An intriguing method for storing excess power from renewable generation sources is based using super cooled air as a means of storing power until it is needed. British-based Highview Power is developing the system with a pilot plant adjacent to a heat and power plant at Slough.
The frozen air storage system cools air to cryogenic temperatures around -200 degrees F (-129 degrees C) and stores it in tanks. When power is called for, the liquified air can be evaporated and used to run turbines to produce electricity. Fundamentally, it is similar to other steam-based systems, relying on a phase change of a liquid to a gas being used to run a turbine. The process can be coupled with systems that produce waste heat which can be used to augment the efficiency of the system.
The current pilot frozen air storage does not have nearly the efficiency as many other power storage systems (most of which average 70-80% if not better). But the engineers working on the project believe that they can reach similar efficiencies as other systems offer when the system is scaled.
As a small added benefit, the frozen air storage system requires the air to be cleaned of soot and small atmospheric particles, as well as water vapor, before it is cooled down, so in addition to storing power, the process also results in slightly cleaner air.
written by MalikTous, October 15, 2012
written by David @ Universal Adaptors, October 18, 2012
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