Heat-insulated compressor parts have an important role to play in the future of compressed air energy storage (CAES), according to one industry analyst.

SBI Energy is a specialist market insight provider focusing on the power and energy sectors, and says CAES is currently one of the two main sources of generated electricity in utility-scale energy storage systems.

Pumped hydro storage is currently the main method of storing energy; however, heat-insulated compressor parts for CAES could change that in the next few years.

By insulating against heat loss, the gases compressed to store energy in CAES can be allowed to heat up under compression, storing more energy than if this heat was lost.

This is called adiabatic CAES, and SBI Energy expects to see it become a more significant part of the energy storage segment in the coming few years.

SBI publisher Shelley Carr says: “This technology would reduce the amount of fuel needed for the expansion process, increasing efficiency by up to 70%.”

With around 0.4GW of CAES units already installed globally, it’s a technology that is likely to continue to grow in popularity among utility-scale energy storage in the years to come.