Partnering opportunity

UK company is looking for investors or industrial partners for a novel combined steam turbine and compressed air energy storage cycle

Summary

UK company offers an electrical energy storage system to provide an efficient and low cost backup generation for wind and solar. It provides a novel compressed air cycle for heat pumping the condensing energy from steam turbines and gives higher efficiency. It also could enhance a range of steam plant including emission free thermal storage, hydrogen and natural gas. UK company is looking for investors or industrial partners for financial, joint venture and technical cooperation agreement.

Partner sought

UK Company is looking for financial, joint venture or technical cooperation agreement. Ideal partners would include companies operating in the energy market or power plant operators, who are interested in this system's development through a joint venture or technical cooperation agreement. The system might have a good synergy with other energy storage technologies such as batteries and flywheels, therefore company is also interested in talking to companies from relevant sectors and willing to have joint venture or technical cooperation agreement with them. UK Company is also interested in partnership with investors via financial agreement.

Description

Currently the most common method for storing electricity on a bulk scale is pumped hydroelectric, which is comparatively expensive. It has long build times and a shortage of potential sites. Other methods include compressed air, thermal energy storage, and various battery technologies. UK company proposes a combined cycle steam turbine and compressed air energy storage method. The compressed air system uses air acceleration and pressure effects to ‘heat pump' and recover steam turbine condensing energy. This provides wind and solar energy with an enhanced backup generation method to maintain a reliable power supply when required, and also stores any excess capacity to prevent it being wastefully curtailed or sold at a very low price. The method will be particularly effective when combined with a thermal storage steam cycle. On such a plant, the compressed air flow and storage is halved and the thermal storage capacity is increased to nearly double, since much more of the heat energy is usefully recovered. Off peak electricity compresses the air, its compression heat is stored and additional heat is added via an electric heater or similar. During peak times, the thermal store will provide steam for the steam turbine and the compressed air will be released through the specialised condenser pipes. The pipe's condensing and heat recovery functions are enhanced by using a series of nozzles which accelerate the air up to supersonic velocities, causing it to depressurise and cool, which is done in stages to avoid freezing the pipe. Once sufficient energy is absorbed, the air leaves the condenser and further nozzles returned the air to its original velocity and pressure. This heats the air up to several hundred degrees centigrade, so it can then be used as a heat source for the air expander turbines. The air is then reheated in subsequent condensers until its residual pressure depletes. UK company is looking for partners, who are already in energy market. Power plant operators or any type of energy sector company can be a good partner. In this case, UK company is considering a joint venture or technical cooperation agreement. UK company is also interested in financial agreement with investors.

Advantages and innovations

•The novel air cycle enables recovery of low temperature condensing energy, effectively doubling steam turbine power output. •The higher efficiency means far more of the stored heat is recovered compared to a steam turbine only thermal storage plant. The thermal storage capital costs are effectively reduced. •Compared to adiabatic compressed air plant, the air steam combination requires significantly less air flow and air storage volumes. This also reduces capital equipment and some air cycle mechanical loss. •The system could repurpose redundant thermal power plants into energy storage, reusing their steam turbine and generator equipment. •The system is heavily based on molten salt thermal storage and compressed air energy storage, both of which are operationally mature. The only novel components are the air driven condenser pipes. •The condenser pipes use the same basic principle as the internal airflow on supersonic jet aircraft, although the condenser pipes operate at lower velocities and with much more constant air flow conditions. •Round trip efficiency is calculated at 80% with capital costs that are significantly lower than any comparable technologies such as adiabatic CAES (compressed air energy storage), pumped hydroelectric, batteries when used for sustained output). •With intermittent renewable energy at low base costs, this system could provide appropriate load balancing to give a reliable electricity supply at a lower cost than most new build plant, and in many cases could also undercut the fuel costs of existing combined cycle gas turbine or biomass fuelled plant.

Development stage

Proposal under development

Intellectual Property Rights (IPR)

Patents granted


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