Chinese scientists reported that a demonstration project for an improved compressed-air energy storage system had been successfully connected to the power grid; a 100 MW plant had been deployed in Hebei province in northern China and was ready for commercial operation.
The power plant can produce more than 132 million kWh of electricity per year, as stated by the Chinese Academy of Sciences, enough to provide energy to 40,000 to 60,000 households during periods of peak electricity consumption; scientists estimate that the introduction of a new plant will save 42,000 tons of coal and reduce carbon dioxide emissions by 109,000 tons per year.
The energy storage device developed in China is similar to the hydropower plant, and only air is stored in special tanks instead of water. The engine is used to pump the air into a storage device. To generate energy, compressed air is released and rotates the turbine. The technology is used to save excess energy during periods when production is increasing and to use it during periods of peak consumption.
The traditional storage device depends on fossil fuels, requires large storage tanks and is not very efficient. To overcome these limitations, Chinese scientists have developed an artificial air reservoir to increase energy storage density and reduce dependence on large gas storage caps, and compression recirculation solves the problem of dependence on fossil fuels.
Researchers point out that the new facility is an example of economic and environmental production, and in the case of successful trials, similars will be built in other cities in China.