28 Jun '11, 7pm

Storing Wind Power Energy in Compressed Air Tanks Could Change the World

Storing Wind Power Energy in Compressed Air Tanks Could Change the World

In conventional compressed-air storage, electricity is used to compress air, which is stored in underground caverns or aquifers. That air is then released to drive a turbine-generator to produce electricity when needed. Such storage costs roughly a tenth of what battery storage costs, but it isn't used much because in large part because it requires a location with underground storage space. SustainX's system eliminates this problem because it can efficiently use above-ground storage tanks rather than caverns. [...] The company reduces costs by using pistons, rather than turbines, to generate electricity. Gas turbines can only generate electricity from a narrow range of air pressures. The pistons can operate at a larger range--and because air can be compressed more, the system can store more energy. What's more, the pistons operate well after the pressure in the tank has fa...

Full article: http://www.treehugger.com/files/2011/06/sustainx-wind-pow...

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