600kW Demo plant in the Middle EastCAES
Following successful lab-scale tests and theoretical modeling by EIC and its academic partners, EIC’s first commercial demonstration plant is expected to come online in the Middle East in 2021.
The process is based on EIC’s patented isothermal compressed-air based energy storage and power generation system. It stores 1 MW power during period of surplus power availability and can generate 0.6 MW of power. This process demonstrates a number of critical capabilities of its Water Piston Heat Engine (WPHE), a key building block for its low-cost, scalable, long-duration energy storage system.
It uses off-the shelf physical components, such as, water pumps and turbines, with well-proven thermo-dynamic processes. Its use of water in a closed loop with ambient air, helps run the system as a pumped-hydro system – a mature technology proven at scale-, while using air for energy storage- capable of scale and long-duration.
Water pumped from a reservoir is used to compress ambient air drawn into pressure vessels. This multi-stage pressurization delivers air pressures above 100 bara, crucial for higher power density and lower costs. This compressed air is stored in storage vessels. When required to generate power, air is released from storage vessels to water-filled WPHEs to run hydraulic turbines that generate electricity. The water returns to the reservoir in every compression and expansion cycle.
Clever use of water sprays in the WPHEs during compression (energy storage cycle) and expansion (energy generation cycle) maintain near-isothermal conditions, without the need for natural gas burners or purpose-built thermal storage.
The most dynamic part of the system, water pistons, has zero moving parts.
This plant has been designed by our partner, RDS -Richard Design Services
1 MW in the USA using CAES building blocksLAES
The process is based on EIC’s patented, isothermal liquid-air based energy storage and retrieval system designed to produce 1.0 MW of electricity during the expansion phase.
To demonstrate its capability under more extreme conditions of power generation and availability during narrow windows of times (such as solar power), it will store power at a higher rate of 2 MW of electricity.
Our engineering partners, recognized for their global leadership in large and sophisticated process plant designs, working with our project developer and construction partners, will be demonstrating a sustainable and zero carbon data center with its LAES plant, during Dec 2021.
The LAES plant uses its Water Piston Heat Engine building block that produces and expands compressed air, along with battery to smooth power delivery and storage cycles. This enables our LAES plant, to leverage the best of batteries, pumped-hydro and compressed air advantages.
Storage in Saline Aquifers in depleted O&G Reservoirs for long-duration and large-scale powerCAES
In partnership with the University of Southern California and California-based Oil & Gas Operators, we will be demonstrating a CAES facility, that can store compressed air in saline aquifers many thousands of feet above the depleted hydrocarbon layer (after cementing it off and stopping any leaks). This can store energy for weeks or months.
The plan involves employment of a number of well-established practices, such as managing gaseous leakage from subsurface reservoirs and pumping out saline water. It also extends EIC’s WPHE building block technology to novel applications for ultra-low-cost desalination technology, necessary to use/reuse the saline water.
The idea has been well received by state regulatory authorities, oil and gas associations and utilities, as witnessed by 150+ participants in an USC-sponsored webinar “A Virtual Summit on Renewable Energy Storage in Saline Aquifers using Idle Wells”, December 7-9, 2020.
Repurposing idle wells for subsurface energy storage also mitigate costs associated with traditional well abandonment and remediation, while also providing a means to reduce current methane emission profiles. Current focus is on the approximately 37000 idle wells in California oil and gas operations but the proposed process could apply broadly to many U.S. and global basins with large inventories of aging wells.