Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Pneumatic Energy Storage

I just read this article on using compressed air as a way to store energy. At first I thought it was a joke, but presumably it's feasible to use compressed air as a way to store energy on a large scale. I remember when I was back in college, I spent some time thinking about compressed air engines and that you could at least start with old steam engine designs as they were essentially engines that ran on compressed air.

I also thought that it might be possible to use the pressure differentials on my 1981 Dodge Charger to generate energy. My idea was to run a tube from somewhere on the car where there was normal air pressure, like the engine compartment or the undercarriage, to a place where there was vacuum, like around the rear license plate. This seems like a crazy idea, but so does putting big compressed air containers the size of Yankee Stadium under New York City, and apparently that's now a reasonable idea.