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Liquid air as Energy

The UK is leading the world on the development of liquid air as an energy vector for large scale energy storage and also as a fuel for vehicles. Visit the new Liquid Air Energy Working Group www.liquidair.org.uk for more information.

Although Cryogenic liquids are widely used in industry, their use for energy storage or transportation fuel are still relatively unknown. There is a huge potential to recover low grade waste heat from sources such as thermal generation, data centres and industial processes such as vehicle engines, and convert it into power.

A six month study on the potential of liquid air as a new and sustainable energy vector, published by the Centre for Low Carbon Futures, will be presented at a one day conference hosted by the Royal Academy of Engineering on 9th May. Click here for details of the event. The conference will also cover the opportunities and the impacts of liquid air for grid and infrastructure, current initiatives, possible future actions and challenges. 

The Repot, ‘ Liquid Air in the future Energy Mix: A new industry for UK PLC? has been sponsored by Arup and Messer and will summarise the development of liquid air so far, and explore the potential to exploit exisiting sources of waste heat and cold.

Proponents of Liquid Air point to advantages such as 

  • Storage is at low pressure and there is no fuel combustion risk
  • No limit on the supply of material
  • Fast Refueling times
  • Cost competitive compared with other low carbon technologies.

The use of liquid air to fuel vehicles is being pioneered by a UK inventor, Peter Dearman who has built a demonstrator of a vehicle that runs on liquid air. Click here for a link to the Dearman Engine Company website that has a full explanation of the technology including excellent video clips to demonstrate the potential.

Another practical example of the use of liquid air is the Highview Power Storage demonstrator based in Slough. Working since 2005, Highview has a grid-ready platform specifically designed to meet rigorous utility operational requirements. While a novel process design (patent granted), the system comprises reliable, proven components from mainstream suppliers. The result is a modular, low capital cost storage system which can be rapidly deployed. The exhaust is clean, cold air.

Highview Power storage is a developer of utility scale energy storage and power systems to help optimise energy resources and help decarbonise the grid. It uses cryogenic (liquified) air or it’s principal component, nitrogen as the working fluid to store and/or transport energy.√جª¬ø

 

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