A new way to store energy – liquid air

February 5, 2012

Carbon Commentary...The economics of this technology look interesting. What is even more compelling is that you could bolt together a large plant using conventional components freely available today from a variety of major suppliers. Unlike some of the really wacky suggestions for storing energy, we pretty much know that Highview’s ideas will work.  A 350 kW pilot plant alongside the Slough power station has been through extensive testing for the last six months or so.

So how does it operate? You take ambient air and put it through a liquefaction plant using electricity. (Hundreds of these plants around the world today make liquid nitrogen, oxygen or natural gas).  Liquefaction works by expanding a gas, which causes its pressure, and thus its temperature to fall. This technology is a hundred years old. The process uses substantial amounts of energy.

Allowing liquid air to expand increases its volume many hundred fold. This will produce high pressure in any sealed container. If the gaseous air

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This entry was posted on February 5, 2012 at 1:11 pm and is filed under EHS News

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