UK energy plant to use liquid air

  • Creator
  • #128795 Reply

    Work is beginning on what is thought to be the world’s first major plant to store energy in the form of liquid air.
    It will use surplus electricity from wind farms at night to compress air so hard that it becomes a liquid at -196 Celcius.
    Then when there is a peak in demand in a day or a month, the liquid air will be warmed so it expands.
    The resulting rush of air will drive a turbine to make electricity, which can be sold back to the grid.
    The 50MW facility near Manchester will store enough power for roughly 50,000 homes.
    The system was devised by Peter Dearman, a self-taught backyard inventor from Hertfordshire, and it has been taken to commercial scale with a £10m grant from the UK government.
    “It’s very exciting,” he told BBC News. “We need many different forms of energy storage – and I’m confident liquid air will be one of them.”

    Mr Dearman said his invention was 60-70% efficient, depending how it is used.
    That is less efficient than batteries, but he said the advantage of liquid air is the low cost of the storage tanks – so it can easily be scaled up.
    Also, unlike batteries, liquid air storage does not create a demand for rare earth minerals which may become increasingly scarce as the world moves towards power systems based on variable renewable electricity.
    “Batteries are really great for short-term storage,” Mr Dearman said. “But they are too expensive to do long-term energy storage. That’s where liquid air comes in.”
    Mr Dearman had been developing a car run on similar principles with liquid hydrogen when he saw the potential for applying the technology to electricity storage.
    He is now a passive shareholder in Highview, one of the firms building the 50MW plant.
    Prof John Loughhead, chief scientific adviser at the government’s business and energy department, has previously praised the technology.

Viewing 14 replies - 1 through 14 (of 14 total)
  • Author
  • #128817 Reply

    Saw this on the Red Button news thingey. Seems a damn good idea.

    #128827 Reply

    I agree tharg, we will need many storage options as we turn all things electric so this could be a welcome addition.

    #128878 Reply

    One might say that this plan shows at least part of the way forward – little-by-little. Individual schemes like this do very little in the overall scheme of things. But add them all up and you could end up with a significant bit of energy supply; folks with solar panels supplying the grid, wind-generation (once dismissed as trivial, now significant), , geothermal etc. And I speak as a great believer in nuclear power. At least I would be if we could find a way of doing it by people and a system which is not incompetent, corrupt and driven by the need to do everything cheaply and not safely. There remains the hope for fusion in the long term.

    #128880 Reply

    £10m of taxpayers money.

    Isn’t it just possible that if this process was proven to work, the private sector would be falling over themselves to invest in its development??

    #128883 Reply

    Wigwam from tiny seeds do massive oak trees grow.

    Every business must start somewhere, government is there to spend tax payers money, that’s their job.

    #128884 Reply

    The government’s job is to provide public services such as the NHS, education and the welfare system, as well as investment in public projects, such as roads, rail and housing.  It is not its job to do what the private sector can do.

    #128896 Reply

    Gotta be better than nuclear. The rods takes 10 years to cool down and then are a dangerous waste for upto 10,000 years.. So If each generation is 100 years then thats a 100 generations.

    10,000 years ago (8,000 BC): The Quaternary extinction event, which has been ongoing since the mid-Pleistocene, concludes. Many of the ice age megafauna go extinct, including the megatherium, woolly rhinoceros, Irish elk, cave bear, cave lion, and the last of the sabre-toothed cats.

    The point is 10k is a long time in terms of evolution of the planet and humans.

    As for goverment it’s the system used for controlling a country, city, or group of people:

    Plus the security of the supply of energy as we are  more and more dependant right now on the so called enemy for most of that supply.

    BRIC is an acronym for the economic bloc of countries consisting of Brazil, Russia, India, and China. In 2010, South Africa joined the BRIC group. Economists believe these four nations will become dominant suppliers of manufactured goods, services, and raw material by 2050 due to low labor and production costs and this is one of the reasons i believe the green agenda is being pushed. As our own supplies are running out fast and we are more and more dependant and if we was cut off, how would the war machine continue it wouldn’t the game would be up..



    #129059 Reply

    The government’s job is to provide public services such as the NHS, education and the welfare system, as well as investment in public projects, such as roads, rail and housing. It is not its job to do what the private sector can do.

    NHS/Education/Roads/Rail/Housing – all those can be provided by the private sector as well.


    #129068 Reply

    I find this subject really interesting and i would like any thoughts on this company.

    Its a British company and the “Steel Cell” turns Natural Gas, Biofuel and Hydrogen into electricity with No Particulate, NOx or SOx and has Low Carbon Emissions.

    Full disclosure my full name is Brydo lol only joking i have no ties to this company just think its a great idea.

    The only person who got all his work done by Friday was Robinson Crusoe.
    Anything i post over three lines long please assume it is an article lol.

    #129073 Reply

    Yes Alan1302, of course the private sector can and does provide those things. But only as an alternative to the state provision of what is a public good.

    Where a mix of public and private provision and ownership exists it all gets very murky.

    #129100 Reply

    From just a quick look at Ceres, it appears the main known shareholder is Weichai Power (state owned Chinese mega-concern). Second is Bosch (Charity – yup, it surprised me too – German manufacturer). Also a few “investment brokers”. Wonder what our financial experts will make of that – mixture of state-owned, charity and private gambling sector?

    Will go on digging, Brydo. This interests me too because, as a journo, I first wrote about wind-power some 15 or more years ago. Everybody said it’ll come to nothing. WRONG!

    #129103 Reply

    Tharg as we move to all things electric we will need a host of technologies to provide enough electricity to run cars, heating etc.

    This cell provides 1kwh of electricity from natural gas and as we have still quite a bit of gas it needs to be used and this looks like an option.

    #129136 Reply
    #129150 Reply

    Fat packs as well, still though how long will the waste product be about for. Thats the main issue with nuclear power.

Viewing 14 replies - 1 through 14 (of 14 total)
Reply To: UK energy plant to use liquid air
Your information: