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Pressure Vessels for Renewable Energy

Pressure vessels play a major role in the development and deployment of renewable energy systems. Investing in renewable energy is an important part of developing a robust network of energy suppliers that are more sustainable long-term. In this article, we’ll go over what counts as renewable energy, and how pressure vessels have a key part in it.

What is the renewable energy industry?

The renewable energy industry is a rapidly expanding source of electrical energy worldwide. It’s defined as energy from sources that can be replenished relatively quickly over time. It includes the following sources, among others:

  • Solar power
  • Wind power
  • Geothermal (energy from the Earth’s internal heat)
  • Hydroelectric (energy from the movement of water)

Examples of energy sources that aren’t renewable include things like coal and oil. They both take millions of years to form, so once the amounts currently available are used up, there won’t be any more for a very long time.

How does renewable energy benefit people?

In addition to being a more permanent source of energy, renewable energy releases little to no pollution into the atmosphere which keeps people safer and healthier on both a local and global scale. These energy systems are used globally and are linked into existing power grids. If you’re using electricity, you’ve probably used some that was made from a renewable source.

How are pressure vessels a part of the renewable energy industry?

Since pressure vessels are a versatile, important technology, they show up in many industries – including some novel uses in the renewable energy sector. Here’s a few examples of how pressure vessels are used:

  • Compressed gas energy storage
  • Geothermal electricity generation

Compressed gas energy storage

Many renewable energy systems, like solar and wind, have peak times when they operate. During their peak times, they often produce more energy than is needed at that given moment. That energy can be stored and easily removed later using pressure vessels.

Compressed gas can store a lot of energy in a small space. By compressing a gas like air and storing it in a pressure vessel, the gas will take up a lot less space than it would at atmospheric pressure, and when released, the change in pressure can be converted to electricity. It’s easy to repressurize the gas and reuse the system many times to store energy for when it’s needed later.

Geothermal electricity production

Some geothermal plants used to produce electricity rely on pressure vessels. In general, geothermal plants work by using steam heated with the Earth’s internal heat to turn turbines, which in turn produce electricity. The steam is then condensed back into water and placed back in the ground. Pressure vessels are used to collect and manage the steam’s release into the system, and also to help condense the steam.

Learn more

Rexarc is an expert in designing and manufacturing custom pressure vessels for everything from aerospace applications to energy storage and others. We’d love to answer any questions you have about pressure vessel applications or any projects you have in mind! Feel free to contact us.



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