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LiquidAirMediaCoverage2012131June2013TheEnergyIndustryTimesTheanswerisintheairTHEENERGYINDUSTRYTIMES-JUNE201315TechnologyLiquidairtechnologyhasthepotentialtoprovideutilityscaleenergystorageandefcientlyturnwasteheatintopower.JuniorIsleslooksatthistechnologywhichcouldhaveatremendousimpactontheenergysector.Thecryoenergysystemcanusewastecoldatthefront-endoftheprocesswhenliquefyingtheairandwasteheatattheback-endoftheprocessTheanswerisintheairBalancingsupplyanddemandingridsthatarehavingtoac-commodateanincreasingamountofintermittentrenewablegenerationsuchaswindandsolarisoneofthemajortechnicalchallengesfacingtodayspowersector.InSpainforexamplebetweenNo-vemberandFebruarywindfarmsproducedmoreelectricitythananyotherpowersourceforthersttimeever.Althoughtheincreasingamountofwindonthegridisgoodnewsfordecarbonisationeffortssuchhighwindpenetrationpresentstwomainchallengeshowtogeneratesufcientelectricitywhenwindoutputisloworzeroandhowtoabsorbexcessgenerationwhenwindoutputishighanddemandislow.Whileusinggasturbineorrecipro-catingengine-basedpeakingplantscantackletherstproblemthesec-ondrequiresanewapproach.Theuseofliquidairasanenergyvectorhasthepotentialtoaddressbothissues.Thetermenergyvectorisusedtodescribethemethodoftransportingenergyfromonelocationtoanotherandfromonepointintimetoanother.Hydrogenandthehydrogenecono-myforexamplehasbeenamuchtalkedaboutenergyvector.Howeveritsusefacesanumberoftechnicalandeconomicchallengesthatlookunlikelytobesolvedanytimesoon.Fairlyrecenttechnologybreak-throughsmakeliquidairseemamoreviableenergyvectoronethatcanbedeployedintheneartomid-term.AsaUKinnovationdevelopmentofthetechnologyisbeingsupportedbytheCentreforLowCarbonFu-turesCLCFwithinthescopeofitsprogrammeonenergystorage.ArecentreportpublishedbytheCLFCentitledLiquidAirintheen-ergyandtransportsystemsprovidesdetailsofthetechnologyandtheop-portunitiesforindustryandinnova-tionintheUK.Althoughtherehavebeennumerousattemptsoverthelastcenturytoex-ploitliquidairasignicantbreak-throughcamein2001whentheBrit-ishinventorPeterDearmandevelopedandpatentedtheDearmanEngine.ThekeytoDearmansbreakthroughwastherealisationthatliquidaircouldbevaporisedinsideanenginecylinderusingheatsuppliedbyathermaluidmixturesuchaswaterandglycoleliminatingtheneedforthebulkyandinefcientexternalheatexchangersoftraditionalcryogenicengines.Itwasnotuntil2006howeverthatthepossibilitiesforDearmanstech-nologyinthepowersectorbegantotakeshapewhenUK-basedHighviewPowerStoragebegantodeveloptheDearmanEnginetechnology.Work-ingwiththeUniversityofLeedsHighviewdevelopedaseriesofef-ciencyenhancementstotheliquidaircyclebyintegratingtheproductionandexpansionprocessestomakeuseofwasteheatandcoldsomakingtheconceptofagridscaleenergystoragesystemeconomicallyviable.Withaworkingpilotoperatingsuc-cessfullyinSloughHighviewisnowproposingtwodemonstrationprojectsthatwillusethetechnologyforpow-ergenerationinacommercialsetting.TherstwouldseeHighviewwork-ingwithNationalGridandUK-engi-neeringcompanyCostaintobuildtheUKsrstgridscaleliquidairenergystorageplantatNationalGridsGrainLiqueedNaturalGasLNGimportterminalontheIsleofGraininKent.ForthesecondprojectViridoroneoftheUKsleadingrecyclingandwastemanagementcompanieswouldhostacryogensetalongsidealand-ll-gaspowergenerationplantinCanterbury.Bothprojectshavebeenproposedunderanenergystoragedemonstra-tioncompetitionbeingrunbytheDe-partmentofEnergyandClimateandChangeDECC.ThetwoprojectsarealreadyonashortlistofprojectsthatwillreceivesomefundingfromDECCtoallowdetaileddesignworktobecompleted.Fullfundingwhichwouldcover100percentofthewinningprojectscostisex-pectedtobeawardedtowardstheendofthismonthJune.CommentingontheNationalGridprojectGarethBrettCEOHighviewsaystherearetwomainreasonswhytheirtechnologytswellwithNa-tionalGridsGrainfacility.Anadvantageofoursystemisthatwecanusewastethermalstreamsateitherendoftheprocesswecanusewastecoldatthefrontendoftheprocesswhenweareliquefyingtheairandwecanusewasteheatattheback-endoftheprocesswhenweareboilingtheliquidairreadyforexpansionintheturbine.AtGrainwehaveaccesstoheatandcold.WhentheLNGisbeingevaporatedfromlessthan-160Cbacktoambi-enttemperaturetheresalotofex-cesswastecoldthatwecanuseinaliquidairrefrigerationprocess.Thisreducestheamountofpowerweneedtorefrigeratetheairintherstplacewhichenhancestheoverallefciencyofthesystemhesaid.Grainalsohasalargeelectricalde-mandthatuctuates.NationalGridcannotwaituntilthepriceofelectric-ityislowtounloadtankersastheycomein.Byhavingelectricitystor-ageonsitewecanmanipulatetheiroverallelectricitydemandcurvetohelpsavethemmoneyinoperatingtheterminaladdedBrett.HighviewwillinstallthreemaincomponentsatGrainaliqueerwhichpredominantlycomprisescom-pressorsandheatexchangerslargetankstostoretheliquidairandtogettheenergybackheatexchangerstoevaporatetheliquidairandapowerturbinethatexpandsthegaseouscompressedairtodriveagenerator.Theturbineisnotthetraditionalin-dustrialoraeroderivativegasturbinethatiscommonlyusedinthepowerindustry.Itisaprocessgasexpander-typeturbinewithnocombustororcompressor.Thesesimplemachineswhichrunongasesatambienttem-peraturearewidelyusedinthechemicalprocessindustryforcaptur-ingenergyfromcompressedgasstreams.Atanestimatedinstalledcostofaround3000kWtheenergystoragesystemwouldhaveapoweroutputofaround5-6MWdependingonthe-nalchoiceofpowerturbine.High-viewsaysthisshouldgiveitaroundvehoursofoperationabout25-30MWhfrom300tofliquidairmak-ingitthelargestdemonstrationofnewenergystoragetechnologyintheUK.AfterconsideringparasiticloadsHighviewexpectsthesystemwillhaveanoverallelectricalefciencyof50-60percent.Fixedoperatingcostsareexpectedtobesimilartothecostofhavinganopencyclegasturbineonstandbyreadytorun.Ac-cordingtoBrettthisisintheregionofthelowteensperkilowattyear.HeaddedThatsthexedopexbutthemainopexwillbethecostofelectricityneededtochargethesys-temup.Abigplusforthetechnologyisitsscalability.AccordingtoBrettitistotallycapableofbeingscaledup.Thesupplychainasitstandstodaycoulddelivera100MW1000MWhsystemwithoutanyproblemhesaid.BrettaddedOneofthehugead-vantagesofthissystemisthatitgetsyoupumpedhydrocapability30milesfromLondon.Oneofthebigdriversisthatitcanbelocatedwherethedemandisratherthanwherethegeographytellsyoutoputit.HighviewalsohopestodemonstratethesystemspurepowergenerationcapabilitiesthroughtheprojectforViridor.Thisinstallationwouldusewasteheatfromanexistingrecipro-catingenginethatrunsonlandllgastoboostthegeneratingcapacityofthesitefrom7MWeto12MWe.UnlikeGrainthisinstallationwillnothavetheliqueeronsiteHigh-viewwillsupplytanksofliquidni-trogeninsteadofliquefyingair.Thetankswillbelledwithliquidnitro-gendeliveredbytankerfromabigindustrialgascompany.Highviewwillalsoinstalla5MWapprox.processgasexpanderpowerturbineforutilisingheatfromthelandllgasengineexhaust.IfthisandtheGrainenergystorageprojectaresuccessfulintheDECCcompetitionHighviewwillorderthelonglead-timecomponentssuchasthepowerturbineandexpectstheprojectstobecompletedinearly2015.AlthoughtheincreasingneedtomanagerenewablesintegrationintothegridwilldrivethetechnologytherightregulatoryframeworkhastobeputinplaceifstoragetechnologiesaretoberolledoutquicklyintheUKandincountrieslikeGermanywheretheneedismorepressing.DuringtheconferencelaunchingtheCLCFreportTimEvisonSeniorVicePresidentofGermanindustrialcompanyMesserGroupGmbHsaidTheGermanmarketdoesnotpro-videadequatecommercialratesforstorageservicesandsothereneedstobesomesupport.Thereisconsider-ableinterestinsupportingthedevel-opmentofenergystorageandthistechnologyisaninterestingalterna-tivetopumpedhydroandcom-pressedairenergystorage.BrettthesystemprovidespumpedstoragehydrocapabilitywherethedemandisHighviews300kWpilotplantinSloughUK