Compressed air is a common energy source due to high power with light tooling. Air tools can be used in locations where electric power would explode. As with any energy source storage is a major draw back. Catastrophic failures of tanks and piping are also very dangerous. A system has been developed to compress and store compressed gases at very high pressures using standard low-pressure vessels. It is easy to build using standard off the shelf materials and is inherently safer than existing compressed air storage systems.
The system consists of any number of tanks within tanks depending on pressures desired. The inner most tank contains the highest pressure but is contained within a tank at some other pressure so that the highest pressure tank’s net pressure differential can be the same as every other tank. In other words no high pressure tanks, valves, or pumps are needed to store high pressure gas. Installed between each tank is a compressed air driven booster or multiplier. In accordance with Boyles Law low pressure at high volume equals high pressure at low volume.
For example label three tanks 1, 2, 3 from the outside in. A 2:1 booster is mounted inside the first tank and another 2:1 booster outside. If the outside booster is run on 100 psi air it generates 200 psi, which is fed to tank 2. Tank 2’s pressure, 200 psi, is fed to the booster mounted inside tank 1, which exhausts to 100 psi or a pressure differential of 100 psi exactly like the first booster. The second booster generates 200 psi from 100 psi or 300 psi total which fills tank 3. At this point each tank “sees” a pressure of only 100 psi yet we are storing 300 psi in the inside tank. Pressure regulators mounted in each tank allows pressure to be used from the inside out.
Any configuration of number of tanks, boosters, and pressure ratings can be designed to store ultra high pressures safely way beyond what would be possible with a single tank system. If any tank ruptures it would be rupturing into a pressurized space bleeding any tank like a normal low-pressure tank. Rupture of the high-pressure tank is less likely since the low-pressure tanks protect it. The effect of rupture of the low-pressure tank(s) is greatly reduced by keeping the tank(s) volumes low.
A prototype is currently being evaluated.
ABOUT THE ENTRANT
Name: Douglas Tonjes
Type of entry: individual
Number of times previously entering contest:never
Douglas's hobbies and activities:
Sailing, machine design
Douglas is inspired by:
Software used for this entry:
Patent status: none