Compressed-Air Energy Storage

April 6th, 2010

EnvironmentOne of the major problems with alternative energy sources such as solar or wind power is that they’re intermittent, while demand is continuous. All the turbines in the world are useless if the wind isn’t blowing. So alternative energy has been delegated to a role where it only supplements traditional power plants.

A possible solution to this problem is compressed-air energy storage (CAES), where energy is stored as compressed air then converted to electricity as needed—thus providing a steady power supply. And CAES doesn’t only apply to alternative energy. It can be used to store energy from traditional, coal-powered generators, allowing them to run more efficiently.

CAES is not a new technology, but it’s gaining popularity because of the growing use of alternative energy sources. Let’s hope we see more of it.

(via Slashdot)

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