London, United Kingdom
London, United Kingdom
First time founder
I am an inventor with a method of modifying power plants to work with wind and solar energy. I am currently looking for business collaboration opportunities, and investment and/or potential business partners with experience in industrial technology startups (or similar). My own professional background is in law and I am a qualified English lawyer who has worked in insurance, regulatory, and criminal law, I also have financial qualifications and have studied engineering.
My invention is a compressed air energy storage system that uses exhaust steam from thermal power plants as a heat source. Unlike conventional plant, this system provides power from both the steam turbine as well as the air turbine, reducing the overall airflow required. This in turn reduces compression losses and substantially increases overall efficiency. Calculations indicate efficiency levels comparable with hydroelectric pumped storage with the low capital costs of diabatic compressed air.
Essentially, like other CAES plants, the system compresses air off peak and recovers energy on peak. To recover the 'phase change' energy at a useful temperature, the air is ducted through a number of parallel pipes, each using nozzles to temporarily accelerate the air, causing it to depressurise and lose temperature. This occurs in several stages to prevent the pipes from freezing the steam. Once the air has recovered enough energy, we slow it back in more nozzles to around its original pressure and velocity, which air then becomes useably hot for expansion in a turbine. Typically, after first condensing, we expand the air from 50 to 5 bars, then we reheat the air in a second low pressure condenser before expanding the air from 5 bars to atmospheric. Intercooling and/or heat of compression recovery methods (mostly providing hot steam to the steam turbine) are used to maximise efficiency.
The system could potentially work with any steam or Rankine cycle plant including existing fossil fuel plants (biomass, combined cycle gas turbines) geothermal, nuclear, or emission free hydrogen oxygen turbines. The proposed development programme will initially focus on a paper / CDF analysis of around 3 weeks followed by physical test pieces of pipe being validated in a commercially available high pressure testing facility and then prototyping the system on a small commercial plant.
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