Liquid Air Energy Storage
Liquid Air Energy Storage (LAES) is an innovative energy storage solution that uses liquid air or liquid nitrogen as the storage medium. LAES provides large scale, long duration energy storage which can deliver between 5MW – 200MWs/10MWh – 1GWh+ of power for utility and distributed power systems.
Air turns to liquid when refrigerated to -196°C at ambient pressure, and can be stored in standard insulated, low-pressure industrial-type vessels at very large scale. Exposure to ambient temperatures causes rapid re-gasification and a 700-fold expansion in volume, which is used to drive a turbine and generate electricity.
LAES technology combines 3 existing technologies; industrial gas production, cryogenic liquid storage and expansion of pressurized gases. The components of a LAES system can be readily sourced from large OEMs and have proven life times and performances.
LAES is large scale (15MWh to 1GWh+), geographically flexible, environmentally benign (no toxic materials, zero emissions), and energy dense – resulting in a small footprint.
LAES has a low lifetime cost due to long life (30+ yrs) and no electrochemical degradation. This results in a highly competitive Levelized Cost of Electricity (LCOE)* of $150-250/MWh.
In common with all energy storage systems, our LAES system comprises of three primary processes: a charging system; an energy store; and a power recovery unit. Uniquely, these can be scaled independently to optimise the system for different applications.
*The Levelized Cost of Electricity (LCOE) is a measure of a power source which attempts to compare different methods of electricity generation on a comparable basis. DOE/EPRI 2013 Electricity Storage Handbook, pg.154 http://www.sandia.gov/ess/publications/SAND2013-5131.pdf