Transporting aluminum fuel and load balancing
Alydro energy storage stores energy in the form of commodity solid aluminum as fuel. This has a significant advantage over other grid energy storage methods in the ability to transport the aluminum fuel between generation sites and likewise transport aluminum-oxide for recycling.
- A single trailer loaded with 50 tons of aluminum carries 430 MWh of energy
- Aluminum is nonflammable and nonpolluting solid, making it the safest fuel to transport
That, together with the low-cost of warehousing tons of aluminum enables statewide effective planning of renewable power stations capacity as well as multi-layer failover risk mitigation.
Regional peak in power consumption
When power consumption is expected to peak in a region due to an event or extreme weather conditions – aluminum fuel reserves are transported from remote sites to the affected power stations where the Alydro power generators are deployed to supply extra power.
Seasonal power capacity
Solar power stations capacity is reduced in winter due to shallow sun ray incidence angle and becomes less predictable due to overcast. In Alydro energy storage power stations this leads to higher utilization of Alydro generation, together with lowering on-site aluminum recycling capacity. Larger reserves of aluminum should be brought on-site while aluminum-oxide beyond the site’s recycling capacity is transported to other sites for recycling.
Emergency reserves of aluminum fuel
Large amount of aluminum is warehoused centrally and is transported to generation sites in case of an emergency that prevents sustained power supply – either due to a natural disaster or to power station failure.
Load balancing between renewable power stations
The intermittent nature of renewable energy sources, where Alydro energy cycle mitigates the discrepancy between supply and consumption may lead to a mismatch between amount of recyclable aluminum-oxide accumulated on-site and the level of surplus power for recycling it back into aluminum. To address that, aluminum-oxide is transported from a site having limited surplus power to another site having power glut.
Electrolysis smelters as backup
In case of a broad imbalance between aluminum fuel consumption and on-site aluminum recycling capacity, aluminum-oxide is sold and transported to large-scale industrial aluminum electrolysis smelter where it is reduced into aluminum and in exchange aluminum is bought and transported to the renewable power station. This way the ability to use commodity aluminum for power generation buys the time needed for expanding the renewable power station for increased power capacity without compromising continuous reliability of power supply.