Friday, December 28, 2012

Air Compressor Storage

Copying the idea of carbon sequestration, a coalition of local facilities in Iowa, America, are working on a scheme to store surplus wind energy underground. The idea is to keep it safely locked up when demand is low so it can then be uncorked at a later date when demand is higher.

The utilities plan on building a system that will rely on a gigantic air compressor (as seen in the diagram) to pump air into porous layers of sandstone some 3,000 feet down and sealed from above by dense shale. In essence, the layers of sandstone will act as a giant balloon, allowing for wind energy to be stored until a later time when demand is high - at which point the flow will be reversed, unleashing a large amount of air into a natural gas-fired turbine boosting its efficiency by upwards of 60%. This 268-MW compressed air energy storage (CAES) system is on track to be completed by 2011.



For more detail, and to watch a animation of the technology, see the web site:
http://www.isepa.com/

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