IGW’s role in creating a greener world
21 December, 2021
Global warming has come to a crucial point for the world to act. We have come a long way already, but we still have a long way to go. Green solutions like solar plants and wind turbines are great, but they are subject to the ideal weather conditions. Say there was a way to store energy when production capacity is at its peak? Then we say no challenge is too great! Wonder how IGW plays a crucial role in this challenge? Let us guide you through the exciting project of our customer: Atlas Copco Gas & Process Division (GAP) and their customer Stiesdal.
A match made in heaven
Atlas Copco GAP and Stiesdal started an interesting collaboration. Stiesdal is a company that is devoted to industrializing and commercializing technologies with a high impact on the climate, whereas Atlas Copco GAP is a leading provider of integrally geared centrifugal compressor. A match made in heaven!
Both parties have started a project in search for storage solutions. Storage is an important factor in the road to a climate neutral society. For example, wind energy production is not always at it’s peak, because it needs the ideal weather conditions. Therefore, the energy consumption needs do not always match the production capacity. On other times, production capacity exceeds the consumption needs. That is exactly why storing energy would be a game changer.
Stiesdal and Atlas Copco GAP realized that energy storage is the missing link in the green transition. The way to do it? Thermal energy storage. How it works is basically as follows: energy is stored as heat and cold in crushed rock, stored in insulated tanks and this for a mid term period which means from few hours to a few weeks. By circulating compressed air through the reservoirs, charging and discharging is done by transferring heat between rocks and air. This way, energy suited for industrial manufacturing can be stored and used when needed.
The GridScale system
GridScale is a pumped heat energy storage system. This system works by converting excess electricity into heat at high temperature, up to 600 °C , and storing the heat in crushed rock. In other words: charging and discharging. The charging system is configured as a heat pump, with compressors and turbines pumping heat energy from one or more storage tanks filled with cool stones to a corresponding number of storage tanks filled with crushed rock.
The discharging system is configured as a gas turbine, with compressors and turbines releasing the heat energy from the hot tanks to the cold tanks.
The charge-discharge system comprises one compressor-turbine system for charging and another similar but differently dimensioned system for discharging.
The compressors are based on a well-proven design and technology from Atlas Copco GAP.
Measurement of pinion
That is where IGW comes in!
Thanks to our years of experience and know-how of manufacturing complex gears, we are able to deliver the gears that are used in the integrally geared compressors of Atlas Copco GAP. Due to the extremely high quality of the gears we provide, the integrally geared compressor has an extended lifetime. This brings the total cost of ownership drastically down.
For the moment, IGW recently delivered the prototypes. An initial series test batch will be built starting in the second quarter of 2022 and full production with exposure to international markets is already foreseen for 2023.
We are keen to see the further development of this green system and are proud to be a part of solutions that help create a greener world.