22Jul
By: incharged On: July 22, 2013 In: News, Blog Comments: 0

July is coming to an end, and the heat just keeps on rising. Because of the higher temperatures and humidity, people have been keeping air conditioning on all day and all night. Power companies strain to stay operational with the surge in power usage, and brownouts are a very real possibility. Obviously everyone wants to keep cool – but it’s important to conserve energy whenever possible.

The first thing to come to mind is turning the A/C down a few degrees, and turning off the lights when they are not in use- but another great way to do your part is to buddy up: get a cell phone charger with multiple USB ports, and charge with a friend. A cell phone will not charge faster if it has its own outlet, so multiple device charging stations are the most efficient way to recharge your cell phone – the voltage is divided while the charge isn’t. An even better option is to find one of InCharged’s cell phone charging stations where you can power up for free. Our charging stations only plug into one standard outlet, but they provide power to eleven devices!

Air conditioner use during recent hot weather has strained the capacity of power companies across the Northeast and Midwest. Several utilities including Con Edison, National Grid, and the large European utilities Enel and GDF SUEZ have signed up to fine-tune and test what they hope could lead to an answer — a battery half the size of a refrigerator from Eos Energy Storage. If the testing goes well, the batteries hold the promise of providing storage that until now has been unaffordable on a large scale. Diane Cardwell reports in The New York Times:

“Energy storage is no longer an idea and a theory — it’s actually a practical reality,” said Steve Hellman, Eos’s president. “You’re seeing a lot of commercial activity in the energy storage sector.”

Part of the appeal is economic: utilities could buy power from centralized plants during off-peak hours, when it is cheaper, and use it to feed the grid at peak hours when it is typically more expensive. That could also relieve congestion on some transmission lines, reducing strain and the need to spend money upgrading or repairing them. In addition, batteries could help integrate more renewable sources like solar and wind into the power grid, smoothing out their intermittent production.

“Energy storage in general has been kind of a holy grail for utilities — a lot of the generation and demand is instantaneous,” said Joseph Carbonara, project manager in research and development at Con Edison, who is managing the Eos program. “The utilities have always been looking to buffer that.”

Source: New York Times

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