Pumped Hydro Energy Storage

The Hydrobox Generator can be used in Pumped Hydro Energy Systems (PHES) for low head applications.

Pumped Hydro is the most widespread method of energy storage, the process is in two stages:

  • At night, during low demand times, when electricity prices are low, water is pumped from a lower reservoir to an upper reservoir where it is stored.

  • During the day, at peak demand times, the water from the upper reservoir flows through the Hydrobox to the lower reservoir and produces electricity, when the prices are very high.

The operating efficiency of the system is above 80% and the commercial business model is well proven.

PHES systems are generally located on sites with very high head and large reservoir sizes. There are very few suitable sites remaining for this type of PHES.

The Hydrobox can be used for low head PHES applications on any site where the upper and lower reservoirs have 4m -14m head difference.

Ideally, the PHES system would be between 2 adjacent lochs or between one loch and a man made reservoir. Alternatively, two reservoirs could be created on a flat field, with the spoil from the lower reservoir being used to create the retaining walls on the upper reservoir.

The technology could be applied on any extent of water such as lochs, rivers, canals or seawater.

The Hydrobox technology will allow PHES systems to be developed for low head applications. The market for low head PHES in the UK, and globally, is immense and is currently untapped.

Hydrobox Generator use in PHES

The key component in the system is the Hydrobox. The Hydrobox is modular in design and can be coupled with a propeller type pump, valves, pipework and switchgear to create any size of PHES system.

Pumped Hydro – Balancing the Grid

The planned major increase in fixed and floating wind farms offshore will result in an excess generation capacity, when there is no demand, at night. PHES systems can be used to provided the energy storage required at night to help balance the grid.

The Hydrobox is a new patented design of energy converter. The modular system can be used to create PHES systems on a range of low head sites.