Home Technology The world’s first wind farm vessel that stores energy as liquid air

The world’s first wind farm vessel that stores energy as liquid air

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Florida based, Keuka Energy has launched the first floating US
offshore wind farm that has been paired with a Liquid Air energy storage
system. The facility is a 125KW 1:100 prototype version of the design
that company started constructing back in October. The full-scale
version will sport 25MW and is slated for completion for January 2017.
Every wind turbine blade is capable of driving up to 36 individual
components simultaneously and is more efficient per square meter of
swept area when compared with traditional turbine blades. These are
built using recyclable marine grade aluminum and have a service life of
100 years. 
 The design has been based on a semi-open center design –
subsequently reducing the downstream turbulence. This very reason allows
for more units to be installed per square mile. The blades can be
lowered to the ground level for maintenance and repairs if need be and
can be created using locally available materials.
The design also allows to reduce costs thus reducing the capital and
operations and maintenance (O&M) cost per kilowatt when compared
with three-blade turbine designs. Offshore wind farms are able to get
2-5% higher wind speeds as compared to onshore turbines and thus result
in reducing the cost while being able to generate more electricity.
Keuka’s
design is working in tandem with ‘Liquid Air’ energy storage. What is
Liquid Air energy storage? It is an abundant and zero cost fuel supply
that involves making air move through a liquefaction technology that
cools it down to -196 degrees C. 

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The process requires almost 700 liters
of ambient air for the production of 1 liter of liquid air and this
liquefied air can then be stored in an un-pressurized insulated vessel.
Upon introducing head to the liquid air, it boils and becomes a gas
again. This expansion process can then be used for driving a turbine or
piston engine. Apart from electricity storage, other applications of
liquid air include transportation and recovery of waste heat.
The company has firm belief that its floating wind farms are less
expensive per kilowatt (KW) when compared with traditional wind farms.The design also incorporates an onboard water or oil cooled
substation that can further help reduce costs. These floating wind
turbines can be created in areas that are protected from storms and be
towed to the designated locations at a speed of 10-15 knots.
The
company is very hopeful that its ‘Rimdrive’ system shall be able to
revolutionize the industry while also being able to provide inexpensive
yet reliable wind energy systems that could be deployed in remote
locations as well. It doesn’t require a gearbox and this factor alone
cuts down the cost of 30 years by 25%. Keuka Energy has a 520-acre
research and development facility and for the past three years has been
busy in developing the Rimdrive technology.

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