Thermodynamic Performance and Cost Optimization of a Novel Hybrid Thermal-Compressed Air Energy Storage System Design

Sammy Houssainy, Mohammad Janbozorgi, Pirouz Kavehpour

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

48 Scopus Citations


Compressed Air Energy Storage (CAES) can potentially allow renewable energy sources to meet electricity demands as reliably as coal-fired power plants. However, conventional CAES systems rely on the combustion of natural gas, require large storage volumes, and operate at high pressures, which possess inherent problems such as high costs, strict geological locations, and the production of greenhouse gas emissions. A novel and patented hybrid thermal-compressed air energy storage (HT-CAES) design is presented which allows a portion of the available energy, from the grid or renewable sources, to operate a compressor and the remainder to be converted and stored in the form of heat, through joule heating in a sensible thermal storage medium. The HT-CAES design incudes a turbocharger unit that provides supplementary mass flow rate alongside the air storage. The hybrid design and the addition of a turbocharger have the beneficial effect of mitigating the shortcomings of conventional CAES systems and its derivatives by eliminating combustion emissions and reducing storage volumes, operating pressures, and costs. Storage efficiency and cost are the two key factors, which upon integration with renewable energies would allow the sources to operate as independent forms of sustainable energy. The potential of the HT-CAES design is illustrated through a thermodynamic optimization study, which outlines key variables that have a major impact on the performance and economics of the storage system. The optimization analysis quantifies the required distribution of energy between thermal and compressed air energy storage, for maximum efficiency, and for minimum cost. This study provides a roundtrip energy and exergy efficiency map of the storage system and illustrates a trade off that exists between its capital cost and performance.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)206-217
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Energy Storage
StatePublished - Aug 2018

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2018

NREL Publication Number

  • NREL/JA-5500-71685


  • air energy storage
  • storage efficiency
  • thermodynamic optimization


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