Highview power company has announced plans to construct the UK’s first commercial cryogenic energy storage facility located at a thermal power station in England.

This was announced yesterday by Highview Power chief executive, this project is 50 MW/250 MWh project which is considered as a clean energy storage facility that can help the UK achieve its goal of decarbonising industry, power, heat, and transport.

Cryogenic means involving the branch of physics that deals with the production and effects of very low temperatures.

So how does this even work ?

When it is cheaper (usually at night), electricity is used to cool air from the atmosphere to -195 °C using the Claude Cycle to the point where it liquefies. The liquid air, which takes up one-thousandth of the volume of the gas, can be kept for a long time in a large vacuum flask at atmospheric pressure. At times of high demand for electricity, the liquid air is pumped at high pressure into a heat exchanger, which acts as a boiler.

Air from the atmosphere at ambient temperature, or hot water from an industrial heat source, is used to heat the liquid and turn it back into a gas. The massive increase in volume and pressure from this is used to drive a turbine to generate electricity.

Highview Power’s materials are with zero emissions and has zero water impact.

This is the first large scale commercial system utilizing this technology, pioneered at Highview Power’s pilot plant in Slough, Highview Power is developing projects in the UK which will further the UK’s strong move towards its clean energy goals and help it meet the expected global demand for energy storage.

In addition to supplying energy storage, Highview Power’s facility will also provide valuable services to the National Grid to help integrate renewables, stabilize the electrical grid,ensure future energy security, frequency management, reserve, and grid constraint management services.

This will also help storing energy for weeks, instead of hours or days, at approximately £110/MWh for a for a 10-hour, 200 MW / 2 GWh system.