LightSail Shifts from Compressed Air Car to Grid StorageApril 14, 2011 –
Power plants don’t move.
That likely is one of the reasons stealthy startup LightSail Energy has shifted from trying to build a car that runs on compressed air to building a machine for energy storage.
The Oakland, Calif.-based company, backed by Khosla Ventures, has joined the ever-expanding race to develop inexpensive, reliable and ideally easy-to-deploy systems for storing energy at strategic spots on the grid or at wind and solar farms.
Like SustainX out of Dartmouth College, LightSail’s goal is to develop a mechanical unit that stores energy as compressed air, probably in above-ground tanks. Air compressors can accomplish this task today. Unfortunately, the energy required to compress the air and keep it sealed with conventional technologies outweighs the benefits.