Power Grid Storage

Powerline patrol / The inspectop

This storage system was started by using the knowledge gained from upper level atmosphere research, into ozone production and the study of high energy radiation by solar space probes.

While it sounded like every guided tour spiel, the few passengers allowed on the job understood, at the end and being tour guide was the inspectors extra duty.

Just becoming visible on the horizon were the storage tanks and with one injector station to service, the whole complex would soon be in plain view. Four on board was a full load. The pilot, the inspector and two teenagers writing a school newspaper article. The passengers had been picked up from a depot between stations.

The landing pad on the roof of the station gave an overall view of their surroundings and a clean dust free arrival. On landing the pilot contacted both the ground patrol and the high altitude surveillance for traffic control and security.

While the pilot tied down the craft, logged in then checked the auxiliary equipment for his craft, the inspector unlocked the roof hatch and started on his job of checking the main systems. The job was oversight, security and monitoring of the power lines, the liquid injectors and the cooling plants the injectors needed.

The geographic area of this station allowed the power lines to be put deep into the ground and so the these stations were tens of miles apart. The downside was the coolant pressure to reach next station. The inspector had never seen a major leak and did not want to, so he was meticulous on his patrols. The high frequency pulsed direct current flowing in the chilled cables, shrouded in piping could be at the multi-mega amp ranges. The consequent magnetic pulse could affect their aircraft instrument operation.

Considering the ambient and ground temperature the amount of liquid nitrogen being injected was excellent. The cooling units were operating well within their design limits and the coolant store was at a maximum. The in-ground heat sinks were in the green, nowhere near last year's temperature.

The last and most nerve wracking check was the power pick-ups of the station. This required the inspector to descend, down to the injection points, take readings and eye-ball all the equipment. The station pick-ups were induction units tapping power from the main line, then sending the electricity to transformers to be used for coolant pumping, cooling and for the auxiliary systems the station used.

On completion, the inspector went back up top, collected the young reporters and then showed them most of the station.

While they watched, he down loaded the stored sensor data to a small laser disk for transport and logging. They questioned why the human link instead of direct transmission. The point being to be sure of amperages sent or stored to the various customer links. People trying for free power was always possible with induction units, so close monitoring and policing was necessary to prevent opportunism.

One locator beacon was not at full power, so the pilot had booked it for service and had just started the pre-flight checks. This gave the inspector time, to inform the youngsters of the theory behind the power storage system. The only other large stored power had been hydro-electric with linked power stations and hydraulic lifting as the storage medium, during low demand time.

Solar research added to the irradiation of food had been the trigger to try to break water vapour apart, into two gasses and to keep them separate. The first attempts had been combustion chambers and three diverse technologies had been combined to prevent rejoining and so become a usefull power storage system. The first technology was the oil cracking tower, for catalyzing and vertical separation. The second was the electrostatic paint booth, for low pressure particle transportation. The third was low temperature cooling for density separation of the two gases and for thermal safety. The inspector needed to explain the electro¬static painting and it's adaption to the youngsters, he considered they should have been aware of it before seeing the storage plant. The adaption had been laser perforated anode and cathode plates matched to gas densities and atomic sizes. As they were about to board the air craft he just had time to tell them of the use of ultra-violet lasers instead of gamma radiation for safety and as it happened, efficiency.

The flying time from the injector station to the storage complex was only ten minutes, so while the pilot circled the area the inspector pointed out the main features of it all. The most visible parts were of course the gasometers, a centuries old idea of a floating tank to hold gas and deliver it as and when needed. The cooling towers of the surge generators were the next biggest things. To try and re-use as much of the water that the surge generators exhausted was a necessity, given the location.

The next most visible units were the cracking towers with their feeding piping and electrical inputs, also the gas piping leading to the gasometer storages.

The buildings housing the jet turbines and the surge generators were the smallest units and as close to the gasometer as safety permitted. The living quarters for the operating, maintenance and administration staff were on the periphery of the complex in the most pictaresque and comfortable spot that was possible. The airport area was on the garden section adjacent to the living quarters. A vehicle was waiting for them on touch down.

Arriving at the power station linked to the line he had checked, the inspector and his reporters went to the injector coolant section. Here he only needed a laser disk of stored data to round out his inspection. One of the young reporters asked, if the power line was two way how was the input used As each line was like the spoke of a wheel connected to a central hub with a circumferral periphery, the power circuit could be across the hub to an opposite site. Or around the outside to an adjacent point back across the hub and along the spoke to complete the circuit. The possibilities were manifold.

The cracking towers used a lot of power which became gas storage, to be used to power jet driven generators as needed. The group went over to a cracking tower and the inspector pointed out the heavy cabling and the gas pipes leading of to the storages. Just as an arc welder melts metal and carries it into a join, the obverse is the cracking tower. Unlike an oil cracking tower with a bottom to top separation, these units start in the middle with the hydrogen exit at the top and the oxygen exit at the bottom. A circle of water sprays at high pressure with a circle of lasers reflecting of a circular band inside the middle. The laser drilled plates top and bottom of this centre section with high power electricity to break apart the water into the two gases. Another pair of plates above and below this centre section are the electro static Anode and Cathode to assist the separation. Finally the water lubricated pumps to clear the gases and at the bottom excess water to the respective tanks for later re-use.

This storage sustem gave the most efficient use of all the different power generation types, solar electric solar thermal, wind, tide wave power and off- peak standard thermal generation. The last check was the water storage and the various inlet feeds. A water storage was at the heart of the whole scheme. After a meal break, back to the air port and a return to the depot. The inspector was now of duty, till his next roster on, to check out a different power line.

Copyright © Jack Beresford