• Welcome to DOSBODS

    Please consider creating a free account to be able to access all the features of the DOSBODS community. It only takes 20 seconds!

Sign in to follow this  
sarahbell

Energy storage

Recommended Posts

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/av/business-43346165/using-cold-air-to-crack-the-energy-storage-problem

They've had this on the news twice today (might have been the local BBC news as it's local) 

They're planning to make a bigger one that could run a town for four hours. 
 

Using cold air to crack the energy storage problem.

Highview Power Storage is using tried and tested technology to create stored energy in an innovative way.

It cools air down to around minus 200C, where it becomes liquid.

When power is required, the process begins to release that stored energy.

 

 

Highview Power: Home

Home | We help balance the grid by providing true long-duration energy storage.


on the news it's being made to be a power station - not storage..

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Eh?

I am sure that someone will be around to enlighten me but my physics says that for cooled and liquid air to return to its gaseous state it needs to absorb a vast amount of heat.

So I'm not following that; there's no stored energy to be released.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

when you cool air down, you are actually removing energy not storing it. Interesting concept, to store energy, first remove it.

 

 

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 minute ago, snagger said:

when you cool air down, you are actually removing energy not storing it. Interesting concept, to store energy, first remove it.

 

 

 

 

Good, not just me puzzled by this concept.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)
6 minutes ago, Frank Hovis said:

Good, not just me puzzled by this concept.

it's quite brilliant really, cool air to liquid at minus 200

then to release it to use in a "steam" turbine you only need to raise it's temperature slightly above that needed to be a gas so just a few degrees, more depending on the air pressure required. You could probably get that heat free from ambient air temperature and heat exchangers.

Edited by snagger

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)

I imagine the large amount of water vapour in air is going to be a big technical problem with this. In the video you see the ice forming over all the components. 

And you saw the size of the installation? All that stores enough for 5000 homes for 3 hours - imagine if it was sized for major grid storage. It'll be releasing enough freezing air to create weather events! 

Maybe the techies can outline the difficulties of this for us? - my guess is cost. I would imagine it's not that competitive unless you build a huge huge plant.

Edited by swiss_democracy_for_all

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The efficiency of this would improve if the heat drawn off the Nitrogen can be used in some way. 

The most practical way to use cold as a form of energy storage is as a thermal mass for large refrigeration and air conditioning system. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
3 minutes ago, Kurt Barlow said:

The efficiency of this would improve if the heat drawn off the Nitrogen can be used in some way. 

The most practical way to use cold as a form of energy storage is as a thermal mass for large refrigeration and air conditioning system. 

I think somebody has already developed this, and has been dumping the cold here in the North-East.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, snagger said:

it's quite brilliant really, cool air to liquid at minus 200

then to release it to use in a "steam" turbine you only need to raise it's temperature slightly above that needed to be a gas so just a few degrees, more depending on the air pressure required. You could probably get that heat free from ambient air temperature and heat exchangers.

You would probably need something like seawater as a heat source. In air I bet the heat exchangers would rapidly freeze up 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
4 minutes ago, Kurt Barlow said:

You would probably need something like seawater as a heat source. In air I bet the heat exchangers would rapidly freeze up 

Anyone else read that as 

"You would probably need something like sweater as a heat source"

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

This is quite an interesting analysis from 2 years ago given that the plant is open now.

https://www.renewableenergyworld.com/articles/print/volume-19/issue-4/features/energy-storage/a-look-at-liquid-air-energy-storage-technology.html

The liquid air tanks weigh 16 metric tonnes when empty and 94 metric tonnes when full! They have plans to build sites that can generate more than a GW for a few hours, that would be  immense.  

 

I  am imagining a future cold, still, grey spell in winter, population by this stage officially 85 million, more electric cars, peak energy demand, little wind energy even in the North Sea, no solar (and by this stage these 2 make up a significant proportion of energy production). Several immense cryogenic plants kick in to meet the demand on the North East coast, a light breeze brings moist air in off the North Sea and it mixes with the cold being released - Gateshead and Newcastle are buried in several feet of snow and have their "Day after Tomorrow" moment.  But it's ok because London and the South East gets it's electricity. :D

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
8 minutes ago, swiss_democracy_for_all said:

This is quite an interesting analysis from 2 years ago given that the plant is open now.

https://www.renewableenergyworld.com/articles/print/volume-19/issue-4/features/energy-storage/a-look-at-liquid-air-energy-storage-technology.html

The liquid air tanks weigh 16 metric tonnes when empty and 94 metric tonnes when full! They have plans to build sites that can generate more than a GW for a few hours, that would be  immense.  

