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Old 02-15-2009, 05:22 PM   #12 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by NeilBlanchard View Post

Compressed air is a storage medium; not a fuel.

A method that has been proposed for using compressed air, is in conjunction with a large solar array in the southwest USA (or a large number of wind turbines) is after it is transmitted to population centers, if it is not needed just then -- use the excess electricity to run large air compressors. Use these to pump air pressure into existing large underground caverns (where there used to be natural gas, for instance) -- and then when electricity is needed beyond what is coming from the renewable arrays; then reverse the process. The stored air pressure can be used to run turbines to generate electricity on demand.
Actually to add, there is a temperature gradient in the southwest US, it is possible to get real power using hot air to compress and cool air to expand in the hot environment without any external power
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