Researchers from Fraunhofer IWES are putting hollow spheres in Lake Constance to see whether the technology could be used to store offshore wind energy.
StEnSEA – Stored Energy in the SEA – is an R&D project investigating a way of storing large amounts of electricity underwater. Germany’s Research Ministry and its Economics Ministry provided funding from January 2013 to June 2016.
At the end of the year, the researchers will begin four-week of tests using a three-meter sphere in Lake Constance. The concrete spheres that will eventually be used later will be 10 times bigger – 30 meters in diameter. Each one will be able to store 20 megawatt-hours of electricity, equivalent to four hours of one what an offshore wind turbine can produce when it is running full blast.