 

I  am imagining a future cold, still, grey spell in winter, population by this stage officially 85 million, more electric cars, peak energy demand, little wind energy even in the North Sea, no solar (and by this stage these 2 make up a significant proportion of energy production). Several immense cryogenic plants kick in to meet the demand on the North East coast, a light breeze brings moist air in off the North Sea and it mixes with the cold being released - Gateshead and Newcastle are buried in several feet of snow and have their "Day after Tomorrow" moment.  But it's ok because London and the South East gets it's electricity. :D

 

And up north, Tommy Robinson shivers in jail. What's not to like?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
13 minutes ago, swiss_democracy_for_all said:

Several immense cryogenic plants kick in to meet the demand on the North East coast, a light breeze brings moist air in off the North Sea and it mixes with the cold being released - Gateshead and Newcastle are buried in several feet of snow and have their "Day after Tomorrow" moment.  But it's ok because London and the South East gets it's electricity. :D

Yes, think of the brown people in their luxury apartments, we must keep the brown people warm

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)
26 minutes ago, swiss_democracy_for_all said:

This is quite an interesting analysis from 2 years ago given that the plant is open now.

https://www.renewableenergyworld.com/articles/print/volume-19/issue-4/features/energy-storage/a-look-at-liquid-air-energy-storage-technology.html

The liquid air tanks weigh 16 metric tonnes when empty and 94 metric tonnes when full! They have plans to build sites that can generate more than a GW for a few hours, that would be  immense.  

 

I  am imagining a future cold, still, grey spell in winter, population by this stage officially 85 million, more electric cars, peak energy demand, little wind energy even in the North Sea, no solar (and by this stage these 2 make up a significant proportion of energy production). Several immense cryogenic plants kick in to meet the demand on the North East coast, a light breeze brings moist air in off the North Sea and it mixes with the cold being released - Gateshead and Newcastle are buried in several feet of snow and have their "Day after Tomorrow" moment.  But it's ok because London and the South East gets it's electricity. :D

 

You are too pessimistic. 

This is a fairly recent development that's interesting. Its adding biogas to the UK grid from anaerobic digestion. This tech deals with a number of issues - waste management, recovery of fertilisers and the production of useful energy. 

The potential is there to produce approx 150TWH of gas per year - thats about 1/6th of the UK's current gas usage. 

Another good reason to recycle kitchen and garden waste - much of this is now sent to AD plants. The gas produced displaces imports that would quite likely come from Qatar or Russia. 

http://www.wrap.org.uk/content/operational-ad-sites-map

 

Edited by Kurt Barlow

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
28 minutes ago, swiss_democracy_for_all said:

I  am imagining a future cold, still, grey spell in winter, population by this stage officially 85 million, more electric cars, peak energy demand, little wind energy even in the North Sea, no solar (and by this stage these 2 make up a significant proportion of energy production). Several immense cryogenic plants kick in to meet the demand on the North East coast, a light breeze brings moist air in off the North Sea and it mixes with the cold being released - Gateshead and Newcastle are buried in several feet of snow and have their "Day after Tomorrow" moment.  But it's ok because London and the South East gets it's electricity. :D

 

To counter this we all need to fly more.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, Frank Hovis said:

Eh?

I am sure that someone will be around to enlighten me but my physics says that for cooled and liquid air to return to its gaseous state it needs to absorb a vast amount of heat.

So I'm not following that; there's no stored energy to be released.

You're thinking of it wrong. 

Think about a traditional thermal engine -- we use a energy source to heat up water to make steam, which we keep in a constrained space so it gets into a high pressure, which we can then use to drive a turbine.   In this engine it is nice and simple because the 'vast amount of heat' is the actual energy input to the system. 

