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A near-isothermal expander for isothermal compressed air energy storage system


  • Zhang, Xinjing
  • Xu, Yujie
  • Zhou, Xuezhi
  • Zhang, Yi
  • Li, Wen
  • Zuo, Zhitao
  • Guo, Huan
  • Huang, Ye
  • Chen, Haisheng


Compressed air energy storage technology is considered as a promising method to improve the reliability and efficiency of the electricity transmission and distribution, especially with high penetration of renewable energy. Being a vital component, the expander takes an important role in compressed air energy storage operation. The specific work of an expander can be improved through an isothermal expansion compared with the adiabatic expansion process due to a nearly constant temperature which enables the expander to operate with a high pressure ratio. In this study, a specific reciprocating expander with a high pressure ratio was developed and its adiabatic expansion characteristics were measured. Numerical modelling was performed to simulate adiabatic expansion. This model was also validated by experimental results. Based on these findings, we propose a quasi-isothermal expansion process using water injection into the expander cylinder. Modelling was also extended to simulate the quasi-isothermal process by introducing water–air direct heat transfer equations. Simulation results showed that when spraying tiny water droplets into the cylinder, the specific work generated was improved by 15.7% compared with that of the adiabatic expansion under the same air mass flowrate, whilst the temperature difference was only about 10% of that of the adiabatic process, and cylinder height was decreased by 8.7%. The influence of water/air mass flowrate ratio and the inlet temperature on the expander performance was also studied.

Suggested Citation

  • Zhang, Xinjing & Xu, Yujie & Zhou, Xuezhi & Zhang, Yi & Li, Wen & Zuo, Zhitao & Guo, Huan & Huang, Ye & Chen, Haisheng, 2018. "A near-isothermal expander for isothermal compressed air energy storage system," Applied Energy, Elsevier, vol. 225(C), pages 955-964.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:appene:v:225:y:2018:i:c:p:955-964
    DOI: 10.1016/j.apenergy.2018.04.055

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    Cited by:

    1. Li, Yaowang & Miao, Shihong & Luo, Xing & Yin, Binxin & Han, Ji & Wang, Jihong, 2020. "Dynamic modelling and techno-economic analysis of adiabatic compressed air energy storage for emergency back-up power in supporting microgrid," Applied Energy, Elsevier, vol. 261(C).
    2. Chen, Shang & Arabkoohsar, Ahmad & Zhu, Tong & Nielsen, Mads Pagh, 2020. "Development of a micro-compressed air energy storage system model based on experiments," Energy, Elsevier, vol. 197(C).
    3. Zhan, Junpeng & Ansari, Osama Aslam & Liu, Weijia & Chung, C.Y., 2019. "An accurate bilinear cavern model for compressed air energy storage," Applied Energy, Elsevier, vol. 242(C), pages 752-768.
    4. Patil, Vikram C. & Acharya, Pinaki & Ro, Paul I., 2020. "Experimental investigation of water spray injection in liquid piston for near-isothermal compression," Applied Energy, Elsevier, vol. 259(C).
    5. Venkataramani, Gayathri & Vijayamithran, Pranesh & Li, Yongliang & Ding, Yulong & Chen, Haisheng & Ramalingam, Velraj, 2019. "Thermodynamic analysis on compressed air energy storage augmenting power / polygeneration for roundtrip efficiency enhancement," Energy, Elsevier, vol. 180(C), pages 107-120.
    6. Jianting Sun & Xin Zhou & Qi Liang & Zhitao Zuo & Haisheng Chen, 2019. "The Effect of Wet Compression on a Centrifugal Compressor for a Compressed Air Energy Storage System," Energies, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 12(5), pages 1-24, March.


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