World’s first giga-scale cryogenic battery takes on power stations

June 27, 2019 // By Nick Flaherty
The CRYOBattery, the world’s first giga-scale cryogenic battery, takes on power stations
Highview Power in the UK has demonstrated a modular cryogenic energy storage system, the CRYOBattery, that is scalable up to multiple gigawatts of energy storage and can be located anywhere.

The cryogenic battery technology provides a levelized cost of storage (LCOS) of $140/MWh for a 10-hour, 200 MW/2 GWh system and so could potentially replace a fossil fuel power station. 

The proprietary cryogenic battery technology uses liquid air as the storage medium, provides all the services essential for a robust grid including time shifting, synchronous voltage support, frequency regulation and reserves, synchronous inertia, and black start capabilities. Unlike competing long-duration technologies, such as pumped hydro-power or compressed air, the CRYOBattery can be sited just about anywhere with a small footprint, even at multiple gigawatt-levels, and does not use hazardous materials.

Air turns to liquid when cooled down to -196°C (-320˚F), and can then be stored very efficiently in insulated, low pressure vessels. Exposure to ambient temperatures causes rapid re-gasification and a 700-fold expansion in volume, which is then used to drive a turbine and create electricity without combustion. 

Over the last 15 years, Highview Power has developed and optimized its own proprietary BLU core controller system for cyrogenic battery storage. This integrates the control of all CRYOBattery components, allowing a system to be configured to a particular application through the selection of individual operational modes. It also provides operation and performance monitoring feedback, ensuring a facility’s optimal efficiency. The system’s embedded flexibility further ensures that the controller has the built-in capacity to adapt as a facility’s demand varies with market development.

“Long-duration technologies such as cryogenic energy storage will become increasingly necessary for an electricity system to transition from a primary reliance on conventional fossil fuel generation to a grid dominated by variable renewable generation from solar and wind.”Alex Eller, senior research analyst with Navigant Research.

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