So, I work at a 24 hour store. Last night, though, we had to close because they had to do major floor cleaning and continue with remodeling. Because of this, the employees had to go around getting displays and movable things up off the floor for the cleaning crew. A lot of these displays had to be put into the lobby and there were enough to at least slightly block off all the carts. Also, the automatic doors outside were shut off so that they had to be pried open, and there was a sign on the entrance that said we were closed. This will all be important in a minute. A while after closing, me and a coworker were organizing shelves because we literally ran out of everything else to do. At some point, I looked over and saw this elderly couple shopping. The woman was trying to get past a taken apart display that was stacked all on top of itself to get some meat she wanted. So, these people, on their way in, had to pry the doors open, push displays out of the way to get a cart, walk past mountains of stuff that was taken apart, and see that there were literally no checkouts open and nothing on the floor. And they still came in and started shopping. The guy with me went and told them we were closed and the guy said,“Oh, I didn’t realize!” Thankfully, they were decent enough to put the things they had back. But how do you “not realize” that the store is closed when you have to pry the door open to get in?
With more wind and solar power making it’s way onto the grid, advanced rail energy storage (ARES) looks to enable the storage and transfer of renewable energy. With a very simple concept, ARES can take excess energy and store in as potential energy, and provide this excess back to the grid at times of low electricity.
ARES uses rail carts loaded with concrete blocks. These carts are powered up an incline with excess power from the grid, converting the excess energy into potential energy. The carts can then be sent back down the incline, powered by gravity alone. This converts the potential energy back into electricity.
This simple method is currently 86% efficient according to ARES - the company are working to improve this figure. ARES currently has a test track in Tehachapi, California, but has received approval from the Bureau of Land Management for their first commercial scale project in Nevada. Covering 5.5 miles worth of track, the project will have a 50MW power capacity capable of producing 12.5MW of energy. A project of this size will provide ancillary services and short-term storage able to smooth out variation in wind and solar power, as well as dealing with hourly fluctuations.
On a larger scale, ARES could become more of a power plant than a storage system. Stepping up to 200MW- 3GW would come with the ability to provide 4–16 hours of power at full output, in addition to backing up large amounts of renewable energy. ARES also has a relatively small environmental footprint, producing no emissions and using no harmful materials. Another advantage is that upon decommission, ARES can be removed and recycled.
All in all, a low-tech solution to some of wind and solar’s weaknesses.
At my store you park your cart beside the register and go around the front to pay while the cashier does a nice little hand-to-hand unloading/ring up.
The bane of my existence is customers who ‘help’.
Do you know how many times a day people very veryslowly hand me the items out of their cart while blocking me from it and say “I’m just trying to make this go faster.” Or tell their children to 'help’ in the same way (most of the time they just throw the items onto my scanner and double scan).
Stop. Step away from the cart and go around to the payment area and let me do my job. I’m timed. My managers don’t see what items are scanned or go back and watch the camera to see what took so long, they just see the time and get mad at me. You’re actually putting me at risk of getting in trouble and you are by no means making this 'go faster’, I would have been done 5 minutes ago if it weren’t for you/your tiny people nuggets.
I’m going to start reaching in the cart anyway and if I hit you in the face with a Ragu jar then it’s your own damn fault.