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Liquid Air: An Efficient Energy Storage System

Finding an efficient method for storing energy is vital for the future success of the renewable energy industry, as energy storage enables the variable nature of renewable sources to be levelled out. Excess energy produced during times of low demand can be stored and delivered when demand is high.

Peter Dearman, an inventor from Hertfordshire, England, designed a method for storing energy by turning air into liquid.

The company Highview Power Storage was created to turn Mr Dearman’s idea into a product that can be used on a utility scale.

The technology has even attracted the attention of the Institution of Mechanical Engineers (IMechE), whos head of energy, Tim Fox, told the BBC that “it is a very clever application that really does look like a potential solution to a really great challenge that faces us as we increase the amount of intermittent power from renewables.”

The IMechE believe that this technology could compete with batteries and hydrogen storage systems. They said that the excess electricity generated by wind farms at night can be used to cryogenically chill air until it reaches a liquid state. Then when demand is high the air can be warmed to a gaseous state once again and used to drive a turbine. They estimate that the process could work at 70% efficiency.

By. James Burgess of Oilprice.com

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  • gary bint on November 22 2012 said:
    The Cost Of Freezing has to be considered, can frozen air be transferred, from a large container to a vehicle tank,without special H&S involved.
  • Rock on October 28 2012 said:
    The process of reheating the air, does it not involve using more energy? To me, it does not sound like storing energy.

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