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With demand on the rise and fossil fuels on the outs, utilities are turning to energy efficiency to help them bridge the gap. This is the digital spot to trade ideas and lessons learned in this brave new electric world. This group is part of the Energy Management Network.

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Advances in Energy Storage

How can stored air power reduce power bills and provide national security or standby power?
The significant difference between peak and off-peak prices of electricity has created the incentive to improve energy storage technologies. Electric utilities often apply energy storage methods to meet daily, weekly and seasonal fluxuation in the power load demand for solar and wind generation. According to the US Energy Information Administration (EIA), 2017 average peak power can be as high as $144.39/MWh compared to the lowest average peak power cost of only $0.14/MWh.1   Even in the relatively low-electric cost state of Michigan, a University of Minnesota-lead 2017 study found that increasing the deployment of energy storage combined with renewable energy would help Minnesota meet its statutory goal of 80 percent carbon reduction by 2050 or sooner and at a lower cost than other technologies.2 As most people know, substantial technological developments in generating renewable energy via solar, wind and pressure reduction have surpassed the ability to store it, resulting in a disturbing waste of this valuable energy. Not only will the use of energy storage benefit our environment, it can save billions of dollars in electric bills by using low cost power during peak power times. 
The Challenges The race is now on to create more efficient and economical ways to store energy. According to market research firm IHS, the global energy storage market is growing exponentially to an annual installation size of 6 gigawatts (GW) in 2017 and over 40 GW by 2022 — from an initial base of only 0.34 GW installed in 2013.3 Not only is there a need for low-cost energy use during peak hours but also for national security or standby power.
The Solutions Energy storage systems provide a wide array of technological approaches to managing our power supply in order to create a more secure and resilient energy infrastructure and bring cost savings to utilities and consumers. There are long lists of old and new storage ideas like lead acid batteries, solid state batteries, thermal, flywheels, pumped hydro-power and compressed air energy storage (CAES). The good news is that when there’s a need, often and eventually there is a way. Thanks to dedicated innovators and engineers, equipment has recently been developed that solves many of the challenges of the current energy storage systems. One of the latest patents filed that falls into the last category of CAES is an all-in-one adiabatic air energy storage system (AESS) which combines a dual compressor/expander coupled to a motor/generator to an insulated storage tank. 
The first utility-scale compressed air energy storage plant, Huntorf CAES Plant in Bremen, Germany, has been operational since 1978.  It uses nuclear-sourced night-time power to
compress and inject the air into two salt caverns of 310,000 m3 total volume.   Another salt cavern project running in Alabama since 1991 is the McIntosh project which reduces fuel consumption by approximately 25% compared to the Huntorf CAES Plant.  The newest adiabatic air energy storage system sets a new paradigm for CAES that improves the applicability for onsite distributed energy, increases efficiency to 70% instead of 40% and lowers cost of previous adiabatic energy storage systems.
Stored Air Power has come up with a method of combining the most efficient, low-cost technologies together with the most efficient, low-cost storage solutions with their Adiabatic Air Energy Storage SystemTM (AESS). When there is a need for low-cost energy use during peak hours or emergency energy, their AESS turns the stored compressed energy into clean, distributed electricity that will save customers up to 25% on their electric bills.  The AESS stores energy by compressing air or gas and sends it to an insulated storage vessel to store the pressure and heat from compression and then returns the hot air back through the expander generator in reverse to generate electricity to supplement renewable power or for use during peak hours, national defense and natural disasters. The insulated air storage vessel will serve as a heat sink capable of withstanding pressures up to 1000 PSI that may be either above or below ground.  It is insulated to retain the heat of compression to be used to offset the Joule-Thomson cooling effect from the expansion of air during power generation in this adiabatic process. This system sets a new paradigm for CAES that improves the applicability for on-site distributed energy, doesn’t use fossil fuel to preheat the air on expansion, increases efficiency and lowers cost of previous adiabatic energy storage systems.
To find solutions to saving money from peak electricity charges/demand charges, standby power or emergency defense power simply search online for “stored air power”. Become part of the solution. The time is now to protect the infrastructure you are responsible for. I truly believe that the AESS will change the aftermath of natural disasters, strengthen national security and provide aid to organizations like FEMA. What are your thoughts? 


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