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Revolutionizing energy storage: The m-Presa dam system

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Revolutionizing energy storage: The m-Presa dam system

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Revolutionizing energy storage. Say goodbye to the frustrating limitations of traditional energy storage methods. The m-Presa system allows for the

Revolutionizing energy storage: The m-Presa dam system
Revolutionizing energy storage: The m-Presa dam system
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Revolutionizing energy storage


Revolutionizing energy storage – Introducing the ingenious solution that breaks down the barriers obstructing the seamless integration of renewable resources into our energy mix: the m-Presa modular steel buttress dam system. Developed by the brilliant minds at Southwest Research Institute, this groundbreaking technology revolutionizes energy storage, slashing construction costs and speeding up schedules like never before.

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Say goodbye to the frustrating limitations of traditional energy storage methods. The m-Presa system allows for the swift and efficient construction of reservoir systems, paving the way for grid-scale energy storage and generation using closed-loop pumped storage hydropower (PSH). By harnessing the power of water, we can balance the scales of electricity supply and demand in an environmentally friendly and cost-effective manner.

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At the heart of this innovation lies the concept of gravitational potential energy. Water is pumped from a lower-elevation reservoir to a higher-elevation reservoir, utilizing low-cost, surplus electric power during off-peak times. Then, when electrical demand soars, the stored water is released back into the lower reservoir, driving turbines and generating electric power. Yes, there is a slight loss in energy during the pumping process, but the real magic lies in the value it creates.

Picture this: those moments when electricity demand reaches its peak, and prices skyrocket. Our m-Presa system steps in as the hero, providing a surplus of electricity when it is most needed. This not only alleviates the challenges posed by the unpredictable nature of renewable energy sources like solar and wind power but also brings financial benefits to the table. We’re talking about mitigating those daunting swings in electricity prices, enabling more stability and control in the energy market.

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It’s no wonder that pumped storage hydropower dominates energy storage in the United States, accounting for a staggering 95% of all storage. Dr. Gordon Wittmeyer, a hydrologist at SwRI’s Chemistry and Chemical Engineering Division, explains, “Modern PSH plants have a round-trip efficiency approaching 80-percent.” But despite the promise it holds, the deployment of PSH has been far slower than anticipated.

The culprit? Three major obstacles: construction costs, time constraints, and environmental concerns. This is where our m-Presa system truly shines, as it tackles all three head-on, annihilating any barriers in its path.

Cost has always been a lingering deterrent when it comes to investing in PSH. With capital costs reaching an intimidating $5,000 per kW installed capacity, it’s no surprise that other energy storage modes steal the spotlight. However, the m-Presa design has the power to turn the tables. By reducing construction costs to a mere $1,500 per kW installed capacity, we level the playing field and make PSH competitive once again.

Then there’s the undeniable issue of time. Traditional PSH plants take a staggering ten years to site, design, construct, and commission. In today’s fast-paced, ever-evolving energy landscape, this simply won’t cut it. Investors are flocking to solar and wind farms, where paybacks can be reaped within a decade or less. Our m-Presa system, on the other hand, is not bound by these constraints. We’ve engineered it to minimize the time between project initiation and revenue generation, making PSH an attractive option to manage the daily fluctuations in solar generation.

So, how do we achieve this swift and efficient construction? Enter our structural steel modules, the backbone of the m-Presa system. These marvels of engineering can be transported on standard-sized flatbed trailers, allowing for the rapid modular construction of buttress dams that can enclose vast surface areas and water volumes. We’re talking 10- to 40-foot-high dams that can store enough water to supply hundreds, if not thousands, of MWhs of energy.

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But what about those pesky environmental concerns? We’re fully aware that reservoir construction can have a significant impact on natural waterways, which is why we’ve gone the extra mile to mitigate those effects. Our m-Presa system ensures that the upper and lower reservoirs are created by constructing fully enclosed dams, separate from any existing streams or rivers. This means we can enjoy the benefits of PSH without harming our precious ecosystems.

Dive into the future of energy storage at booth 313 during the Clean Currents Conference in Cincinnati from October 10–13. Witness firsthand how our m-Presa system unlocks the true potential of renewable resources. With strong, long-lived steel buttress dams, we’re empowering the storage of energy on an unprecedented scale, supplying power during peak demand and fortifying grid stability. And the best part? We can construct a m-Presa PSH unit in half the time it takes to build standard PSH units.


Revolutionizing energy storage: The m-Presa dam system
Revolutionizing energy storage: The m-Presa dam system

It’s time to revolutionize the way we store and utilize energy. Embrace the power of m-Presa, where innovation, efficiency, and environmental consciousness intertwine. Join us on this extraordinary journey, where progress and sustainability go hand in hand. Together, we can reshape the energy landscape and create a brighter, greener future for all.

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