Compressed Air Storage System feeds Toronto Hydro‘s power grid

battery, climate change, CO2, Compressed air technology, energy storage, footprint, green energy, Molten Salt, Redox Flow, Renewables lithium, smart grid

Hydrostor claims its system is better than 60% efficient. That means it loses less than 40% of the energy used to charge and release.

A Toronto company, Hydrostor Inc., this week launched a Compressed Air Storage System to feed Toronto Hydro‘s power grid.

The one megawatt system is a pilot project and is really quite simple.

Compressed Air Energy Storage

Taking surplus electricity generated during off peak hours to compress air, the system then pumps it into pipes extending offshore in Lake Ontario for 1.9 miles to a depth of 200 feet. The compressed air gets stored in tethered balloons that are held in check by the weight of the water above. Thus completes the charging phase of the operation.

Energy release happens when the compressed air is fed back through pipes to push a turbine attached to a generator. Comparable lithium-ion storage battery systems of similar capacity would cost twice as much. All components come from off-the-shelf parts including the balloons which are marine salvage lift bags

Next stop Aruba?

This first system produces enough power to light and heat 330 homes. The next system will deliver 100 megawatt – probably for the Caribbean island Aruba –  enough electricity to power 36,000 homes.

Hydrostor believes they have the answer. Don’t put CAES systems on land. Put the storage medium in the water and let water pressure do the job of containment.

The company’s CEO, Curtis VanWalleghem states, “finding places to store the air that’s been the problem….we open it up to thousands more sites because we use hydrostatic water pressure.” In the picture below you can see two inflated bags from the current pilot installation immersed in 55 meters of water in Lake Ontario.

60% efficiency

Hydrostor claims its system is better than 60% efficient. That means it loses less than 40% of the energy used to charge and release.

Compare that to the efficiency of other forms of power generation as illustrated by the chart from Len Rosen (21th century) shows the theoretical efficency of other power generation sources.

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