OAK RIDGE, Tenn. — The gap between electricity generation and use could be narrowed with an Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) system that extracts energy from thin air. Actually, the system, called Ground-Level Integrated Diverse Energy Storage or GLIDES, stores electricity mechanically in the form of compressed gas that displaces water in high-pressure vessels described by co-inventor Wale Odukomaiya as the heart of the system.

He noted that GLIDES overcomes the site limitations of pumped storage hydroelectricity and compressed air energy, and the higher cost of batteries. Compared to these conventional energy storage systems, GLIDES also features near constant-temperature processes, higher efficiency, and more flexible scalability.

In addition, the system uses the world’s smallest Pelton turbine, which extracts energy from the impulse of moving water, manufactured at ORNL’s Manufacturing Demonstration Facility.

For more information on GLIDES, see the YouTube video here.

Publication date: 5/18/2016

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