Renewable energy is becoming an increasingly important part of the energy mix. However, the intermittent nature of renewable sources like solar and wind continues to be a challenge.
Efforts are underway to store renewable energy for increased availability. BaroMar, an Israeli energy storage startup, has developed a unique solution: storing renewable energy underwater on the seabed.
Deep in the ocean, pressure levels are high. BaroMar takes advantage of this fact by placing storage tanks on the ocean floor. These tanks, which compress air, eliminate the need for large storage structures.
This innovative approach offers the potential for virtually limitless energy storage while leveraging the vastly underused ocean floor.
In a recent interview, BaroMar CEO Yonadav Buber told Israel21c, “We can place as many simple concrete tanks as we want, and on the beach itself only take up very little space in the form of a compression station.”
BaroMar’s solution uses surplus grid electricity to compress air in underwater tanks. This eliminates the need to burn any materials.
The compressed air is stored in concrete tanks. When electricity is needed, it’s released through a turbo expander and generator. This approach addresses the issue of wasted renewable energy by using surplus electricity at specific times.
Energy storage is crucial for matching the supply and demand of renewable energy. The solution’s carbon footprint is neutral since it doesn’t require its own electricity, only surplus power. The physical presence on beaches is minimal, and the non-hazardous concrete tanks are situated at a depth of 500 meters to minimize impact on marine life.
BaroMar’s solution stands out as it offers longer periods, potentially entire seasons, of energy storage. This is in stark contrast to battery storage solutions, which only store energy for a few hours.
BaroMar’s technology has already been proven to work. This has led to the company securing seed funding. BaroMar is now searching for suitable locations for a feasibility facility in Israel or abroad.
Buber aims to complete the test facility in the next few years and promptly commence the construction of commercial sites.
According to Buber, BaroMar’s potential clients fall into three categories. Firstly, there are renewable energy producers who have surplus energy and need to dispose of it after being unable to sell it in the market.
Secondly, there are large electricity consumers who want to transition to 100 percent renewable energy. These large consumers include ports, metal manufacturers, and factories.
Lastly, governments are also potential customers. For instance, BaroMar is negotiating with the government of Cyprus to help make Cyprus the first EU member state to operate solely on 100 percent renewable energy by 2030.
Buber acknowledges that the BaroMar solution does not apply universally. For example, not all countries have access to the sea. Even in Israel, BaroMar’s focus lies on Eilat rather than the Mediterranean Sea. The sea depths off Eilat are more suitable for the underwater storage tanks than the sea depths off the Mediterranean coast.
For its pioneering work in the energy storage field, we have named BaroMar our clean energy sustainability champion of the week. Well done!
For more information about BaroMar, visit the company’s website.
Image Source: BaroMar, https://shorturl.at/bEV19