Design Study for the European Underground Research Infrastructure related to Advanced Adiabatic Compressed Air Energy Storage

Project Objectives

The Design Study RICAS2020 aims to create an underground research infrastructure for AA-CAES and focuses on the technical, legal, institutional and financial requirements in order to get an approval as a future research facility.
Main overall goals of the Design Study are:

  • Aggregation of long-term international expertise and know-how to form a uniform understanding and knowledge of Compressed Air Energy Storage to promote the development of renewable energy technologies and to increase the (public) awareness of energy issues.
  • Providing a first step to a unique & common underground research infrastructure in order to find economic solutions for the storage of heat in excavated materials and to create high-capacity and high-efficient underground structures for CAES, which can later on also be developed close to big cities and other high capacity energy consumers.
  • Establishment of a large-scale infrastructure of European interest to enable realistic conditions for research on questions of thermo processing, thermodynamics, security and safety of Compressed Air Energy facilities.
  • Extension of an existing underground research facility to become a European centre for innovative use of underground space.
  • Keeping in perspective the whole research infrastructures’ life-cycle including decommissioning during the whole planning and designing process of the research facilities

RICAS2020 main innovations:

  • Location free: the underground air storage can be located anywhere – no limitation on the geological conditions
  • Efficiency: high round-trip system efficiency by using a thermal-energy storage (TES) system and machinery optimization