WEST LEBANON, N.H.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–SustainX, Inc., developer of an industry-leading, transformative technology for utility-scale energy storage using compressed air, today announced that it has received a U.S. patent giving it control over a technology combining cogeneration with isothermal compressed-air energy storage to turn waste energy into electricity. Another new patent establishes the company’s ownership of a control system for maintaining constant power to and from its energy storage system.
Cogeneration is the production of electricity using energy left over from some other process. For example, a conventional power plant discards heat not intense enough to make steam, wasting about 60 percent of the energy released from its fuel. SustainX storage technology can turn a portion of this waste heat into electricity, supplying a storage function and a cogeneration function at the same time. It is the only utility-scale energy storage option that can harvest additional electricity from low-grade heat.
“This cogeneration patent allows SustainX to expand the type of systems it develops, providing more market options,” said Dax Kepshire, Vice President and co-founder of the company. “This will allow us to help renewable energy projects fulfill their power requirements and existing fossil fuel plants to operate in a more environmentally-friendly manner.”
A SustainX isothermal (constant-temperature) energy-storage system can cogenerate because it removes heat from air being compressed for storage and adds heat to air being expanded. The heat added during air expansion, when the system is generating electricity, can come from any source—including a conventional power plant. Within limits, the more heat is added, the more extra electricity is produced.