SMALL-SCALE POWER EXTRACTION SYSTEM FOR COMPRESSED AIR ENERGY STORAGE
Pelletier, Nathaniel S.
Gannon, Anthony J.
Holmes, Andrea D.
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The goal of this thesis was to improve on the concept of using compressed air as an energy storage medium to generate electrical power. By using compressed air as energy storage, the cost to store power is significantly reduced. An air ejector was used to increase the airflow through a small turbine to maximize the power extraction from the compressed air. The turbine shaft rotation was coupled to a three-phase, permanent magnet generator, to produce three-phase alternating current (AC). A three-phase AC transformer bank was incorporated in one of three modes to optimize the turbine speed: step down, bypass, or step up. The AC was then rectified into direct current (DC) for storage in a super capacitor. Computational fluid dynamics simulation was used to explore entrainment scenarios and their effect on air flow into the turbine. With the obtained entrainment airflows, the internal energy of the expanded air was proven to rise before use by the turbine. This system, if fully developed, could use existing air storage infrastructure at many Department of Defense installations to harness the full potential of renewable energy and provide for more resilient and secure energy.
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