Compressed air energy storage company SustainX has received a patent for technology that it claims will help improve grid storage.

The patent adds a mechanical crankshaft with low frictional losses to an isothermal compressed air energy storage system, which SustainX claims will result in more powerful, compact and efficient energy storage systems.

The company has yet to develop a commercial-scale version. It has built a 40 KW project and claims that it is “on track” to demonstrate its first megawatt-scale, grid-connected system in collaboration with AES Energy Storage.

US-based SustainX said that the device would be particularly useful on large-scale wind and solar farms, eliminating the need for these plants to use peaker plants, which burn natural gas to generate electricity when the renewable energy isn’t available.