An innovative new energy project in the UK is set to become one of Europe’s largest energy storage systems,media new Atlas reported. The 250MWh CRYOBattery uses cryogenic cooling technology to convert ambient air into liquids, which can then be used to store and release energy over long periods of time.
CRYOBattery, which will be built on the outskirts of Manchester, will use cryogenic energy storage technology developed by its co-developer Highview Power. The technology is driven by a process called air liquefaction, in which ambient air is drawn in, compressed, and then cooled to a temperature of minus 196 degrees Celsius.
At this point, the ambient air becomes liquid and can be stored efficiently in a low-pressure insulation tank. When energy is needed, liquid air can be heated and rapidly expanded into gas, using this rapidly increasing volume to drive turbines and generate electricity. The advantage of this approach is scalability, and it provides longer-term energy storage than conventional batteries, which will allow it to play an important role in integrating renewable energy into the grid.
Highview Power has already built two demonstration power stations in the UK, but the new 50-MW/250-Wh project in Carrington Village, just 8 miles (13km) outside Manchester, will be its biggest effort to date and one of Europe’s largest energy storage systems. The company has received a government grant of 10 million pounds to build the facility, which includes an adjacent visitor centre.
The project is currently under construction and the visitor centre is expected to open in the first quarter of next year so that people can see the progress. CRYOBattery is scheduled to go into commercial operation in 2023 and the facility is expected to store enough electricity for about 50,000 homes to run for five hours, the BBC reported.
“Our facilities will provide the National Grid with much-needed clean, reliable and cost-effective long-term energy storage,” said Javier Cavada, CEO and President of Highview Power. “CRYOBattery will help the UK integrate renewable energy and stabilize regional power grids to ensure future energy security during power outages and other disruptions.”