One of the latest trends in energy is the mandate to increase the level of energy derived from renewable resources. As with many trends, a variety of challenges have arisen. Renewable resources, like wind and solar, have low-predictability because ‘they’re on when they are on’ and may not be available when called upon to satisfy immediate demand. Because of this, it’s difficult to match electric power demand and renewable based supply, which is important for both users and producers of electrical energy.

One solution to the supply-demand mismatch is energy storage. Based on the principle of ‘time shifting,’ excess energy from renewable generation during times of off-peak demand is stored for later use at time of peak demand when the renewable generation comes up short.

This paper addresses an alternative solution to concerns pertaining to conventional compressed air energy storage, including utilizing an existing and operational natural gas storage facility in a simultaneous capacity for energy storage. This solution can be achieved by inserting a natural gas turbo-expander between the storage reservoir and the natural gas pipeline.

To learn more, listen to the Tech Talk Podcast below with author John Gulen, or read the full paper below.