Compressed Air Energy Storage (CAES)

Updated: Aug 7

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Fig. 1: A general topology of a CAES system (adapted from [PIER, 2011]).

CAES systems were first developed for combustion turbine systems [DTI, 2006]. The common way of working in this type of energy storage system is to store air during off–peak hours through the use of compressors. Then, during the peak hours, the compressed air is usually used in combination with a modified gas turbine to generate electricity [DTI, 2006]. Electrical power generated by Wind energy could also be used to compress the air when generation exceeds demand [DTI, 2006]. Due to the large amount of air required, the CAES system is commonly composed of an underground cavern or chamber. Such a cavern is used to store compressed air, see Fig. 1.

This type of energy storage system has a low efficiency (about 50%) and also it requires specific geographic locations for large–scale storage since man–made tanks are only suitable for small–scale storage [PIER, 2011].


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