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Monday, 11 July 2011

How Hydrostor Aims To Change The Power Game By Storing Energy Under Water

Tech Crunch
July 9, 2011

There has been a fair bit of concern in recent years about the ability of our power plants to supply adequate electricity during periods of peak demand. Hydrostor, a Toronto-based company, is taking a different approach in offering a solution that allows plants to store their power using compressed air in underwater storage tanks.

More specifically, Hydrostor takes the excess energy created during periods of off-peak consumption and converts that energy into compressed air via an air compressor, which in turn inflates accumulators placed under the surface of a body of water. The depth of the water keeps the air at a constant pressure, helping to store the energy potential.

When power is required, the air is released through an expander and electricity is produced. Through the heat-exchanger, modern compressors and expanders, the system approaches adiabatic operation, achieving efficiencies over 70 percent.

This technology has the potential to address the intermittent nature of renewable energy, help decongest transmission and distribution lines, and create better efficiencies of existing generation.

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