The weather is a fickle thing. Typically, riding my bicycle to work is hard going and easy coming home because of wind patterns, but sometimes the wind decides to switch, or perhaps not blow at all, really messing with my commute. Thus the problems with wind energy. The wind doesn’t blow all the time, and it may decide to quit right at peak hours, or blow up a storm when no one’s using electricity. So what to do?
A test wind park in Iowa, as described by Environmental Science & Technology, proposes to help solve these problems by using excess wind energy to store compressed air in underground aquifers until such time that demand rises. This maximizes the turbines’ efficiency and allows companies to sell energy when they can make the most from it and when demand is highest – peak hours.
This could be a real boon to wind farms, making it more economical than it already has become to run turbines.
(via SciTechDaily) (image from article)
One thought on “Where to store wind energy?”
If we compressed air in the dead of desert night when it is coolest, would we gain power modestly when using it to generate electricity in the late afternoon, once it has heated up? Would this advantage pay for storing it in big black tanks in the direct sun? Is there a ‘solar’ leverage available here?
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