The canadian company Hydrostor has developed a way of storing energy using compressed air stored in underwater tanks, and are currently implementing a pilot project on lake Ontario. The air is then used to rotate turbines, generating electricity. CEO Curtis VanWalleghem answered a few questions about this technology, given the publication CleanTechnica.How did you come to the idea of using underwater storage of compressed air?
Cameron Lewis (founder and chief technologist of the company) has created a wind turbine and tried to add it to a small pumped storage station, but the analysis showed it was not economically viable. He got the idea that instead of lifting water to a height you can pump air into the water and achieve the same result.
How long your underwater cylinders can work under normal conditions of operation?
The supplier provides a guarantee for 10 years, but we believe that they will last 20 years, since the wear of the cylinders is very small when storing air at hydrostatic pressure (i.e. pressure equal to the pressure of the surrounding water).How many cylinders is used in your system now?
Six.What is the maximum capacity of energy that can give those tanks?
Peak power installation in Toronto Island now 660 KW, it is determined by the capacity of the generator.How many kilowatt-hours does?
The device for underwater storage makes it easy to increase their capacity and we have plans to do so within the next two years, so we are not voiced publicly possible energy consumption.Like a lot of places are underwater vault?
The whole structure covers an area of approximately 10 by 40 meters.What maintenance is required?
Because underwater there are no moving parts, maintenance is virtually nonexistent. We do an annual survey to confirm this. The system is designed in such a way that it can be easily raised to the surface for examination and replacement if necessary.How much is the creation of such a system and run it in operation?
We do not voice publicly the cost of the project.Is it possible to compare the cost of such system with the cost of storage in lithium-ion batteries of comparable capacity?
System Underwater-CAES from Hydrostor is half the cost of the best solutions based on lithium-ion batteries and the time of her life twice.If the two-year pilot project is successful, what will you do next?
The company Hydrostor is actively developing several projects. We plan to begin construction of another installation in late 2016 — early 2017. The company is also discussing with the firms EPC and the issues of strategic partnership in the construction.How big a system you can build and where will be located the biggest?
The limits for the size of such facility does not exist since it is a negligible part of the total area of the seas and oceans. The required amount of underwater air tanks halved by doubling the depth of immersion so that we orientirueshsya the most deep-water reservoirs.What kind of savings you can get when you use your system by reducing the cost of electricity during peak consumption periods?
The answer to this question depends on the installation location and the price of local electricity market.How your system can affect the habitat of fish?
We use a significant amount of ballast, which is designed to preserve the marine environment.Can underwater cylinders used in the oceans or ocean currents and waves can interfere?
Yes, the system is designed for use in the oceans.
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