Thermal energy storage is acknowledged as the lowest cost method to store energy. Large quantities of energy can be stored for long periods within insulated atmospheric-pressure tanks by raising the temperature or changing the state of a liquid. Pintail Power's hybrid approach greatly enhances the performance and cost-effectiveness of thermal storage by dramatically increasing the efficiency by which this stored energy is converted back to electric power. Our patent pending technologies deliver break-throughs in the cost-performance ratio, and enable bankable projects that can be sited anywhere, constructed quickly, and scaled to meet demand.
Pintail Power's Liquid Air Power & Storage (LAPS) technology will disrupt and transform the energy markets for transmission system operators, utilities, renewable power providers, and merchant power plants. LAPS is aimed at utility-scale bulk energy storage, currently provided only by Pumped Hydro or Underground Compressed Air Energy Storage Systems. LAPS is more cost-effective than batteries, avoids geologic and other siting constraints, and is competitive with fossil-fueled peaking plants.
LAPS stores excess renewable or other low-cost energy by cooling air to a liquid state, allowing energy to be stored for extended periods in compact low-pressure insulated tanks with low losses (<0.25% per day). When power is needed, the liquid air is pressurized by a pump, regasified using turbine exhaust heat and further heated with a small amount of fuel. The pressurized hot air then produces power in a turbine and exhausts through a Heat Recovery Air Gasifier to complete the power cycle. LAPS systems have low technical and development risk because they are comprised of proven industrial components - Air Liquefaction plants, turbo-expanders and heat exchangers - available from multiple global industrial firms already serving the industrial gas, Liquefied Natural Gas and power generation markets.
Thermal Energy Storage is traditionally associated with solar thermal power plants, which typically use molten salt as the storage medium. Yet these systems fail to deliver lower cost of energy because the high temperature, corrosivity, and risk of freezing increase costs of construction and operation.
Our Dispatchable Solar Combined Cycle (DSCC) approach adds storage and firm capacity to solar thermal power plants to increase power output, time-shift the renewable power, and reduce fossil fuel use compared to conventional combined cycle power plants. DSCC plants are an ideal resource for California, the Middle East and other geographies suitable for Concentrated Solar Power and can be cost-effectively employed in greenfield sites or to repower existing parabolic trough units by: