The 900 MW water battery, which cost Switzerland 2 billion euros and took 14 years to build, has already been put into operation. The battery is located 600 meters underground in the Swiss Alps, Euronews reports.
The device consists of two large pools of water located at different heights. When power generation is high, the excess power is used to move water from the lower pool to the upper one, in a manner similar to charging a conventional battery. When electricity consumption increases, the water from the upper pool is released and redirected to the lower pool, passing through turbines that generate electricity. Thus, the process of feeding the network occurs.
This concept may seem new, but it has been used in Switzerland for centuries. The US has also been using this method for 100 years.
The water cell, which was recently commissioned in Switzerland, has a storage capacity of 20 million kWh, equivalent to the capacity of 400,000 electric vehicle batteries, and is designed to stabilize the power grid in Switzerland and other connected networks in Europe. According to Euronews, the station has six turbines that can generate 900 MW of electricity.
The accumulator is located between the Emosson and Vieux Emosson reservoirs in the southwestern part of Switzerland at a depth of 600 m underground. This is a whole complex with a length of about 200 m and a width of more than 32 m. To deliver building materials to the site, engineers had to first dig tunnels through the Alps, which are 18 km long. After these tunnels were built, building materials and equipment were moved to an underground construction site. All these processes took 14 years.
To increase battery capacity, the height of the Vieux Emosson dam was also increased by 20 m. Operating at its peak, the installation is capable of simultaneously supplying electricity to 900,000 homes.
Earlier, we reported that scientists using liquefied gas were able to modernize the design of lithium batteries. It was also reported that the first commercial battery powered by sand was put into operation.
Photo: Nant de Dance | Sebastien Moret