Grothe Power Tower

   - energy storage solutions



FAQ's (answers to questions)


1) Why use Water Towers for energy storage?

2) Your enthusiasm for this project is contagious! Do you think this is doable in local communities in a big city as well as small rural farm communties?

3) Hope you make it! Can you give a summary of your project?

4) Good luck Robert. I want one. How long before they are available?

5) What about linking your energy storage devices together into a smart grid for the larger community?

6) Can your power towers help reduce or eliminate power outages?

7) Isn't your power towers storing expensive electricity during the day and giving it back during the cheap times of the night?

8) From your design you look like you are using moving parts for your energy storage? Doesn't this cause friction?

9) How long will your power towers last?

10) It sounds great to me, maybe it's also possible to build watertowers for a community, on a larger scale?  you got my support ;)

11) Great idea. Substainable energy with out huge investments. Can it be in a residential area? And will it generate new jobs?

12) So about how large would one of these have to be to power a house?

13) Will these power towers store enough energy to run a houshold during night and power outages?

14) Can you give more details about your power towers?

15) How is the energy stored? Is it the potential energy of the water in the tower or the thermal energy of the water heated by the solar panels?

16) I don't see why you use a water tower to maintain pressure. You have to pump the hydrogen in against that pressure, but any tank gives the same effect. The cost of fuel cells is also a big worry to me.

17) The power tower is a good word, but this might require a lot of space for heat generation if it is a passive way, can we get a little elaborated version?

18) Why use a tower instead of a regular tank? How does this compare in cost and efficiency to pumped hydro power storage?


Read more: FAQ (answers to questions)

Grothe Power Tower Project

How it Works! 

1) Grothe Power Tower receives surplus energy from a renewable energy source like solar or wind through a common electrical connection. 



2) Using a hydrogen fuelcell the power is converted and stored as a gas in a water tower like device called a Grothe Power Tower.    (patent pending design)




3) Using the same fuelcell we convert the stored energy (gas) in the power tower back into an on-demand electrical load ready for home or local community when the sun isn't shining or the wind blowing. Making the Grothe Power Tower an ideal energy storage solution for renewable energy devices.





What is a Hydrogen Fuel Cell?

pem-fuelcell-diagramHydrogen FuelCells and Solar/Wind Power

Hydrogen is the most abundant element in the universe, and it is also the element with the most energy per unit of weight! However, hydrogen gas does not exist naturally on earth as it is only found in compounds like water, which covers over 80% of the earth's surface, and all living things, like plants & animals. A Hydrogen FuelCell uses the energy in hydrogen and oxygen molecules to make electricity.

It takes some energy to produce pure hydrogen because it requires molecular bonds to be broken. The process of separating chemically bonded elements is called electrolysis. The electrolysis of water (H2O) produces hydrogen which we can use in fuelcells. Two molecules of water can be separated into oxygen (O2) and two hydrogen molecules (2H2).

     2H2O + Energy > 2H2 + O2

Many fuelcells are known as reversible fuelcells because they can be used to electrolyze water (producing hydrogen and oxygen), and they can also be used to consume hydrogen and oxygen and produce energy (electricity). So the reverse equation is also carried out in a fuelcell: 2H2 + O2 > 2H2O + Energy

In this way, fuel cells serve a similar function to batteries, but do not confuse the two! A fuelcell consumes an outside fuel source (H2), which is replenished from any supply that produces pure H2 from outside the cell. As long as there is a supply of fuel (H2), the fuel cell never runs out of energy. Batteries, on the other hand, store electrical energy within a closed system and must be recharged periodically. When pure hydrogen is consumed in the fuelcell, the result is electricity and water with none of the toxic emissions of other fuel sources. The electricity created by fuelcells can be used in any application that uses electricity.

hydrogencartour060109-olympia-waOne of the most promising uses is in cars. Fuelcell cars have no emissions other than water, and therefore do not contribute to climate change. And beyond transportation, fuelcells are also being used for heating and power generation for homes, offices, communities, and even space stations with no pollution! (picture on right is of the 2009, 8 Hydrogen Car Tour in Olympia, WA. Robert drove the red one shown below. Quiet as a whisper, all electric hydrogen fuelcell engine and no tailpipe.)

hydrogencartour060109-olympia-wa3One big advantage of hydrogen fuel is that it can be stored and transported just as easy as natural gas, and in many applications even replace it using the same pipelines we have coming into our homes and businesses today. Our appliances don't care as long as it's fuel that will burn with some minor fitting adjustments. But the home or business will see an immediate improvement in cleaner air, more even heating, and no toxic fumes. Fortunately, we can use the enormous clean energy sources like wind and solar to produce the hydrogen creating a clean, transportable source of electricity and fuel with no hazardous emissions!  And with the Grothe Power Tower energy storage solution, that electrical energy and fuel (and clean water) can now be supplied right where the demands are, when there is no sun or wind 24 hrs a day, making for a complete renewable, sustainable, clean energy cycle from production to delivery, to end consumer with multiple uses for the local home, office, church, school, hospital, government building, community shopping center, or transportation car, truck, suv, bus & construction vehicles of all kinds. All within a local community economy, easy to distribute, cost effective, sustainable, and best of all pollution free. Will not hurt the environment ever! Now that's a good deal for everyone.


Grothe Power Tower

   - energy storage solutions


Ecomagination Contest Comments with responses

March 2011


original GE contest website:



C: This information should be of interest to you

by pk47

R: Thanks again Pantelis, energy storage innovations and solutions are the key to the renewable energy transition in the world. There are many challenges to this storage, but no one solution will work for every need. Thus we need many different kinds of solutions that match specify applications. For some we need very portable mobile high density energy storage like fuel for transportation. But for other large community storage applications, it would be a waste of resources to store energy inside other materials, pressurize, or liquefy that energy storage when the raw bulk energy storage methods make the best sense and solve the immediate needs simply and directly. This is where the Grothe Power Tower comes in, making energy storage a simple straight forward solution for a local community in a common highly visible almost universally accepted water tower device. These Grothe Power Tower devices makes sense for the application we're proposing in the simple designs we've proposed. That excites and energizes us to get the financing needed to make these simple devices happen, in a short time period, and at a cost everyone can afford.

by PowerTower     +1

Read more: Comment/Response from Ecomagination Contest