'Energy Bag' Offshore Wind Energy Storage

By Admin
One of the biggest problems facing renewable energy like wind power is its inability to store energy. Giant battery units are needed to hold the power...


One of the biggest problems facing renewable energy like wind power is its inability to store energy.  Giant battery units are needed to hold the power created, otherwise the energy must be fed directly into the grid.  This can create irregularities in energy generation during low wind periods, and developers continue to seek out low cost alternatives to store the energy created.  One novel approach is the use of compressed air.  The wind turbines can power air compressors to fill tanks, then the high-pressure air can be released to run generators for electricity.

Thin Red Line Aerospace is taking this compressed air approach to energy storage and applying it to offshore wind farms.  With the creation of the ‘Energy Bag,’ the company has engineered an undersea compressed air energy storage unit to optimize offshore wind’s potential.

Thin Red Line Aerospace describes the technology:

The process is conceptually straight forward: Wind turbines fill the balloon-like underwater bags with compressed air that later drives electrical generators on demand. While initial application is ideally linked to floating wind turbines, excess electricity from the grid—or from clean energy sources such as tidal and wave power—can also be used to drive compressors to fill the energy bags. The technology is especially suited to countries with relatively deep waters near their coasts.

Unlike on-ground compressed air storage units, which must be made of high-strength materials like carbon fiber to bear the high-pressure required to sufficiently generate energy on demand, the Energy Bag uses the naturally occurring pressure in deep sea conditions to contain the compressed air in a modified balloon design.



The Future of Batteries: A Distributed Approach to Energy Storage

Liquid Metal Battery Draws Bill Gates Investment

Carbon Supercapacitor 'Sponge' Better than Batteries?

The Energy Bag itself weighs only 165 pounds (75 kilograms), but is able to displace 40 tons of sea water when placed at 2,000 feet (600 meters) below the water’s surface.  At this depth, pressures are around 70 times greater than the atmospheric pressure above water.  Just one Energy Bag can store approximately 70 MW hours of energy, or the equivalent of 14 hours of energy generation from the largest offshore wind turbine models. 

The Energy Bag is expected to cost far below what an equivalent battery storage system would.  However, not all deep sea locations are suitable for the technology, since the locale needs to be close enough to land to feed the air via tubing to a land-based generator.  Europe - with numerous suitable offshore locations - has been identified as the first likely market to implement the Energy Bags, and Thin Red Line Aerospace has its eyes particularly set on the up-and-coming floating wind turbine farms that are being developed to tap deep sea wind power.


Featured Articles

UK and US announce energy partnership

The agreement will work towards reducing global dependency on Russian energy exports, stabilising energy markets, and stepping up collaboration

Alfa Laval to supply world’s largest green hydrogen plant

The facility is being built in NEOM, the US$500bn futuristic city being developed in Saudi Arabia

COP27 agrees to climate compensation fund

The deal is said to be a historic first in acknowledging the vast inequities of the climate crisis

North America's natural gas can help mitigate energy crisis

Oil & Gas

COP27: Egypt and Norway to build 100MW green hydrogen plant

Renewable Energy

Renewable energy company Masdar opens office in Saudi Arabia

Renewable Energy