An British Cryogenics company, Highview Power Storage, is now jumping on the air fuel bandwagon with a demonstration system that can cool air to liquid and store it in high pressure tanks. This is reminiscent of the mdi-air car which has yet to make it to mass market after many years of intense resistance from the automotive industry and associated Euro zone govt departments especially the French.
The British method is not for transportation though. Instead they see a benefit in using bio-mass from waste recycling facilities to provide the energy required to liquefy air and harnessing their cryogenics knowledge to super cool the liquid nitrogen result as an alternative to Li-Ion batteries. When the air is decompressed it expands creating force to be used to power an electric turbine. They claim to be able to get 70% of the energy back from the conversion process with the addition of a little extra heat to increase the rate of expansion of the liquid air.
Next up they are planning to build a 3.5 MW system to provide power for the local community. It may not be the most efficient way of storing energy but if it is combined with solar and wind it could provide a very stable energy supply for many years. That is going to appeal to any long term project where stable energy is a requirement so they most likely have a decent market segment. If all else fails they can just export the energy to the grid for tax credits or sell directly to a major supplier and become part of the bassload grid supply chain.
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