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This New Tech Could Revolutionize How We Store Renewable Energy

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Channel: Seeker
Categories: Science   |   Technology  
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Advanced CAES is a new iteration of an old technology that's able to harness airs elastic potential to store energy until its ready to be used, which could be a huge game-changer for renewable energy.
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In a world in desperate need to go carbon-free, solar, wind, and renewables are the future, but our present ability to store their excess energy falls short.

Of the many possible solutions, compressed air seems to be sweeping some in the energy sector off their feet. Compressed air energy storage, or CAES, takes advantage of airs ability to be stored in the form of elastic potential energy until were ready to use it.

Were currently grappling with modernizing the worlds power grid and a major challenge is to make renewables reliable in every situation, not just on sunny, cloud-free days. That's because renewable energy needs to be firmed, meaning that it can give energy on-demand in every situation.

CAES is lauded by some in the energy sector as a sustainable way to make renewables the worlds go-to energy source, who say that this storage system could be the sustainable energy storage weve all been waiting for. The technology converts electrical energy into high-pressure air, which is later released to drive a turbine.

And while theoretically, CAES could be a cheaper and more sustainable alternative to batteries, there are still a few things holding it back. But an updated version of this old technology, developed by the Canadian company Hydrostor, could give CAES the boost it needs to succeed.

Find out more about Hydrostor's plans to bring compressed air energy storage into the mainstream on this Elements.

#Energy #Sustainability #Technology #Seeker #Science #Elements

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Storing energy in compressed air could finally become cheap enough for the big time
"Having to use an underground cavern means Hydrostor cant build its plant just anywhere. But VanWalleghem says that, unlike the strict geological needs of oil-and-gas companies, compressed air can be stored in many types of rock formations. That means Hydrostor can technically build its plants on 70% of the planets landmass."

Lets store solar and wind energy by using compressed air
"Energy is already stored, of course, in batteries or various other technologies. Even reservoirs can act as huge stores of energy. However nothing that exists or is in development can store energy as well, and as cheaply, as compressed air."

The grid of the future will be powered by giant subterranean bagpipes?
"Right now, the world relies predominantly on two different grid energy storage techniques: pumped/dammed hydroelectricity, and batteries. Other methods do exist, but batteries and pumped hydro, as they call it, are by far the most common."


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