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ESTEP: Program Support and Small-Scale Compressed Air Energy System

The ESTEP program aims to educate the Naval Workforce through practical implementation of new and nascent technologies to reduce the cost and increase the security of energy to United States Naval facilities. This exposes thesis students to relevant research in the critical field of renewable energy.

The aim of the current ESTEP project is to show that a small scale compressed air energy storage system is practically feasible. In the previous year a compressor system was installed to be able to charge large air tanks. This second part of the project will develop a small scale generator that can generate electricity from the compressed air.

While some large scale projects using this technology are planned there are currently no small scale projects which is the type of system that a DoD installation would require. The capital cost of compressed air energy storage is much lower than batteries and if renewable power is used to charge the tanks then the operating costs will be low too. In addition this type of system removes the intermittency problem associated with renewable power.
Mechanical & Aerospace Engineering
Office of Naval Research