General Compression for more.