Liquid Air ‘Offers Energy Storage Hope’News Flash Friday, October 5th, 2012
(CNN) The Institution of Mechanical Engineers says liquid air can compete with batteries and hydrogen to store excess energy generated from renewables.
IMechE says “wrong-time” electricity generated by wind farms at night can be used to chill air to a cryogenic state at a distant location.
When demand increases, the air can be warmed to drive a turbine.
Engineers say the process to produce “right-time” electricity can achieve an efficiency of up to 70%.
IMechE is holding a conference today to discuss new ideas on how using “cryo-power” can benefit the low-carbon economy.
The technology was originally developed by Peter Dearman, a garage inventor in Hertfordshire, to power vehicles.
A new firm, Highview Power Storage, was created to transfer Mr Dearman’s technology to a system that can store energy to be used on the power grid.
The process, part-funded by the government, has now been trialled for two years at the back of a power station in Slough, Buckinghamshire.
More than hot air The results have attracted the admiration of IMechE officials.