Better Compressed Power Storage from SustainX

October 19, 2011 by  
Filed under Eco, Eco Tech

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A recent patent issued to compressed air energy storage (CAES) company SustainX could provide a significant improvement in grid storage of energy, especially for wind farms and solar power arrays. Compressed air is one of the preferred methods for storing excess energy from renewable sources during periods of peak production. When there is increased demand, it can then be readily harnessed to provide additional electricity, instead of relying on fossil fuel burning ‘peaker plants’ or other, less desirable alternatives. The problem with compressing air comes from thermodynamic effects . “Without heat transfer, a gas will increase in temperature as it is compressed; and as it gets hotter, it tends to resist further compression (i.e., each increment of compression must be performed on a volume of gas that is at higher pressure than if it had not been heated by prior compression).” SustainX has developed technology to provide isothermal compression and expansion which gives their system conversion efficiencies of over 90%. And, of course, better conversion efficiencies mean less energy is wasted. With this technology, SustainX claims a 7x cost reduction over traditional CAES systems. Additionally, according to the company, “SustainX utilizes above-ground storage in the form of industrial-grade, off-the-shelf gas cylinders, eliminating the siting constraints and permitting concerns associated with classical underground CAES.” via: N A Windpower

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Better Compressed Power Storage from SustainX

Nissan Builds 10-Minute EV Charger

October 18, 2011 by  
Filed under Eco, Eco Tech

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Nissan has announced that it has built a super-fast EV charger that can take your battery from drained to fully charged in a mere ten minutes — a huge improvement over the typical eight-hour refueling time that most EV chargers require. This new quick charger, built with help from Japan’s Kansai University, was made by swapping out the traditionally-used carbon electrodes for tungsten oxide and vanadium oxide electrodes that proved to be far more efficient.  One major drawback to this swap is that EVs today are made with charging components that work with those carbon electrodes, so EVs themselves would have to be updated to work with this new type of charger. Nissan plans to fully commercialize this new charger, but it’s likely to take about another decade until they’re on the streets or available for your home.  It’s a drag to have to wait that long to see this technology produced, but it’s also really exciting to imagine that in ten years you’ll be able to recharge your EV in the time it takes to eat a snack. via Inhabitat

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Nissan Builds 10-Minute EV Charger

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