Repurposing Inactive Oil and Gas Wells for Energy Storage: Maximizing the Potential Via Optimal Drivetrain Control: Preprint

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaper


In recent years, there has been a growing emphasis on utilizing energy storage to enhance grid resilience against disruptive events. While renewable energy supply continues to expand, gravity-based solutions like pumped hydro remain dominant in the commercial space. However, their geographical limitations constrain availability, scalability, and increase costs for co-locating solar and wind energy. An alternative approach proposes repurposing idle oil and gas wells located closer to existing grid infrastructure, offering a promising and cost-effective solution. This paper addresses the optimization and control of a regenerative drive system coupled to an interior permanent magnet synchronous machine in a 300-meter well with a 100-Newton weight. The study employs a dynamic MATLAB/Simulink model to simulate the operation of the electric drivetrain system during storage and discharge operations. The results demonstrate an initial round-trip efficiency of 85.9% for the electrical system alone and identify crucial factors for maximizing efficiency. The optimized operation and control of the electromechanical drivetrain system hold great potential for minimizing the levelized cost of storage while maximizing efficiency and revenue generation.
Original languageAmerican English
Number of pages11
StatePublished - 2024
EventPower electronics Machines and Drives - Belgium
Duration: 23 Oct 202324 Oct 2023


ConferencePower electronics Machines and Drives

Bibliographical note

See NREL/CP-5000-88638 for paper as published in proceedings

NREL Publication Number

  • NREL/CP-5000-86579


  • gravity energy storage
  • maximum torque per ampere control
  • permanent magnet synchronous motor
  • PWM converter


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