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article imagePumping Wind power Underground for Storage

By Chris V. Thangham     Mar 28, 2007 in Environment
Wind Power stored underground in aquifers or pipeline and released when electricity demand rises.
This diagram illustrates how the Iowa Stored Energy Park plans to use compressed air to store power generated by wind turbines.
Wind power had one problem it was that it cannot store energy, so it has to be consumed continuously as the power is generated. Now new technologies have developed in Wind Power that can eliminate this problem. The electricity that is generated by the wind turbines is used to power motors that compress air to many times the atmospheric pressure. This highly compressed air is injected under ground into an aquifer, a dome shaped structure made of porous sandstone as shown in the picture.
When demand and price of electricity is high usually in the middle of the day when high energy is consumed, the highly compressed air is released to power a generator and electricity is sold to the electric grid. It is a novel way it is used in Iowa State used wind powered energy to store and power as electricity demand rises.
There is another company General Compression, a start up does this storage in a different way, it will integrate a compressor directly onto a wind turbine. The compressed air is then stored in geologic formation like the above aquifers or in pipelines when these aquifers are not available nearby. There is an excellent video here, I couldn't embed it but it demonstrates how exactly this storage of Wind Power works.
These wind energy can be stored in undergrounds for upto a month.
This way the wind power energy will not be wasted and put to use for various purposes.
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