Can you imagine the day when wind power is nothing special, just your average source for heating and lighting your homes? General Compression and Mechanology can. Both companies are teaming up with Ricardo, the Eco-Innovation Technology Company, to engineer and develop the technology and expertise to make wind power as reliable as conventional power.
Of the potentially large-scale renewable energy resources wind is perhaps the most universally available, as virtually every part of the earth’s surface experiences the natural force of the wind. However, as the wind is subject to the vagaries of the weather and as such is inherently unpredictable, wind energy has traditionally been seen as an intermittent source of electrical power.
General Compression’s proprietary Dispatchable Wind(TM) system carries the descriptive tagline ‘wind energy on demand’ because it decouples wind energy capture from electrical power generation by substituting the electric generators in its wind turbines with advanced compressor systems linked to a central high pressure compressed air reservoir at each wind farm. The reservoir acts as an energy buffer, storing compressed air which can be passed through an expander plant in order to generate electricity whenever it’s needed – not just when the wind is blowing.
Dispatchable Wind is based on the use of the innovative, high energy density Dragonfly(TM) compressor under development by Mechanology, Inc. Ricardo has been chosen by Mechanology to be one of its key product development partners to assist in developing the Dragonfly(TM) such that it will meet or exceed the rigours of round-the-clock operation with an expected life in excess of 20 years.