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Hi, welcome to another ColdFusion video.
In the world today,
there’s a growing shift towards renewable energy such as solar and wind.
Because of this shift,
there needs to be a way to store the energy received
to be released later when the Sun isn’t shining or the wind isn’t blowing.
On this channel,
we’ve already covered Tesla’s grand energy storage plans
for their utility battery power pack systems.
So far to successfully power Kauai, an Island on Hawaii
using solar energy and battery storage systems.
Tesla are also installing systems in South Australia
to sort out their power troubles
and more Tesla Powerpacks are set to be installed in New South Wales as well.
These solutions are all based on lithium-ion technology.
In just the previous episode,
we’ve seen how the underlying technologies of lithium-ion batteries are improving.
The charging speed is drastically increasing,
along with the long term cycle battery life.
The same is true for energy density.
In addition, on a utility scale,
battery technology does have the distinct advantage of a rapid install time
and a rapid response time to energy fluctuation needs.
But despite all of this,
when it comes to the application of utility energy storage,
there are still some questions.
Namely the long-term cost
and the real long term battery cycle life
in terms of current generation batteries.
AA-CAES Advanced Adiabatic Compresses Air Energy Storage
As you’ll soon see,
there’s another energy storage method
that’s a pretty interesting take on the problem at hand.
It involves the storage and release of energy,
using mountains as natural pressure vessels.
This method achieved by the company ALACAES
promises relatively lower cost and higher efficiency.
In this video, we’ll take a look.
As a side point,
this isn’t a sponsored video and I wasn’t paid for any of this.
I just like to search out innovations that I think is interesting.
So let’s get into it.
Storing energy in mountains
In a nutshell, energy storage solutions like ALACAES is planning to do
are an attempt to smooth out the fluctuations in electricity production
due to the nature of renewable energy.
I had the privilege of meeting Giw Zanganeh,
the man in charge of this project while I was in Switzerland.
I’ve invited him to talk about his technology
and how it fits into the current backdrop of energy needs.
不幸的是 在这次采访中 我这边的声音出了问题
Unfortunately for this interview, the sound of my side wasn’t working.
But there’s still a lot of valuable information here.
My name is Giw Zanganeh.
And I’m the managing director of ALACAES.
So which is a company based in switzerland
in to develop a new kind of storage technology.
So electricity storage technology that is
aimed at storing large amounts of energy.
So you basically when you have a lot of renewable energy in the mix
and your electricity grid.
Due to the intermittency of these sources,
which means unpredictability.
So you don’t know when the Sun is exactly gonna change how much.
How much the wind is gonna blow.
When you have a lot of these kind of sources in the energy mix,
eh…you want to have a way to compensate these fluctuations.
And the storage technology we’re working on
is this method that can with the low cost
and the relatively high efficiency.
We wanna these eh…keep components for at risk that is run on renewable energy.
How does it work?
So how does it work
Basically, the system uses excess energy from the grid
to pump pressurized air into a cavity within the mountain.
The air is then cooled down,
using specialized technology called thermal energy storage.
And then stored within the pressure cavity.
when it’s time to generate electricity,
This air is then heated up again
and pushed out to run a turbine that produces electricity.
With this system, ALACAES claim over 72% round trip efficiency.
Where could this be used?
在我们的采访中 也有提到 尽管地理因素必须被考虑在内
In our interview, give mentions that although geology has to be taken into account,
the markets that would be suited for this technology
包括欧洲国家 美国 以及加拿大
include the continent of Europe, America, Canada.
But especially India and China.
For those last two markets,
looking at recent trends, it’s not hard to see why they would be a fit.
These two countries have had very aggressive goals
and providing renewable energy to help run their country’s infrastructure.
To give you an idea, by 2027,
India is aiming for 60 percent of its energy to be provided by sources outside of fossil fuels.
Meanwhile in China,
they’ve decreased their coal usage by five percent year-over-year,
and have just overtaken the United States
as a leader in renewable energy.
And with populations of about 1.3 billion apiece,
that’s a huge market for electricity storage solutions for renewable energy.
Let me just say why we need the mountain is em…
基本上 你得有个容器 去容纳压缩空气
You need a container, basically, to store pressured air there.
You probably know like, even from a small gas containers.
to use for an ordinary picnic or providing the gas port for cooking.
And it’s a small container that has a pressurized gas in it.