In the cryo engine you start off by making something very very cold.  This does take energy, lots of it.  But don't think of that energy as the 'stored energy' (even though it is).  Perhaps think of the stored energy as the heat released into the world as the other side of the cooling process.  Sure, it is dissipated so it doesn't actually make the world any hotter, but that is where is has gone.  So, time to 'release the energy' -- you go to the world and ask it to use its heat to boil the liquid nitrogen, which then goes into a constrained space, gets a high pressure, and you can use this pressure to drive a turbine.

So, in the normal the 'heat source' costs a lot of energy (and it is nice and clear where the energy to drive the engine comes from), while in the second the 'heat source' is absolutely free (just normal ambient temperature), but the energy input comes in making your 'working fluid' cold enough to be able to use ambient temperatures as a heat source in the first place.

So why do it that way?  It is about storing energy.  What you could do it make massive high pressure insulated tanks, then boil water to make super-heated steam and store that in the tanks.  That would work.  But the tanks would need to be massive (as steam isn't very dense) and strong (as high pressure storage vessels really want to explode).  Or you could store very hot stuff in tanks -- maybe something like liquid sodium.  That would also work -- the storage vessels would just need to be insulated and not pressurised.  But super-hot stuff is challenging to work with; it wants to melt all the lovely metal components in your pipes and valves.  Also, the consequence of tiny leaks is that super-hot liquid stuff drips out and then solidifies and is a pain to deal with.  Super-cold stuff is also difficult to work with, but it is a known science; they don't require pressure tanks, the super-cold is largely compatible with 'metal things' (albeit you've still got to be careful with your materials science), and the consequence of tiny leaks is the super-cold stuff drips out and then evaporates.

So -- is it a good idea?  Sure, it is okay.  Is it innovative?  Well, been done before, but commercialisation is always a different thing from showing a principle in a lab.

The big question is round-trip efficiency -- how many units of energy they have to put in for every unit they get out.  They're currently getting 15%.  Which is pretty dire.   You might compare that with pumped water storage (eg, Dinorwig power station) or battery type storage, which both work out at about 80% efficiency.  Anyway, I doubt they could get to a 'proper' efficiency of more than about 25%, which is still pretty poor.  Sure, they claim to be able to get to >50%, but that is using 'waste heat' from power plants -- there's lots of potential use of that 'waste heat', and I'm not sure that this is the best one (eg, heating premises in the vicinity).

I dunno -- it is a solution to a problem that only exists because we don't pay the real price for being able to have electricity 'on demand' -- if we had proper demand based pricing (which is what smart meters are for), then we'd only use the energy intensive stuff when energy was cheap, automatically balancing against power generation and making this sort of facility redundant.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
35 minutes ago, swiss_democracy_for_all said:

 

I  am imagining a future cold, still, grey spell in winter, population by this stage officially 85 million, more electric cars, peak energy demand, little wind energy even in the North Sea, no solar (and by this stage these 2 make up a significant proportion of energy production). Several immense cryogenic plants kick in to meet the demand on the North East coast, a light breeze brings moist air in off the North Sea and it mixes with the cold being released - Gateshead and Newcastle are buried in several feet of snow and have their "Day after Tomorrow" moment.  But it's ok because London and the South East gets it's electricity. :D

 

You're only describing the situation about six weeks ago. We survived.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Was drafting a reply, but dgul’s got it.

Would add that pumped storage can sustain many 100’s of MW output for many hours. To get the same output from compressed air would require a huge pressure vessel, and that ain’t cheap or feasible.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
4 minutes ago, Captain Cavey said:

Was drafting a reply, but dgul’s got it.

Would add that pumped storage can sustain many 100’s of MW output for many hours. To get the same output from compressed air would require a huge pressure vessel, and that ain’t cheap or feasible.

There are 2 alternatives to pressure vessels

Salt Caverns (as is used in Germany and the USA)

Storage bags at the bottom of deep lakes or Fjords. Imagine the storage potential inone of those Norwegian Fjords at over 1000m in depth. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
13 minutes ago, dgul said:

You're thinking of it wrong. 

