To be honest, this is just a wild guess, but how else do you suppose they kept the lights on for the most awkward dinner party in the world during that last episode of The Walking Dead? Sure, they made a big deal about their ground-mounted solar array, but it looked barely large enough to power one McMansion, let alone a whole gated community full of them. More to the point, where was the energy storage?
The answer has got to be a microgrid with high-penetration renewable energy plus energy storage, which leads us to a zinc bromide flow battery.
Energy Storage For The Zombie Apocalypse
As it happens, US-based Raytheon has just announced the successful test of a microgrid with energy storage and high-penetration renewable energy in the form of a solar array.
The system is a partnership with the companies Primus Power and Advanced Energy, along with the Energy Departments National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL), so group hug all you taxpayers.
The demonstration was designed to show that an off-grid facility could use 100% of the solar energy harvested on site, reducing and potentially eliminating the need to burn conventional fuel.
The heart of the system is Primus Powers EnergyPod, which is a zinc bromide flow battery. For those of you new to the topic, flow batteries store energy the form of two separate liquids, generating electricity when they flow adjacent to each other. Earlier versions were large and bulky, which limited their use, but next-generation flow batteries are more compact and efficient.
Partly because the two liquids are stored in separate tanks, flow batteries have virtually no exposure to fire hazards and other risks, making them ideal for urban energy storage, as well as energy storage for sensitive facilities.
Speaking of sensitive facilities, heres a question for all of you Walking Dead fans out there. Lets say that the Centers for Disease Control in Atlanta had one of these solar-powered microgrids with zinc flow battery energy storage would the Last Scientist on Earth still need an excuse to blow the place up?
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12 December 2017