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Conceptual Design of Ocean Compressed Air Energy Storage System

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In this paper, an ocean compressed air energy storage (OCAES) system is introduced as a utility-scale energy storage option for electricity generated by wind, ocean currents, tides, and waves off the coast of North Carolina. Geographically, a location from 40 to 70 km off the coast of Cape Hatteras is shown to be a good location for an OCAES system. Building upon existing compressed air energy storage (CAES) system designs, a conceptual design of an OCAES system with thermal energy storage (TES) is presented. A simple thermodynamic analysis is presented for an adiabatic CAES system which shows that the overall efficiency is 66%. In addition, finite element simulations are presented, which show the flow induced loads that will be experienced by OCAES air containers on the ocean floor. We discuss the fact that the combination of the buoyancy force and flow-induced lift forces (due to ocean currents) generates a periodic loading on the storage container and seabed, and how this presents engineering challenges related to the development of methods for reliably resisting these loads for decades in a corrosive environment. We also present a system, based on hydrolysis, which can be used for storing energy (in the form of oxygen and hydrogen gas) in containers on the ocean floor.
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Keywords: CAES; adiabatic CAES; compressed air energy storage; energy storage

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: March 1, 2013

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  • The Marine Technology Society Journal is the flagship publication of the Marine Technology Society. It publishes the highest caliber, peer-reviewed papers on subjects of interest to the society: marine technology, ocean science, marine policy and education. The Journal is dedicated to publishing timely special issues on emerging ocean community concerns while also showcasing general interest and student-authored works.
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