Think about a traditional thermal engine -- we use a energy source to heat up water to make steam, which we keep in a constrained space so it gets into a high pressure, which we can then use to drive a turbine.   In this engine it is nice and simple because the 'vast amount of heat' is the actual energy input to the system. 

In the cryo engine you start off by making something very very cold.  This does take energy, lots of it.  But don't think of that energy as the 'stored energy' (even though it is).  Perhaps think of the stored energy as the heat released into the world as the other side of the cooling process.  Sure, it is dissipated so it doesn't actually make the world any hotter, but that is where is has gone.  So, time to 'release the energy' -- you go to the world and ask it to use its heat to boil the liquid nitrogen, which then goes into a constrained space, gets a high pressure, and you can use this pressure to drive a turbine.

So, in the normal the 'heat source' costs a lot of energy (and it is nice and clear where the energy to drive the engine comes from), while in the second the 'heat source' is absolutely free (just normal ambient temperature), but the energy input comes in making your 'working fluid' cold enough to be able to use ambient temperatures as a heat source in the first place.

So why do it that way?  It is about storing energy.  What you could do it make massive high pressure insulated tanks, then boil water to make super-heated steam and store that in the tanks.  That would work.  But the tanks would need to be massive (as steam isn't very dense) and strong (as high pressure storage vessels really want to explode).  Or you could store very hot stuff in tanks -- maybe something like liquid sodium.  That would also work -- the storage vessels would just need to be insulated and not pressurised.  But super-hot stuff is challenging to work with; it wants to melt all the lovely metal components in your pipes and valves.  Also, the consequence of tiny leaks is that super-hot liquid stuff drips out and then solidifies and is a pain to deal with.  Super-cold stuff is also difficult to work with, but it is a known science; they don't require pressure tanks, the super-cold is largely compatible with 'metal things' (albeit you've still got to be careful with your materials science), and the consequence of tiny leaks is the super-cold stuff drips out and then evaporates.

So -- is it a good idea?  Sure, it is okay.  Is it innovative?  Well, been done before, but commercialisation is always a different thing from showing a principle in a lab.

The big question is round-trip efficiency -- how many units of energy they have to put in for every unit they get out.  They're currently getting 15%.  Which is pretty dire.   You might compare that with pumped water storage (eg, Dinorwig power station) or battery type storage, which both work out at about 80% efficiency.  Anyway, I doubt they could get to a 'proper' efficiency of more than about 25%, which is still pretty poor.  Sure, they claim to be able to get to >50%, but that is using 'waste heat' from power plants -- there's lots of potential use of that 'waste heat', and I'm not sure that this is the best one (eg, heating premises in the vicinity).

I dunno -- it is a solution to a problem that only exists because we don't pay the real price for being able to have electricity 'on demand' -- if we had proper demand based pricing (which is what smart meters are for), then we'd only use the energy intensive stuff when energy was cheap, automatically balancing against power generation and making this sort of facility redundant.

15% efficiency is terrible, so they've used 100MwH of energy to make 15Mwh.  Surely a load of big tidal pools that could also act as pumped storage would be better. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
30 minutes ago, Kurt Barlow said:

You are too pessimistic. 

This is a fairly recent development that's interesting. Its adding biogas to the UK grid from anaerobic digestion. This tech deals with a number of issues - waste management, recovery of fertilisers and the production of useful energy. 

The potential is there to produce approx 150TWH of gas per year - thats about 1/6th of the UK's current gas usage. 

Another good reason to recycle kitchen and garden waste - much of this is now sent to AD plants. The gas produced displaces imports that would quite likely come from Qatar or Russia. 

http://www.wrap.org.uk/content/operational-ad-sites-map

 

Not really pessimistic about energy, it's one of the few plus points in the world to come IMO. I was just kidding. Just a bit sceptical about cryogenic energy storage, and now someone has said it's 15% efficient, that's a waste of time/money IMO until you have a massive excess being generated on a very windy sunny day in a grid with lots of wind/solar.

When government money is spent it's sometimes interesting(and depressing) to check the main shareholders/directors of the company concerned, wonder who those are at Highview?

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
Sign in to follow this  

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.