UPDATE: Watts Up With That in 2015 looked at the utility of compressed-air storage as an antidote to global warming. The comments make interesting reading.
The Energy Source & Distribution website carried a recent report of the latest advance in renewable energy, a remarkable $30 million undertaking in South Australia to, well, best let ES&D explain
The technology works by using electricity from the grid to produce compressed air, which is stored in a purpose-built underground cavern kept at constant pressure using hydrostatic head from a water column.
During charging, heat from the compressed air is collected and stored before the cooled air displaces water out of the cavern up to a water reservoir on the surface. To discharge, water flows back into the cavern forcing air to the surface under pressure where it is heated with the stored thermal energy and drives a turbine to generate electricity.
Some might think it quite mad to blow up a traditional power station, as South Australia did several green years ago, in order to replace it with hot air stuffed down a cave — hot air and a $6 million taxpayer subsidy for good company. But all things are relative. Rita Panahi summed up the day in Canberra
Meanwhile, in the Australian parliament…male senator accuses female senator of sexually harassing him. She says she “wouldn’t go near him with a barge pole”. He gets in to a fight with her staffer & smears his blood on her office door. Not making this up. Straya!
For those interested in what is basically a pneumatic Snowy 3.0 without the mountains and water, this video is instructive.