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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Numerical investigation of a joint approach to thermal energy storage and compressed air energy storage in aquifers

  • Author(s): Guo, C
  • Zhang, K
  • Pan, L
  • Cai, Z
  • Li, C
  • Li, Y
  • et al.

© 2017 Elsevier Ltd Different from conventional compressed air energy storage (CAES) systems, the advanced adiabatic compressed air energy storage (AA-CAES) system can store the compression heat which can be used to reheat air during the electricity generation stage. Thus, AA-CAES system can achieve a higher energy storage efficiency. Similar to the AA-CAES system, a compressed air energy storage in aquifers (CAESA) system, which is integrated with an aquifer thermal energy storage (ATES) could possibly achieve the same objective. In order to investigate the impact of ATES on the performance of CAESA, different injection air temperature schemes are designed and analyzed by using numerical simulations. Key parameters relative to energy recovery efficiencies of the different injection schemes, such as pressure distribution and temperature variation within the aquifers as well as energy flow rate in the injection well, are also investigated in this study. The simulations show that, although different injection schemes have a similar overall energy recovery efficiency (∼97%) as well as a thermal energy recovery efficiency (∼79.2%), the higher injection air temperature has a higher energy storage capability. Our results show the total energy storage for the injection air temperature at 80 °C is about 10% greater than the base model scheme at 40 °C. Sensitivity analysis reveal that permeability of the reservoir boundary could have significant impact on the system performance. However, other hydrodynamic and thermodynamic properties, such as the storage reservoir permeability, thermal conductivity, rock grain specific heat and rock grain density, have little impact on storage capability and the energy flow rate. Overall, our study suggests that the combination of ATES and CAESA can help keep the high efficiency of energy storage so as to make CAESA system more efficiency.

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