British battery pioneers plan to make Europe’s largest energy storage scheme using a cryogenic battery that can conserve renewable energy for weeks. The device will be made on the site of an old fossil fuel plant in the north of England to supply up to 50,000 homes for up to five hours.
Traditional lithium-ion batteries, which typically store electricity for some hours, the “cryo battery” will be able to contain energy for months. The UK’s first full-scale cryobattery, made by Highview Power, uses renewable electricity to chill air to -196C, transforming it into a liquid that will be contained in large metal tanks.
When renewable electricity levels are less liquid can be turned back into a gas, which is utilized to turn a turbine and produce electricity – but without burning the gas and giving out emissions. Highview Power said its cryobattery will be the biggest project in Europe with the capacity of long-term energy storage. The full-scale “liquid air” battery has a capacity of 50 MW or 250MWh over a five-hour supply time.
It trials behind the success of a 5MW pathfinder scheme built next to a landfill site in Bury, Greater Manchester, in summer 2018 with £8m capital from Innovate UK. The chief executive of Highview Power stated the battery could give cost-efficient energy storage at old fossil fuel plants all over the country to assist in balancing the energy process.
“More and more power plants are going to be decommissioned, and we are bringing an answer which can use the same energy plan and grid connections to provide a new life to these sites,” Javier Cavada stated.