UBC Undergraduate Research

An investigation into energy storage for use with renewable energy generation in the new SUB Beales, Joel; Serwa, Jason; Slade, Andrea


Renewable energy is a key component in the new SUB project. The project vision, set out by the AMS to guide the project to completion, states one of the specific sustainability targets to meet LEED Platinum certification includes “design for a potential improvement of energy performance over time, to net zero energy use if possible” (SUB Vision). The largest challenge in implementing successful renewable energy systems is the storage and then redistribution of this energy. The scope of this report is to carry out a triple bottom line assessment, including social, environmental and economic aspects, of energy storage methods for the new SUB. Three technologies are investigated, which include pumped hydro, flywheel, and battery storage. Both negative and positive impacts are addressed in order to determine the most viable option. Criteria to base to negative and positive impacts include successful implementation of the technology elsewhere, cost effectiveness, energy density, reliance on non-renewable resources, social consequences involved in the materials, and can function feasibly with renewable energy methods while demonstrating energy storage to the public. To compare the technologies, it is assumed the SUB is operating as net-positive energy and a baseline value is used to reflect this. Taking all factors into consideration, batteries are concluded to be the most viable energy storage option for the new SUB project. What it lacks in demonstrating sustainable energy practices to the public is more than redeemed in the overall cost savings, high energy storage capacity per volume and weight, as well as the highly effective recycling programs that limit the negative impacts to the environment. Disclaimer: “UBC SEEDS provides students with the opportunity to share the findings of their studies, as well as their opinions, conclusions and recommendations with the UBC community. The reader should bear in mind that this is a student project/report and is not an official document of UBC. Furthermore readers should bear in mind that these reports may not reflect the current status of activities at UBC. We urge you to contact the research persons mentioned in a report or the SEEDS Coordinator about the current status of the subject matter of a project/report.”

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