但是如果你需要的话 这种小型容器易于制作 价格低廉
However if you want, if it’s a small container is reasonably easy and cheap to do.
But if you want to have a very large container
we’re talking about hundreds of thousands of cubic meters of air.
It is unpayable to make it few a container to do whole that,
though I have other kind of container.
So basically that’s why we want to exploit the geology
and then awake up the mountains, awake up the earth
to contain, contain this air.
The test plant.
In 2016, the company completed their first pilot plant.
Located in the Swiss Alps,
the plant is the shape of a 120 meter long and five meter diameter in a tunnel
with an energy capacity of one megawatt/hour.
The Swiss Federal Office of Energy finance 40% of the cost of the plan,
as they could see a benefit to the country from this kind of technology.
Batteries VS Pressurised Air (Cost)
Give states that, economically,
the mechanical storage that uses compressed air is still cheaper than batteries.
The tools and machinery have been around for a long time.
And right now, the technology is of a factor of 4 to 6 times less than batteries
on a per kilowatt-hour scale.
尽管如此 电池成本的下降依然是一种风险 而公司也会密切关注
However the falling cost of batteries are a risk and the company would be keeping an eye on that.
Batteries VS Pressurised Air (Ecological)
On the sustainability part,
there’s a couple of interesting studies that look at
actually how much energy you can store in storage device,
compared to how much energy was used to create that storage device.
So actually for battery lithium-ion, you can now store 10 times
the amount of energy that you use to make the battery
during the whole lifetime of it.
And with compressed air, it’s 250 times.
So there’s a huge difference.
Um…make something that needs to be kept in mind if you want to have a general grid
that is sustainable with the long term.
Otherwise, if you have to every 10 times
that you use damage to create it that you need to change it
You can…you can think about it will, em…
also have ecological problems or symbiotic problems.
Has this been done before?
Yeah, well, actually it has been used before.
So there are two plants already running in the world.
One of them is in Germany, which’s built in 79 even.
And the other one is in the USA, in Alabama.
It was built in 91.
Both of them use salt caverns under ground.
So you basically dig on the ground, there’re big soil formations.
Em…and they compressed the air there.
There are two problems with that.
One of them is that…
which I didn’t mention before, which is quite important,
that’s when you compress the air, it naturally heat up.
It’s a physical phenomenon.
We have experienced with a bicycle pump.
when you wanna heat…when you pump the tire,
if you let the pump warming up.
So this happened that much stronger extent,
when you’re working with higher pressures.
And this heat needs to be also kind of stored,
because it can be up to 60% of the energy
that you use to compress the air.
And these plans that exist don’t use the energy, don’t use the heat.
They just discard it.
And then when they need to expand a year again,
build the electricity to use gas burners.
So it has goals with reducing CO2
it goes with the reduction efficiency and so on to force.
And the reason for that is that at the time
there were no machines who were able to also
kind of, store the heat or resist the heat
that is produced during the compression.
So they were cooled down to kind of protect the machine.
And this has now changed.
So the machine, your machine is available.
That you can use to compress at the same time
also use the heat that is being created.
And we, what we do is
we have then one component inside of our cavern,
which is called the thermal storage,
which then stores all of these heat
and gives it back to the air when we are going to expand it.
And like this, you don’t need the gas burning anymore.
So we don’t have the CO2 emissions
and we have much higher efficiencies and we have lower cost.
And this has also come true partially
due to technology the development meter in the last decades.
How much will it cost?
Let’s talk about costs.
So according to Giw,
it costs about 100 million to 200 million US. dollars
for about 200 to 500 megawatt hours output.
The larger the scale of the project, the more it makes sense.
And it becomes more value for money.
This kind of technology isn’t really something
that a small start-up or a set of consultants can tackle.
ALACAES are targeting big institutions as partners for new projects.
So I guess that’s about it.
So I wanna thank Giw, coming on ColdFusion and talking with us.
Also wanna thank you for paying attentionand watching through the whole video.
I hope you learn something interesting.
And in a wider kind of way,
it kind of shows that
you can’t really just throw renewable energy out the window,
saying that it’s not going to work.
There are a lot of people working on different ways
to make the technology more feasible.
RIGHT NOW, TODAY.
So anyway, thanks for watching.
This has been the Geiger, you’ve been watching ColdFusion.
If you just stumbled across this channel, feel free to subscribe.
Cheers, guys. And I’ll see you again soon for the next video.
Have a good one.