A Quick Look at the Advantages of Compressed Air Energy Storage Over Traditional Batteries
The demand for energy storage and the popularity of traditional batteries has gone up in tandem in the past few years owing to the semiconductor and EV revolution. However, as time has passed by, some crucial drawbacks of battery energy storage systems, which were previously not thought of, have come forward. In such a scenario, compressed air energy storage systems have proved to be a reliable cost-efficient energy storage technology.
The advent of electric mobility and growing penetration of digital devices has brought the focus on batteries in the past few decades. Batteries have traditionally been considered as one of the most viable options for energy storage. This role has been played by batteries primarily due to various advantages like portability, low cost, etc. As a result of these advantages, batteries of different kinds have been the backbone of the semiconductor revolution and EV revolution. However, in the last few years, the global compressed air energy storage market have posed a challenge to the traditional battery energy storage systems.
Why Compressed Air Energy Storage Systems (CAES) Fare Better than Battery Energy Storage Systems (BESS)
Batteries, both lead-acid and lithium-ion, have garnered a lot of traction due to the paradigm shift that electronics and automobile manufacturing sectors have witnessed. However, both have some inherent drawbacks and flaws. Take the case of lithium batteries; though, they are being considered as the panacea to the problem of energy security, the solution is not that easy and straightforward. Firstly, lithium is a rare earth mineral with only a few countries in the world having significant mineral deposits. Hence, the pace with which non-renewables became the main source of energy can’t be matched by lithium-ion batteries. Moreover, countries having substantial lithium deposits are using them as a tool to further their own geopolitical interests and aims which is leading to weaponization of energy. Secondly, what was first thought of as a completely clean source of energy has now shown its other side. Disposal of burnt-out lithium-ion batteries has proven to be extremely costly for the battery manufacturing companies and hazardous for the environment in general. Though governmental subsidies and incentives have helped battery manufacturing companies to negate this problem in some way, subsidies and incentives cannot continue for long, thus making battery disposal a serious challenge.
Compressed air energy storage system, in recent studies, has shown a lot of promise as far as overcoming these challenges is concerned. Compressed air energy storage systems run on the basic principle of compression and expansion, wherein compression of air generates heat which, if stored, can be used in the future to create energy. The very nature of this system makes it 3-4 times more efficient than battery energy storage systems. Moreover, since no rare element or mineral is being used for energy production, the problem of resource scarcity is completely done away with.
Similar is the case when compared with lead-acid batteries. Compressed air energy storage systems have a great advantage of generating energy during a period of low demand, storing it efficiently, and using the stored energy during peak power demand. This isn’t the case with lead-acid batteries, who may face problems of outage or energy drain if kept idle for long. Thus, CAES systems have proven to be better at fulfilling fluctuating energy demands in a better way as compared to traditional battery energy systems. Moreover, research has shown that compressed air energy storage system has one of the lowest costs of energy storage, costing a meagre $119/kWh. In fact, a study done by researchers at the University of Sharjah on comparative analysis of CAES and electrochemical batteries has shown that, while setting up a 1400 kWh/3.5 kW lead-acid battery system costs around $130,000, the cost of a 840 kWh/3.5 kW CAES system was just around $23,000. The difference in costing is too stark to ignore.
Solid-state batteries, which are gaining popularity as a perfect solution to energy storage problems, are years away from becoming commercially viable. Also, the research is in such a nascent stage, that experts are refraining from putting too much hope and weight behind the idea and avoid the same mistake as was done in the case of lithium-ion batteries. Hence, CAES systems are considered to be much better than solid-state batteries also.
Prospects of Compressed Air Energy Storage Systems
As with any energy storage mechanism, compressed air energy storage technology too has some systemic flaws. Firstly, these systems are too large and require suitable geological locations to generate and store energy. Moreover, CAES systems have been shown to incur high transportation losses which makes supply of power over large distances expensive. With these advantages and limitations in mind, experts have pointed out that compressed air energy storage systems are perfect for local renewable power generation, microgrid systems, and cogeneration and distributed energy systems. These three areas of power generation are expected to drive the global CAES market forward in the coming period.
How are the Latest Developments in Voice Communication Equipment Opening Numerous Applications Across Various Sectors?November 28, 2023
Why is Vegan Chocolate Becoming a Delectable Trend among Individuals Globally?November 28, 2023
Surgical Loupes: Empowering Healthcare Professionals with Greater Precisions and Enriching Patient LivesNovember 28, 2023
How are the Advancements in Slip Ring Assemblies Meeting the High-Voltage Needs of Satellites?November 28, 2023