COMPRESSED AIR can be your solution.
Compressed Air as Energy Storage
Your own wind turbine supplies electricity when the wind is at optimal speed. You make the consumption of the house through the electric batteries. But in the case of an anticyclone week without wind, how can you accumulate the power for seven days? An investment in batteries too expensive.
“Energy is transformed, not created”. The intermittent wind energy, transformed by the wind mill into electrical energy, can be used to drive an electric compressor that compresses the air in a big flexible bag. Then, a compressed air generator produces again electricity to charge batteries.
The question has often been, how to store compressed air? In rural areas the solution may be the “Energy Bag”. As you can see in the picture, these large diameter bags are made from reinforced polyester fabric coated with steel belts capable of storing compressed air at 60 to 70 atmospheres of pressure.
Aeolian system + compressed air + batteries
A wind turbine directly charge the batteries in the first step. When they are fully loaded and wind is still blowing, the system takes this “excess” energy to power a small compressor that compresses the air inside these bags.
In the event that the batteries are close to a load level of only 40%, a small air motor will generate the electricity needed to recharge the batteries to reach 60% again. It leaves “space” of load if the wind blows again without having consumed too much accumulated air.
Innovating from the field
In theory we have solved the electric range in the short term (batteries) and long term (compressed air). But still remains a lot to be developed for practical uses in rural areas.
- The air compressed circuit and subsequent electric generation still have very low efficiency levels due to thermal losses.
- Despite its low efficiency, with the compressed air circuit we can take energy of many hours of wind that would otherwise be lost. It is better something than nothing.
- The installation must have a reasonable size because the costs of the compressor + air bag + compressed air generator has to be lower than cost of additional batteries (almost no economies of scale).
- The innovation from the base of rural residents and farmers will get overcome these obstacles in their isolated houses. The need stimulates creativity.
What do you think of compressed air storage? Do you think it could help to have more days of electric range? We appreciate your critical review!
- Air compression energy storage (InnovationToronto.com)
- NW study of storing compressed air underground (seattletimes.nwsource.com)
- Greening the Grid (forbes.com)
- How to save on Electric Storage Batteries? (1) Solar Accumulators are expensive (albertcampi.me)