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Z4 seeks compressed air energy storage

Kevin Luke of Buford-based Z-4 Energy Systems wants to develop a way to save wind energy for when the wind's not blowing. He's working on a commercialization plan for wind-powered water pumping, incorporating compressed air storage. Luke points out that wind is variable and energy storage is needed to provide controlled, consistent water pumping. He seeks to use air compressors, similar to those found commercially, powered by a wind turbine rotor. The driving force behind his efforts is that the wind blows at variable speeds and when there is not enough wind to turn the turbine, the stored air can continue to be used to pump the well. Currently, wind electric and solar powered systems use lead acid batteries for storage, which don't perform well in the cold weather and have a short lifespan.

Kevin Luke of Buford-based Z-4 Energy Systems wants to develop a way to save wind energy for when the wind's not blowing. He's working on a commercialization plan for wind-powered water pumping, incorporating compressed air storage.

Luke points out that wind is variable and energy storage is needed to provide controlled, consistent water pumping. He seeks to use air compressors, similar to those found commercially, powered by a wind turbine rotor. The driving force behind his efforts is that the wind blows at variable speeds and when there is not enough wind to turn the turbine, the stored air can continue to be used to pump the well. Currently, wind electric and solar powered systems use lead acid batteries for storage, which don't perform well in the cold weather and have a short lifespan.

In October, Luke obtained a Wyoming Small Business Innovation Research/Small Business Technology Transfer (SBIR/STTR) Initiative Phase 0 award from the Wyoming Business Council. The $5,000 award will be used to prepare a Phase I application to the National Science Foundation and to develop a commercialization plan for the device.

This specific National Science Foundation SBIR topic, titled Emerging... more [truncated due to possible copyright]  

Kevin Luke of Buford-based Z-4 Energy Systems wants to develop a way to save wind energy for when the wind's not blowing. He's working on a commercialization plan for wind-powered water pumping, incorporating compressed air storage.

Luke points out that wind is variable and energy storage is needed to provide controlled, consistent water pumping. He seeks to use air compressors, similar to those found commercially, powered by a wind turbine rotor. The driving force behind his efforts is that the wind blows at variable speeds and when there is not enough wind to turn the turbine, the stored air can continue to be used to pump the well. Currently, wind electric and solar powered systems use lead acid batteries for storage, which don't perform well in the cold weather and have a short lifespan.

In October, Luke obtained a Wyoming Small Business Innovation Research/Small Business Technology Transfer (SBIR/STTR) Initiative Phase 0 award from the Wyoming Business Council. The $5,000 award will be used to prepare a Phase I application to the National Science Foundation and to develop a commercialization plan for the device.

This specific National Science Foundation SBIR topic, titled Emerging Opportunities, targets technologies that have potential for rapid commercialization. The company plans to bring the new technology to market in three years.

With Luke's system, a low-cost air line could run from the turbine site to the well site, allowing the turbine to be placed on top of a hill for maximum wind potential, instead of at the well site, which may not be as windy. According to Luke, the system could provide on-demand, automated water pumping for livestock, but it won't over-pump the tank thanks to a simple float valve like those found in a toilet. It could also provide on-demand, pressurized water for human consumption at remote properties or in developing nations.

Z4 Energy Systems also received a $5,000 award in July to prepare a Phase I application to the United States Department of Agriculture. Z4 is developing a wind turbine with a blade design incorporating a controlled flex that will adapt the blade to provide maximum power over a wider range of wind speeds, while limiting potential for damage by excessive wind. In all, Z4 has picked up five Phase 0 awards through WSSI and the Wyoming Business Council.

The federal SBIR and STTR programs make up the WSSI alliance and provide more than $2 billion annually in Research and Development (R&D) grants and contracts to qualified small businesses. Eleven federal agencies are required by law to provide these funds by setting aside 2.5 percent of their annual extra-mural R&D budgets for use exclusively by U.S. small businesses for new product R&D. Hence, these programs provide a unique source of start-up and seed capital for small businesses to develop new innovative product concepts.

The SBIR Phase 0 program is a project of the Wyoming SBIR/STTR Initiative. The initiative is funded by the Wyoming Business Council and administered by the University of Wyoming Vice-President for Research. For more information, visit www.uwyo.edu/sbir.


Source: http://www.wyomingbusinessr...

NOV 19 2007
http://www.windaction.org/posts/12004-z4-seeks-compressed-air-energy-storage
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