One of the biggest challenges with widespread implementation of renewable energy is storage—but now in England, a trailblazing company is developing the world’s first liquid-air battery storage facility for renewable energy.
And the zero-emission concept costs half as much to produce as lithium-ion batteries.
Capable of powering 200,000 homes for a whole day and storing renewable energy for weeks on end, the facility is slated for operation in 2022.
Good News Network has recently reported on other schemes of renewable energy storage, including Swedish energy company Azelio’s recycled aluminum batteries for storing thermal energy in an block of molten aluminum.
Similar to Azelio’s technology, this new CRYObattery initiative developed by Highview Power involves the transition of matter—molecules changing from solid to liquid to gas—to store energy.
When grid demand is low, leftover green energy is used to compress air into a liquid form for storage. When grid demand rises, pressure on the liquid air releases, turning it back into a gas. This gas is then used as a fuel for a green-energy wind turbine that can generate clean electricity to be sent back into the grid.
The most admirable qualities of the technology are its scalability, generating anywhere from 80MW per hour to 200MW per hour; its zero emission output; and the cost, which is 50% lower than manufacturing lithium-ion batteries.
The government of Manchester, England has supported the project with a £10 million grant in hopes of supporting the country’s decarbonization goals and encouraging a green recovery from the COVID-19 lockdowns that have hurt the English economy.
“Air is everywhere in the world. The main competitor is really not other storage technologies but fossil fuels,” says Highview CEO Javier Cavada told The Guardian.
“This revolutionary new facility will form a key part of our push towards net zero, bringing greater flexibility to Britain’s electricity grid and creating green-collar jobs in Greater Manchester.
Highview is projected to launch similar locations for similar battery systems in the UK, Europe, and US, but the Manchester project will be the first facility to come online, scheduled to be completed in 2022.
“The first one is definitely the most important and this is why we really value the UK government’s bold move to use UK technology to solve UK problems and afterwards export the tech globally,” said Cavada.