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Ted talk on Compressed Air energy storage  RSS feed

 
allen lumley
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Even though this Ted Talk was given in CERN it has noting to do with Fusion power !!!

- This Ted talk clearly describes the problems in efficient energy storage in High pressure Compressed air .
And shows a 1st working prototype with more power and increased efficiencies !

Money spent so far on this project 55 million dollars - but results of the research is a new type of ( spun fiber-glass ? )
storage tank stronger than anything else and cheaper than any thing else by 2Xs

Link below :


https://youtu.be/hZiaTV6uvFQ

Something to watch for further developments ! Big AL
 
Creighton Samuiels
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It was a nice presentation, but I don't believe it. I'm sorry, but there are fundamental laws of physics that would have to be in error for this to be more than just an incremental improvement in efficiency. Granted, even a small improvement in efficiency might make the difference as a viable alternative to batteries. The problem, as not quite well stated in the video, is that when a gas is compressed, it's temp increases in a well known manner. If the goal is short term energy storage (off-peak to peak, within a single day), insulating the air tank is usually an effective method; but also requires an expander to take advantage of the heat energy in addition to the pressure energy. She mentioned that her compressor is also an effective expander, which is quite the trick to start with because most air motors are just like compressors, and make awful expanders. However, we do know how to make effective expanders; because natural gas pipelines have been using them for decades to power remote facilites from the transition of pressure from a long-distance pipeline (high pressure) to that of a local pipeline (lower pressure) that both runs a genset and functions a local air cooling unit. Years ago, I had the idea that after peak natural gas, those pipelines that travel north-south could be used to heat northern homes (by compressing air and using the waste heat as space heating) feed that air into the long-distance pipelines so that it can be sold to southern homes for cooling (by controlled expanders, like are on commercial aircraft. As a matter of law, air conditioning on a commercial aircraft cannot use a freon that can displace oxygen in the cabin if it leaked, which is all of them, so all aircraft use an air based cycle) or motive energy to run machines.
 
allen lumley
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Creighton Samuiels : I grew up around mining engineers who could prove on paper that moving compressed air from one location to another was much
more efficient than other forms of 'Power Transmission' with fewer losses !

In those places with deep* and wet mines They wanted to bring back the entire Trompe system, but could never get their plans past the bean counters
who objected to the lengthy R.O.I.

At the time the Engineers were talking about nearly free low pressure compressed air- (Still the leader in all forms of drilling/mining by many factors) and
simply upgrading the technology from early 30s to late 50s.

The price quoted for research and development through to a working prototype shows that there are problems with finding major improvements, I am very
hopeful that this could replace Batteries, especially at remote locations that have a use for the compressed air beyond its long term storage potential !

In fairness The Original Ted video needed serious editing to make sure the main challenges to future development were not buried within the speakers
monolog on how she ended up working on THIS project !

I went back and curtailed 5 minutes off of the start and no-one needs to watch the last minute !

Short version: For a long time- maybe forever, this will be a niche market, however- anywhere you already have falling water that can be contained for nearly
free low pressure Compressed air and any other source of interruptible power service Then I think this will have a future

A good question- are there other markets and where ! Big AL

* The Trompe system will work anywhere that you have falling water that can be practically contained, much of the North American Continent has to deal with
freezing temperatures and a build up of ice exposes any outside structure quickly to Tons of crushing weight, generally (eastern ) Mines are cold and wet - but
not anywhere near freezing, especially those mines deep enough to produce useable power with a Trompe system ! A.L.
 
Creighton Samuiels
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allen lumley wrote:Creighton Samuiels : I grew up around mining engineers who could prove on paper that moving compressed air from one location to another was much
more efficient than other forms of 'Power Transmission' with fewer losses !



This is quite true, particularly if the transmission "pipe" is easy to maintain. Large factories do this all the time, with the huge network of black iron pipe also contributing to the energy storage.



In those places with deep* and wet mines They wanted to bring back the entire Trompe system, but could never get their plans past the bean counters
who objected to the lengthy R.O.I.

At the time the Engineers were talking about nearly free low pressure compressed air- (Still the leader in all forms of drilling/mining by many factors) and
simply upgrading the technology from early 30s to late 50s.



That's true also, since a trompe system is a very low tech version of hydro power, but what she was demonstrating is not a trompe system. I have thought about a small trompe system on my property, mostly for food refrigeration, because the system is so simple and maintainable. I haven't seriously looked into whether my stream is suitable simply because the infrastructure cost is rather large compared to a micro-hydropower system, or even a solar array. Once installed correctly, though, it could last a century or more.


Short version: For a long time- maybe forever, this will be a niche market, however- anywhere you already have falling water that can be contained for nearly
free low pressure Compressed air and any other source of interruptible power service Then I think this will have a future


Oh, I don't doubt that air power has a niche, and it always will. I do doubt the claims in the video that it could replace batteries *generally*.
 
Creighton Samuiels
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Actually, another way to produce lightly compressed air (about 4 to 12 PSI) is to use a hydraulic ram with a flow of water. These devices use a chamber of compressed air as the 'spring return' of the pump, in order to push the water uphill. In order to make sure that there is always air availabe to be compressed, and it doesn't dissolve away, a reed value lets a little bubble into the pump every cycle. This is generally overkill, and that bubble usually just runs up the water pipe. However, it's possible to draw a *little* bit of compressed air off the top of the air chamber at regular intervals without interrupting the cycle. A pressure switch could be installed in the top of the air chamber to only let a puff through when the pressure is above a moderate pressure, and a pressure pipe (any type of pvc pipe, properly glued would do) leading to a storage tank closer to the point of use could be *very slowly* filled over a long period, automaticly. I'm not sure how to step up that pressure to a more useful range though.
 
allen lumley
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Creighton : Thanks for getting me to tighten up my game ! Dialogs work better when there is comprehension - So we can agree that many many Cubic feet
of air gets lightly compressed before we get to pressures capable of much work !

So stage one can be compressed air bled off of a hydraulic ram, stage two can be A Trompe system, and any losses to this point are 'Free' in that we didn't
pay for them THis allows us to 'build in' our needed efficiencies our working compressor should run At.

we are already at the point where Renewables and on-site Power storage is cheaper than being grid tied to a system that must spin-up power plants for peak
power and then deliver that power when the load on the grid further reduces efficiencies.

The only real question remaining is what kind of storage will it be, with lead acid batteries we are doomed to over build the system to allow use to draw down
useful power efficiently, While it appears that lithium batteries like lead batteries are near infinitely recyclable the 50 plus year life cycle of compressor and
holding tanks are impressive .

With this technology, the next area to be opened up will probably surprise us both ! For the Crafts ! Big AL
 
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