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Thread: Interesting

  1. #1
    Senior Member
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    Mar 2013

  2. #2
    Senior Member T P's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2013
    The muddy edge of the biggest puddle in the uk

    Re: Interesting

    Technicially it's very do-able but a bit of a non starter on cost grounds, as every good engineer will tell you compressed air is 7-8 times more expensive as an energy source than electricity and a lot more expensive to store than the potential energy in water utilising good old gravity. You should hear the gurning about even small leaks of air in the machines at work. When you compress air it gets warm and the heat is lost energy so unless someone comes up with a way to efficiently capture and recycle the heat from the compressing process it's just a nice theory given general energy costs at present. As Mrs T said you can't buck the market. If oil prices go back to where they were it might start to look attractive, at the minute wind power is a sad case economically without the subsidies. Not the technologies fault just the way the energy market has gone. I read about somewhere in Northern Europe they have a system that uses the spare wind capacity (generally at night)to pump water back up into a reservoir for use through a hydro electric station at peak periods that looks much more attractive on costs and is not dissimilar to the well proven technology of the electric mountain in the UK.

    It's not by chance that SMC,FESTO and the big players in the air actuator market have started to offer electric powered alternatives to some of their previous air powered offerings to an increasingly cost conscious industrial customer base, there are big savings to be made doing the job with electric instead of compressed air.

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