Energy storage has become one of the major requirements in the present times. SustainX is planning to make a ripple in the market by bringing back the technology into the electricity grid of United States of America. The first project is in Seabrook in New Hampshire. It stores energy in form of compressed air pipes and regularly supplies 1.65 MW of power. The energy department has already invested $5.4 million in the venture.
Initially the compressed air energy storage utilized a compressor to put pressure on the air and then pump it into underground physical formations. The current model is based on a different strategy. The SustainX uses compressed air as a storing device. However, it holds the air in large pipes. This enables the user even the ones using it for the purpose of business to construct the storage device in a range of industrialized location. This certainly increases the scope. Not just the place of underground formation is used but also the trade locations are available.
There are two conventional plants situated in McIntosh, Alabama and the other in Huntorf, Germany. Their method of functioning is entirely different from the modern version. They use salt caverns as storage tanks. At night, the tanks pump compressed air when the energy requirement is lowest. However, during the daytime the hot air is forced through a turbine to generate power, because at this time the requirement is maximum. It is often said that energy can be stored using this technology in a very cost effective manner. Besides, it can store many KW of energy.
SustainX has a permanent magnet motor generator, which turns the six pistons designed just above it. Each piston is very tall and compresses a blending of air and water. This mixture is then pumped into the storage tanks. Whenever the electricity is required, the air pressure is released pushing the piston and turning the generator to produce electricity.
According to market experts, the latest method will be fruitful for a number of countries namely the Asian countries. China has plans to install it in the next financial year. Richard Brody, the vice president of business development says that the energy can get up to $500 per kilowatt-hour, besides the system can operate continuously for a period of 20 years.
There are other players who are equally interested in setting foot in the market with their advanced and well-researched device. Light sail Energy of Berkeley, California is on the verge of completion of a project. It will store compressed air in steel tanks. Another company of Newton, General Compression functions in a completely different way. It has a compressor that is operated by a wind turbine in underground grotto. Each of the companies is trying to design their devise using a cost effective way. They have discarded the usage of a host of clumsy battery alternatives. The companies are optimistic that they will make an effective technical invention in near future that will enable the storage devices to hold multi hour energy.