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Critical review of energy storage systems

This review article critically highlights the latest trends in energy storage applications, both cradle and grave. Several energy storage applications along with their possible future prospects have also been discussed in this article. Comparison between these energy storage mediums, as well as their limitations were also thoroughly discussed. Suggestions and solutions in mitigating some of these challenges in order to improve the overall performance of these energy systems have also been analysed in this investigation. In spite of the accelerated growth in home energy storage system, there is still a grave need for further investigations, in order to reduce their costs. Further research activities will reduce the cost of some of these novel technologies, thereby accelerating their commercialization as well as making them better competitors against traditional energy storage mediums.

Energy systems are dynamic and transitional because of alternative energy resources, technological innovations, demand, costs, and environmental consequences. The fossil fuels are the sources of traditional energy generation but has been gradually transitioned to the current innovative technologies with an emphasis on renewable resources like solar, and wind. Despite consistent increases in energy prices, the customers’ demands are escalating rapidly due to an increase in populations, economic development, per capita consumption, supply at remote places, and in static forms for machines and portable devices. The energy storage may allow flexible generation and delivery of stable electricity for meeting demands of customers. The requirements for energy storage will become triple of the present values by 2030 for which very special devices and systems are required. The objective of the current review research is to compare and evaluate the devices and battery energy storage system presently in use and anticipated for the future. The economic and environmental issues as well as challenges and limitations have been elaborated through deep and strong consultation of literature, previous research, reports and journal. The technologies like flow batteries, super capacitors, SMES (Superconducting magnetic energy storage), FES (Flywheel Energy Storage), PHS (Pumped hydro storage), TES (Thermal Energy Storage), CAES (Compressed Air Energy Storage), and HES (Hybrid energy storage) have been discussed. This article may contribute to guide the decision-makers and the practitioners if they want to select the most recent and innovative devices and systems of energy storage for their grids and other associated uses like machines and portable devices. The characteristics, advantages, limitations, costs, and environmental considerations have been compared with the help of tables and demonstrations to ease their final decision and managing the emerging issues. Thus, the outcomes of this review study may prove highly useful for various stakeholders of the energy sector.

The need for energy emerged as soon as human beings learned to cook food, although people were unknowingly benefitting from solar energy to protect their bodies from coldness and drying clothes in the sun etc. The first planned utilization of energy was from wood and fire. However, increasing awareness of nature for taking advantage of energy, various sources of energy were identified and put to versatile uses. People also acquainted to change forms of energy and storing it for the times when sources were not available, for example, solar energy at night, though the ways of conserving energy were very basic like storing wood under shelter and other safe places. However, increased populations and energy usage versatility added other sources like coal, steam, water, wind, and petroleum. The invention of electricity changed the whole scenario of energy. The olden sources of energy were replaced partially by the production and consumption of electricity. Some modern sources of energy like nuclear and renewable resources have been identified in the twentieth century. Presently, an energy mix is prevailing and being used in different parts of the globe. The demands for energy are increasing rapidly due to an increase in populations, economic development in developing countries, enhancement in per capita consumption, change in lifestyle, and supply at more remote places as stored energy. The world’s primary energy consumption was 149,634 and 157,064 Terawatt-hours (TWh) in 2015 and 2018 respectively (Ritchie and Roser, 2019). According to their estimate, the regional consumptions were 69,615, 32,936, 23,859, 10,822, 10,494, 8164, and 5367 TWh for Asia Pacific, North America, Europe, CIS, Middle East, South and Central America, and Africa respectively. Thus, the biggest consumers of energy were Asia Pacific and North America while Africa used the least quantum of energy in 2018. The Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries are although low populated, but are high consumer of energy, even in comparison to some of the developed countries (Al-Badi and AlMubarak, 2019). The consumption of electricity in the GCC region has grown from just 51 TWh in 1990 to almost 536 TWh in 2015 whereas the per capita use has been recorded as one of the highest rates. It is estimated that the GCC countries will be consuming 1094 TWh by 2025 (Almulla, 2014). Such a pattern is mostly due to rapid economic development and significant change in the lifestyle. The household energy storage system necessarily require smooth, balanced, reliable and quality supply (maintaining constant voltage and frequency) to the customers without any breaks and potential damage to electrical appliances. The strong variations always exist in demand of electricity at different times. Hence, there could be certain times when the energy production will be more than demand and vice versa. Just to quote an instance, the peak demand of GCC countries in summer is twice the off-peak summertime requirement due to the running of air conditioners

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