A UK-based energy technology company has announced plans for a first ever cryogenic battery. The technology uses a ‘liquid to gas’ method and its inventors say it will be Europe’s largest energy storage project.
The pioneering cryogenic battery will be able store renewable energy for weeks rather than hours. The device will be built by Highview Power at a former fossil fuel plant in northern England. Once operational, it will be able to power up to 50,000 homes for around five hours.
Advantages of Cryogenic Energy Storage Technology
The CRYOBattery, as Highview Power stylise it, has one huge advantage over other types of long-duration energy storage technologies. This advantage over technologies such as pumped hydro-power or compressed air is that the CRYOBattery can be situated almost anywhere. It also boasts a smaller carbon footprint and doesn’t require the use of any hazardous materials.
The cryogenic energy storage technology uses liquid air as a storage medium. The tech will also make use of time shifting and synchronous voltage support as well as frequency regulation and reserves. Additional services supported by the battery will be synchronous inertia and a black start capability. Black starts involve restoring power to operations without relying on an external power network after a total or partial shutdown.
CRYOBattery to ‘Help Balance Energy System’
Highview Power claim the battery will provide cost-efficient energy storage at old fossil fuel plants around the UK. This in turn will help balance the energy system. The company’s Chief Executive, Javier Cavada, said, “More and more power plants are going to be decommissioned, and we are bringing a solution which can use the same energy infrastructure and grid connections to give a new life to these sites.”
Mr Cavada also stated his belief that his company’s technology was a necessary foundation for building a carbon-free energy system. The CRYOBattery’s long-duration, giga-scale energy storage would also help prevent overreliance on wind and solar power.
New Technology a ‘Pivotal Moment’ for Energy Industry
Energy research organisation Navigant Research agree that this cryogenic technology is important as a future energy storage solution. Their Senior Research Analyst, Alex Eller, said, “Long-duration technologies such as cryogenic energy storage will become increasingly necessary for an electricity system to transition from a primary reliance on conventional fossil fuel generation to a grid dominated by variable renewable generation from solar and wind.”
Mr Cavada added, “This is a pivotal moment for the renewable energy industry and for anyone who wants to deploy large amounts of renewables.
“As more and more renewables are added to the grid, long-duration, giga-scale energy storage is the necessary foundation to make these intermittent sources of power reliable enough to become baseload. Not only does our CRYOBattery deliver this reliability and allow scalability, it is proven, cost-effective, and available today.”
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