Hydrostor compressed air storage plant will be able to store up to 10GWh of energy
To achieve net zero carbon emissions, various Technical coordination includes pumping water, huge lithium-ion batteries, tanks filled with molten salt or silicon, hot bricks, and heavy bricks stacked in towers or suspended in mines.
Pumped storage power generation accounts for about 95% of the world’s power grid energy storage. The problem, however, is that this type of power plant requires a specific type of site and an astonishing amount of concrete to build a pumped-storage power station, which runs counter to the goal of net zero. In addition, the rotting vegetation in the dam can also cause greenhouse gas emissions. At the same time, the size of the largest super battery built so far is only in the range of 200MW/MWh, but the planned target value is 1GW.
Another technology that has been used for decades is Compressed Air Energy Storage (CAES), which can store energy on a grid scale and is advertised as having the reliability of pumping water power. It does not have the same restrictions, where people can build it. The McIntosh Power Plant, which has been operating in Alabama since 1991, is still one of the largest energy storage plants in the world, with a power generation specification of 110MW/2.86MWh.
Now, a brand-new facility from Hydrostor will take this title, and its power storage capacity is nearly twice that of the former. They will use an updated technology called Advanced Compressed Air Energy Storage (A-CAES).
A-CAES uses surplus electricity from the grid or renewable energy to run air compressors. Compressed air is stored in a huge underground storage tank, and the stored electrical energy is not released through the turbine until it is needed.
Hydrostor’s system does not discharge the heat generated when the air is compressed, but captures and stores the heat in a separate heat storage tank, and then reheats the air as it enters the turbine stage Thereby improving the efficiency of the system.
Hydrostor’s A-CAES also uses a closed-loop reservoir to keep the system pressure constant during operation. The storage room is partially filled with water. As compressed air enters through the pipeline, the water will be forced into a separate compensation reservoir. Later, when air is needed, the water is drawn back into the air storage hole and pushes the air towards the turbine.
A European facility called the RICAS 2020 project Originally planned to develop a similar system. However, the project has been silent since 2018, and it has failed to achieve its 2020 goal. Another similar design is the British CRYOBattery, which stores compressed air in a supercooling chamber as a liquid, and then rapidly heats it when energy is needed to convert it back into gas.
Hydrostor said that the two A-CAES systems can store up to 10GWh of energy and can provide 8 to 12 hours of energy when fully discharged. This long-term energy storage is essential for conversion to renewable energy, and it is reported that the operating life of the facility should exceed 50 years.
The first factory will be built in Rosamond, California, and it will be put into operation in 2026 if everything goes according to plan. The second nuclear power plant will also be built in California, but the specific location has not yet been announced.