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• Cons of renewable energy production
• What is Compressed Air Energy Storage system
• Compression – Expansion of air
• Types of compressors – Reciprocating, Rotary
Screw, Rotary Vane
• Working of CAES system – Compression, Expansion
• Advantages
• Disadvantages
• CAES projects
• Conclusion
• References
Cons of Renewable Energy
• Though the renewable energy
generation has increased both in
capacity and efficiency, the storage
of energy to enhance its reliability off
the grid is a major obstacle.
What is CAES System
• Compressed Air Energy Storage(CAES) is
the storage of electrical energy in the
form of compressed air.
• It is a promising and prominent energy
storage option at utility level apart from
pumped storage hydro plant.
• The power plant is made to operate near maximum
capacity during off-peak demand period and the
residual energy is stored in CAES system.
• This energy can then be reclaimed during peak-
demand period by the expansion of the stored air.
Compression – Expansion
of Air
• When air is compressed its pressure increases and
volume decreases (Isothermal process).
• In the process of compression heat may be
generated (Adiabatic process).
• In the expansion stage the pressure of the air
decreases. This causes the temperature of the air to
• The air then has to be heated during expansion to
enable the propulsion of a gas turbine which then
generates electricity.
Types of Compressors
• The three practical and most commonly used type
of compressors are
• Reciprocating piston
• Rotary vane
• Rotary screw
• The reciprocating type of compressor has a
pulsation in the compressed air output whereas the
rotary type has an almost smooth output
Reciprocating – Piston
Rotary – Screw
Rotary - Vane Compressor
Main components of CAES system are:
• Compressor
• Heat exchanger
• Air reservoir
• Combustor
• Gas turbine
• Recuperator
• Clutches
• During off-peak demand period, the generator is
made to run the compressor by the means of the
• Usually a multistage compressor setup is used with
varying output air pressures
• Air is taken from the atmosphere and it passes
through the various stages of compressor.
• As the heat of the air increases with increase in
pressure, intercoolers are placed between each
stage of the compressor to limit the temperature of
the air to working conditions
• The compressed air is stored in an air reservoir.
• During peak load period, the energy from CAES is used
to meet the increased demand.
• The compressed air from the reservoir is made to expand
through the recuperator and to the combustion
chamber or heater.
• Heating is required as the expansion of air causes the
temperature to fall to very low values which makes it
difficult to operate the turbine.
• The combustion chamber can be replaced by a heat
exchanger which uses heat during compression to
reheat the air.
• After heating, the air is made to run a set of gas turbines
which are connected to the shaft of the alternator thus
producing energy.
• CAES system is one of the most feasible options for
high capacity renewable energy production plants
for storage of energy.
• This can aid in the reliability of renewable energy
and help in its widespread adoption.
• Cost of energy is low.
• Satisfactory efficiency of 70.5 to 71%(theoretically -
• Surface reservoirs made of steel can be used for
low capacity plants but higher capacity plants
necessitate the use of natural caves, underground
mines or salt caverns as reservoirs.
• In most cases combustion of fossil fuel is used to
reheat the air during expansion.
CAES Projects
• E.ON-Kraftwerk plant (Huntorf,
Germany) – 290MW
• McIntosh plant (Alabama, USA) –
CAES systems show promising developments in
the energy storage sector which if planned correctly
can ensure the reliability of the renewable energy
The alarming rate of depletion of fossil fuels and
global warming has been a constant reminder of the
need to shift to renewable energy as the main source
of electrical energy and knowledge of CAES can help
all engineers to take a step closer to that end.
• https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Compressed-
• https://patents.google.com/patent/US5537822A/en
• https://www.brighthubengineering.com/hvac/3337
• https://www.mechanicalbooster.com/2017/09/posit