May 17, 2017 – Powerphase was issued a patent today in China for its first generation energy storage solution, which was designed to solve a fundamental problem faced by electric power grids: as renewable energy increases, so does grid instability and gas turbine cycling. This phenomenon has created the “Duck Curve” which shows graphically how substantial amounts of renewable energy is generated mid-day from solar energy and/or in the middle of the night from wind energy. The challenge is that most demand for power occurs first thing in the morning as people awake or early evening as people return from work. The mismatch between supply and demand creates operational challenges for grid operators, especially where high degrees of renewable penetration exist. The obvious solution is to store some of the renewable energy during times of peak generation and deploy it during times of high demand. However, this ‘energy storage’ has cost investors billions in failed R&D as many solutions have failed to prove commercially viable.
According to Powerphase founder Bob Kraft, the Powerphase Energy Storage System, known as “FastLight”, has created a commercially viable energy storage solution by leveraging existing combustion turbine infrastructure. “The FastLight system offers energy storage at one tenth the lifecycle cost of batteries.” Kraft continued, “The FastLight system also does something that no battery can do, including improving the turn down capability of a combined cycle power plant off peak and increasing the power output of the plant on peak with the added benefit of a 3-5% plant efficiency with just air, so it is very environmentally friendly.” The power and efficiency available to combustion turbines through air injection is currently being demonstrated on several different types of gas turbine power plants using the Company’s other product, an engine-driven dry air injection system, called Turbophase.
The official title for the invention is GAS TURBINE ENERGY STORAGE AND ENERGY SUPPLEMENTING SYSTEMS AND METHODS OF MAKING AND USING THE SAME.