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Al Karaki's picture
CEO and Founder, 4iAfrica - Insight, Implementation, Innovation, Impact

Experienced project manager, visionary, social innovator and serial entrepreneur who insights, innovates and implements large scale projects for governments, the private sector and civil society...

  • Member since 2020
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  • May 6, 2021

Califronia, the world's 5th largest economy, gets serious about the US policy on "clean" and climate change which came to head from the devastating fire a few months ago. Is chemically based battery storage solutions losing ground and coming under more fire for environmental issues from mining the minerals and the disposal of thousands of end-of-life batteries every month?

Roger Arnold's picture
Roger Arnold on May 7, 2021

Hydrostor's technology looks good to me. In principle, it should be scalable to any degree needed. The "purpose build air caverns" are probably a limiting factor on specific cost of storage, but because they're storing compressed air that will be heated before expansion through a turbine, the storage capacity per cubic meter of cavern will be high.

As to round trip storage efficiencies, Hydrostor is only claiming 60%. That's beats the efficiency for the ~50% for McIntosh CAES plant in Alabama and thr ~40% for green hydrogen when it's used for energy storage, but it's below the 70% that studies had indicated as feasible for an adiabatic CAES facility like Hydrostor's. But I recall back in the early 1960's when a pumped hydroelectric storage facility was being built west of where I grew up in Colorado. Its round trip efficiency was only 33%. Over the years, I watched as new projects were implemented, and round trip efficiencies grew to 45%, then 60%, and then 70%. Now I understand that they're approaching 80%. I suspect that efficiencies for advanced CAES will experience similar improvement -- provided that enough new systems get built to make the improvements worthwhile. 

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