Compressed Air Energy Storage
Storing electricity safely, efficiently and in large amounts that is one of the greatest challenges for the power supply of the future. RWE Power, General Electric, Züblin and DLR are facing this task in the ADELE project.
Located in McIntosh, Ala., PowerSouth’s McIntosh Power Plant currently includes four natural-gas fired combustion turbines and the United States’ only Compressed Air Energy Storage (CAES) unit. The Plant’s first two natural-gas units went commercial in 1998, with a capacity of 240 megawatts. The second set of two natural-gas units went commercial in 2010, with a capacity of 360 megawatts. The CAES facility has a capacity of 110 megawatts. Total plant capacity is 710 megawatts — enough electricity to power approximately 710,000 homes. The natural-gas fired, simple-cycle units are classified as peaking units. They are designed to provide additional electricity to the PowerSouth system during “peak” usage periods — usually short periods of time during early morning or evening hours. The McIntosh Plant’s turbines and generators offer simple-cycle technology with short start-up time, making them suitable for continuous, peaking and emergency operation.
The principle: demonstration of a small compressed air battery. The bottle stores compressed air. The high speed air from the bottle moves a turbine connected to a DC motor who acts as a dynamo. This turbine-motor comes from a home hairdryer.