Compressed Air Storage

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Taking example calculation at -

a 500 gallon propane tank stores .75 kWhr of energy when compressed to 200 PSI. Pressure rating of propane tanks is 215 PSI - [1]. Taking efficiency of an air engine - generator to be 50% - we have .4 kWhr. So a 500 gallon tank would get us 0.4 kW hr of usable energy.

See comments below:


For volume of 500 gallons (propane tank) -

E=Pressure x Volume.

=200 PSI x 1.9 cu meters
=1,400,000 Pascals x 1.9 cu meters
=2.7 million Joules
=.75 kW hr

With 60% efficient air engines - this makes it slightly under 1/2 kWhr of energy storage.

For comparison, one motorcycle battery at $20provides a comparable amount of electrical energy storage, making a weak case for compressed air storage on cost considerations.

For comparison - if one could generate an average of 50W via wind power, that appears to be an easier route of power generation.


  • EPRI head states that air will be cheaper per watt hr store than batteries. - [2]
  • Cost Comparison of Energy Storage - [3]