There is a technical challenge in storing the surplus energy produced by wind turbines of solar panels.
At the Institut Mines-Télécom Atlantique, a large engineering school serving companies located in Nantes, teams from the research laboratory with others, in partnership with the family company Segula Technologies of Nanterre, Isle de France have found a non-polluting way of locking the energy produced to redistribute it on demand.
The principle is simple: the wind turbine, when there is wind, provides electricity. Part of this electricity is used to power a water pump which will push water into a piston and compress air. This compressed air will be stored. When there is less wind or no wind but there is a demand for electricity, the air will be decompressed. The water is then pushed back into a turbine that supplies electricity.
Following two years of R&D by a team lead by David Guyomarc’h, head of marine energy Segula Technologies, the process was patented in 2015 then developed through Remora offshore technology.
The realisation is more complicated. Pistons that will allow the compression of air must be installed on barges at sea, near offshore wind turbines. They will have a height of 33 ft (10 m). The air will be compressed at sea and stored under water. The stored energy will be dependent on the number of wind turbines disposed.
The construction and commissioning of the first demonstrator, called the ODySEA with a power of 10kW in the laboratory, was scheduled for summer 2019. This three-year project, labeled by the S2E2 competitiveness cluster, is funded by Ademe. Cetim is taking charge of the test bench, from conception to operation at its Nantes site.
In particular, it will study the hydraulic and pneumatic reversible operation of the system by making use of its expertise in dimensioning hydraulic networks with complex dynamics. Scaled up the system could provide electricity for an entire town.
Discover Solution 357: Hulhumalé
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