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Sustainability 2015, 7(8), 9773-9786; doi:10.3390/su7089773

Experimental Investigation on the Effect of Phase Change Materials on Compressed Air Expansion in CAES Plants

CIRIAF, University of Perugia, Via G. Duranti 67, 06125 Perugia, Italy
These authors contributed equally to this work.
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Academic Editors: Francesco Asdrubali, Pietro Buzzini and Marc A. Rosen
Received: 4 June 2015 / Revised: 6 July 2015 / Accepted: 15 July 2015 / Published: 23 July 2015
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Abstract

The integration of renewable energy in the electrical grid is challenging due to the intermittent and non-programmable generated electric power and to the transmission of peak power levels. Several energy storage technologies have been studied to find a solution to these issues. In particular, compressed air energy storage (CAES) plants work by pumping and storing air into a vessel or in an underground cavern; then when energy is needed, the pressurized air is expanded in an expansion turbine. Several CAES configurations have been proposed: diabatic, adiabatic and isothermal. The isothermal process seems to be the most promising to improve the overall efficiency. It differs from conventional CAES approaches as it employs near-isothermal compression and expansion. Currently, there are no commercial isothermal CAES implementations worldwide, but several methods are under investigation. In this paper, the use of phase change materials (PCM) for isothermal air expansion is discussed. Air expansion tests in presence of PCM were carried out in a high-pressure vessel in order to analyze the effect of PCM on the process. Results show that in presence of PCM near isothermal expansion conditions occur and therefore they affect positively the value of the obtainable expansion work. View Full-Text
Keywords: energy storage; CAES; phase change materials; isothermal air expansion energy storage; CAES; phase change materials; isothermal air expansion
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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MDPI and ACS Style

Castellani, B.; Presciutti, A.; Filipponi, M.; Nicolini, A.; Rossi, F. Experimental Investigation on the Effect of Phase Change Materials on Compressed Air Expansion in CAES Plants. Sustainability 2015, 7, 9773-9786.

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