General Compression’s proprietary Dispatchable Wind system decouples wind energy capture from electrical power generation by substituting the electric generators in its wind turbines with advanced compressor systems linked to a central high pressure compressed air reservoir at each wind farm. Ricardo noted that the reservoir acts as an energy buffer, storing compressed air which can be passed through an expander plant in order to generate electricity whenever it is needed, not just when the wind is blowing.

The Dispatchable Wind system is based on the use of the high energy density Dragonfly compressor, under development by Mechanology. Ricardo has been chosen by Mechanology to be one of its key product development partners to assist in developing the Dragonfly compressor, so that it will meet or exceed the rigors of round-the-clock operation with an expected life in excess of 20 years.

Ricardo said that it is working on design optimization and material selection, performance modeling and analysis, mechanical dynamic analysis, reliability and robustness engineering, design for manufacture and cost optimization.