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The downside on those ones seems to be that they need to be heated (and kept at a heat) of 300-350 degrees and they are quite corrosive if there is an emergency. Not saying li-ion batteries are safe, but they and how Tesla has modularized them give me a lot more confidence to leave in an unattended location. Of course, it's all situational so there's a place and purpose for these things as well.

If weight/volume is not an issue, there are lots and lots of technologies that will work well for energy storage. Compressed air, flywheels, heated water, lead-acid.

Are those (e.g. flywheels, compressed air) production-ready or just start-up ideas? Also flywheels have a pretty destructive worst-case failure mode...

> heated water

How does that work (specifically for storing electricity)?

Re energy storage generally, heating is a top energy user in many parts of the world and I think relevant to the conversation. In places with CHP plants and district heating systems, the thermal battery concept is tried and tested. Since the system is already based on circulating hot water around, putting some storage tanks/caverns in the system is straightforward.

> flywheels have a pretty destructive worst-case failure mode...

Do they? If their casing is solid enough, the worst that they can do is damage themselves internally and heat up a bit. There is no buildup of pressure, leakage of chemicals or risk of a chemical fire.

Many data centers use flywheels

Not if the flywheel is in space!

In utility scale the only usable thing now is hydro pump station like https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kruonis_Pumped_Storage_Plant. Requires luck with geography: natural elevation and water not too far away.

Indeed. For this kind of discussion, it is good to have this table in head:


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