23 Feb '12, 6pm

LightSail Energy Could Make Compressed Air Grid-Scale Storage Work: LightSail Energy is raising a third round

LightSail Energy is raising a third round of venture funding for its advanced grid-scale compressed air energy storage (CAES) technology. CEO Steve Crane, a geophysicist by training, said the company’s accomplishments warrant reaching beyond the Khosla Ventures backing that has so far sustained it. “This problem of large-scale energy storage has been around for a century or more,” Crane said. “It apparently bedeviled Thomas Edison.” And, Crane added, “a lot of people a century later might agree with him.” CAES stores mechanical energy rather than electrochemical energy, which is what the more familiar battery holds. With CAES, an electricity-powered air compressor drives air into storage tanks and the compressed air can then be released on demand to generate electricity. “The problem,” Crane said, is “round-trip efficiency.” Previous CAES systems only return “an estimated ...

Full article: http://www.greentechmedia.com/articles/read/LightSail-Ene...

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