Air compressors are likely to continue to see significant demand throughout the coming decade, with the market for energy storage on the grid predicted to reach $30 billion (£18 billion) by 2022.
Technologies such as the use of air compressors to enable compressed-air energy storage, along with advanced batteries and next-generation pumped storage, are all among the ways Pike Research say energy will be stored on the grid in the years to come.
This leads the analyst to forecast a multibillion dollar market for such technologies in ten years’ time – despite the fact that they are in relatively low demand for similar applications at present.
Research analyst Anissa Dehamna says: “The industry must solve issues around business models and the supply chain in order to successfully scale up and commercialise these emerging technologies.”
In compressed air energy storage, abbreviated to CAES, air under high levels of compression is released, allowing it to return the energy that was used in initially compressing it.
Some systems also store the heat produced by the air when it is compressed, so that the released air can be returned to its original temperature, rather than dropping in temperature as it expands.