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The LiGE Compressor: Storing Energy in Thin Air

The LiGE Compressor can be utilized to produce Compressed Natural Gas and Liquefied Natural Gas and/or Air. Primarily, LiGE uses the Compressor as a vital component of our Qube technology as the compressed air storage unit. However is can also be used as a standalone technology. The compressor allows storage of energy as compressed natural gas and liquefied natural gas (i.e. air!). The compressed material is kept in a medium volume compressor under very high pressure. This process produces clean usable water and absolutely no carbon emmisions. It consists of a reciprocating two stage compressor driven via a hydraulic by-directional cylinder, which increases the air pressure from 1Bar to 250Bar single stroke at a ratio of 18:1. This is combined with a heat ex-changer and separator on the shell valves and the gas delivery system.

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LiGE Qube, is an innovative electrical peak load management solution that has a promising value proposition to commercial as well as industrial energy users. The solution uses compressed air energy storage (CAES) to store power from energy sources including photovoltaic solar, wind and grid electricity until it is required. During peak usage time, or when a power outage occurs, the stored energy is converted back into electrical energy via an alternator. Thus the newly converted electrical energy can be used immediately. This is a robust solution that has several economic advantages over traditional deep cycle batteries as a storage medium.

Briefly, the encased Qube system will be located at a client’s site of choice, where it will be integrated with the client’s electrical distribution system and installed in conjunction with photovoltaic solar cells (or other renewable electrical energy sources). The Qube will monitor the sites’ energy load profile and manage the conversion and storage of solar energy to compressed air. During peak demand tariff times, the system will convert the compressed air from storage back into electrical energy via the alternator, thus significantly reducing the client’s peak energy usage.

This can result in electrical savings to the end-user as municipalities migrate to time-of-use or ow tariff billing and not peak billing rates. The system is intelligently designed, with the use of hydraulics to compress air through a reciprocating double acting cylinder, it is efficient and robust. The Qube has an almost infinite storage life and a 30-year lifespan. To ensure longevity low wear components have been used (mostly off-the-shelf), which means the Qube is very affordable. This also means that while the Qube offers electrical cost savings over 30 years in contrast to a battery which has a life-span of less than 5 years on average. The development and testing of multiple prototypes is evident in the maturity of the current design.

Value proposition/benefits: 
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The only non-battery energy storage unit which also produces clean water and allows user to save on their electrical costs.

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There are three distinct areas that differentiate the LiGE Qube from its competitors: The energy derived from the power storage is pure sign wave single or three phase electricity and can be added to the micro-grid or main-grid where necessary. Primarily, the LiGE Qube utilizes the surrounding air for energy storage, which requires the air to be filtered of particulates and the moisture removed. Resulting in the air which is returned to the atmosphere being clean and pollution free. Similarly, the water which is removed from the air, is purifies, then condensed and made available for domestic consumption, as it is devoid of contaminants. (In order for the water to be potable for human consumption the addition of calcium and sodium chloride etc can be added, however it is perfectly usable for agricultural and domestic uses).

Idea behind technology: 
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The idea was to produce a technology as an alternative to batteries to store electrical energy and can provide electricity on demand at a lower cost.

Team and expertise: 
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Warwick Leaper: Chief Executive Officer – Inventor and designer of the LiGE Qube. Magriet Leaper: Managing Director. Tshepo Nonyana: Financial Director. Al Karaki: Global Marketing Directors

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Kempton Park

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