With more renewable energy like solar and wind, which are not ‘schedulable,’ and dependent on nature, energy storage is becoming an important topic when we try to envision a sustainable future. Energy storage through compressed air is one of the most well-understood and promising methods today. While the concept is well understood, now prototypes need to be developed to reach the megawatt-level scales, efficiency and cost-effectiveness.
One such prototype was developed over the summer of 2012 at the Gujarat Energy Research and Management Institute (GERMI) by Siddharth Machana, an undergraduate mechanical engineering intern from the Indian Institute of Information Technology, Design & Manufacturing (IIITD&M)-Kancheepuram, under the guidance of Dr. Omkar Jani, Principal Research Scientist (Solar), GERMI. A linear actuator was developed using the combination of pneumatic and spring actions to convert compressed air into electricity. The video is a short demo of the development outcome. This work is further translated into a patent application.