Could the steam engine be the future?
There is a new start-up claiming that this age-old technology could be the key to low-cost, efficient renewable energy storage. Terrajoule is a startup based in Australia that has caused a bit of a stir in the energy sector whilst the question of how to store renewable energy is still raging.
Terrajoules is a fairly simple concept, on a par with the hydro principal of transforming kinetic energy or electricity into gravitational potential energy to make storage possible. It uses steam piston engines to condense steam into liquid so that it can be turned back into steam when needed. This steam generates electricity using conventional turbines whilst the wind or sun is not at its optimum for generation.
So could steam engines provide the key to renewables storage? , I hope so but only time will tell…