The world’s largest and above all the most efficient energy storage system for clean compressed air (CAES) operates while connected to an urban grid in northern China. The clean energy revolution requires huge energy reserves to protect against the intermittent nature of energy provided by sun and wind. Some of this will come in the form of large battery installations, but there is a huge lithium shortage comingwhich will drive up the price of lithium batteries and make it difficult to plan style Tesla.
China has diversified its efforts and indeed it launched this week the world’s largest power battery — a 100 MW, 400 MWh vanadium power battery installed in Daylan, which provides relatively cheap energy storage without the use of lithium. But, according to Asia TimesChina also plans to rely heavily on CAES (pneumatic batteries) to serve nearly a quarter of the country’s energy reserves by 2030.
Now, after several years of development by the Chinese Academy of Sciences, the world’s first advanced! CAES with a capacity of 100 MW is connected to the grid and is ready for commercial operation in the city of Zhangjiakou in northern China. By referring to it as “advanced, advanced”, the Chinese Academy of Sciences distinguishes it from the Macintosh station, which has been operating in Alabama in the United States since 1991 – an object CAES 110 MW which burns the air stored therein with natural gas to recover energy and is therefore not an environmentally friendly solution for energy storage.
The new plant in Zhangjiakou uses fossil fuels, leveraging advances in supercritical heat storage, supercritical heat transfer, and high-load compression and expansion technologies to improve system efficiency. Through data China Energy Storage Alliancethe new station can store and supply up to 400 MWh with a design system efficiency of 70.4%.
It’s huge; current CAES have an efficiency of only about 40-52%, and even two larger stations Hydrostor CAESscheduled to open in California in 2026have an efficiency of only about 60%.
The Chinese Academy of Sciences states that the Zhangjiakou power plant is capable of supplying more than 132 GWh of electricity per year to the local grid, taking over the peak consumption of about 40-60,000 households. This will save about 42,000 tons of coal from combustion in power plants and reduce annual carbon dioxide emissions by about 109,000 tons, the equivalent of taking it off the road. about 23,700 average US cars.
The Academy states that the low capital cost, long life, safety and efficiency of this design and environmental friendliness make it “one of the most promising technologies for large-scale energy storage”.
Source: Chinese Science Academy.
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