Project Description

Highview has been selected by one of the UK’s leading recycling, renewable energy and waste management companies to design a 5MW/15MWh Liquid Air Energy Storage (LAES) system. The funding provided by the Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) will support the design and testing of a pre-commercial demonstration liquid air energy storage system alongside a Viridor landfill gas generation plant in the UK. In addition to providing energy storage, the liquid air plant will convert low-grade waste heat to power.

Highview’s large scale, long duration energy storage technology comprises of three primary processes: a charging system; an energy store; and a discharging (or energy recovery) system. The process utilises mature components that can be readily sourced from large OEMs and has no geographical constraints. The system can also utilise waste heat from industrial processes.
The charging system comprises of a liquefaction plant, which uses electrical energy to draw air from the environment to generate liquid air/liquid nitrogen. In the case of the Viridor project, the liquid nitrogen will be delivered to site.
The liquid air is stored in insulated tanks at low pressure, which functions as the energy store. This equipment is widely deployed for bulk storage of liquid oxygen, LNG or argon at the scale required for Highview’s technology.
When power is required, liquid air is drawn from the tank and pumped to high pressure. Ambient (or higher temperature waste) heat is applied to the liquid air via heat exchangers and an intermediate heat transfer fluid. This produces a high-pressure gas, which is then used to drive a turbine and generator.
The low boiling point of liquefied air means the round trip efficiency of the system can be improved with the introduction of industrial waste heat, including low-grade waste heat. The system, gives rise to a very efficient conversion of heat into power with a range of 50-60% at commercial scale.