Stored Up-valued Concentrated Cold Energy System (SUCCES)

Project Details


Energy storage is an essential technology for balancing the differences in supply and demand in a sustainable power network reliant on intermittent renewable generation.

Energy can be stored as electricity, as heat and chemically in a sustainable fuel and at different temporal and size scales. Short time variations in the power grid can be effectively managed using batteries but the battery technologies are too expensive for servicing the bulk long term storage requirements to balance variations in demand between seasons and extended periods of low renewable generation.

Technologies with a slower response, lower round trip efficiency but lower capital base are preferred for these applications. Liquid Air Energy Storage (LAES) is a long duration storage technology being developed by Highview Power.

Energy is stored thermally in three ways; as cold in liquid air and in a backed bed regenerator cold store and as heat in a molten salt hot store. An air liquefier is used to charge the LAES device. LAES has a sweet spot at large (>50MW) scale as plant
efficiency increases and relative cost reduces with scale for this technology. But what would happen if a LAES plant could be efficiently deployed at smaller (<50MW) scale? The technology could then be integrated with other aspects of the energy network that require cooling at cryogenic temperatures such as the long term storage of bio methane and green hydrogen. In this project, we will investigate the integration of a small to mid scale LAES plant with the liquefaction of locally produced bio methane from waste, such as agriculture, managed grass land (such as parks and sports fields) and sewerage.

Similarly, hydrogen produced by small to mid size electrolysers connected to local renewable generators requires a storage solution. We propose cold, pressurised storage of hydrogen at 80-90K which lowers the pressure required to store the gas (for an equivalent energy density) by a factor of 2 to 3 and avoids the high energy cost of cryogenic storage.)

The motivation of this research is therefore to investigate the benefit of integrating liquid air energy storage with bio-methane and green hydrogen storage at a local level.

In detail, the project will determine if a cryogenic liquefier can be reduced in scale
and configured to efficiently produce liquid air, liquify methane and coo, compressed hydrogen to cryogenic temperatures.

A cost effective, small scale means of storing hydrogen and methane produced from waste will facilitate the development of local energy networks integrating production, storage and consumption of these fuels for servicing the transport and space
heating sectors. A local solution reduces the need to move bulk waste materials for processing into methane, cryogenic methane and compressed hydrogen. This will reduce costs, energy consumptions and burden on national infrastructure of
making and distributing these fuels. Integration of the storage of hydrogen and methane with long duration electrical energy storage increases the revenue streams available to an operator and the economic viability of long duration
electricity storage.

The overall objective is to determine the optimal cycle configuration of an integrated liquid air energy storage device (i-lars) and the economic benefit of the integration of electricity, green hydrogen and bio-methane storage at a local scale.

The specific objectives of the project are to:
> Determine the economic value of providing multiple services integrating liquid air storage with biomethane and green hydrogen storage, considering novel business models between energy and feedstock produces, the LAES operator and
end users.
> Research novel configurations of a cryogenic liquefier combining liquid piston and reverse Brayton refrigeration with blended working fluids, aimed at reducing cycle work by at least 40% relative to baseline. Investigate the trade-off of cycle
design and working fluid selection with efficiency when producing liquid air, liquid air with cold recycle and cryogenic gaseous air for cooling hydrogen and bio-methane.
> Research novel integration of cold pressurised hydrogen and bio methane storage with liquid air storage. Determine the cooling requirements and losses to update the economic and cycle models.
> Validate key research findings and concepts at lab scale, using results to update the economic and cycle models.

Effective start/end date1/09/2231/03/25




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