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UK-Chinese collaboration helps deliver new energy storage technology

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A UK-China collaboration will deliver the world’s first pilot demonstrator of a energy storage technology developed by a UK company – Highview Power Storage.

The ‘cryogenic energy storage’ plant, designed in the UK with some of the major components engineered and fabricated in China, is scheduled to be operational next month at a site in Slough. Engineers from the Chinese manufacturers are currently on-site to help with the commissioning programme.

Affordable, utility-scale energy storage is seen as a key requirement to help support intermittent renewable energy. In a market very much dominated by Japan and the States, this is the first UK novel technology deployed. The project has been supported by the Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC).

Deployment of a fully operational, grid-connected pilot plant is for Highview an important step to commercial development and marketing into what is now recognised as a global, multi-billion dollar, new market. In fact, research in the US last year by Kema suggested energy storage could deliver upwards of 100,000 new jobs.

The system, conceived by Highview with scientists from University of Leeds, uses liquefied air to store ‘wrong-time’ or off-peak energy. It is scalable up to very large utility scale and is significantly cheaper than batteries. Along with large-scale energy storage, the system has two important benefits:

– The system can simultaneously store and harness low grade waste heat from co-located processes. Capturing waste heat, especially lower grade, could have a significant impact on the nation’s energy efficiency objectives. .

– The exhausted is clean cold air, which offers the potential for cooling applications in industrial or commercial applications i.e. data centre cooling, commercial air conditioning/cooling.

While a number of the world’s major industrial gasses companies, including Air Products and Praxair, have been looking at the use of liquid air or liquid nitrogen for energy storage, Highview is the first to deploy a plant. It also currently has a number of patents lodged. Hosted by energy company SSE (Scottish & Southern Energy), the 300kW/2.5MWh pilot demonstration plant is connected to the Grid on the Slough Trading Estate, outside London. Although only a pilot plant, it is large enough to support several hundred houses for upwards of eight hours.

An engineering team from Chengdu Air Separation Engineering Co. is currently on-site to commission and performance test the air liquefaction plant – the front end of the process. The plant was designed and built by Chengdu Air in China before being shipped across to the UK. They were chosen for their design capability and also, critical for a young development company such as Highview, the ability to deliver against tight time and budget constraints.
The project has equally enabled Highview, as a young development company, to learn how to source, contract and deliver manufacturing within China (from first contact to shipping). China is also an early important export market opportunity for Highview.

This is the first unit that Chengdu Air has exported to the UK so is a significant opportunity for them to help understand this market.

A UK-China collaboration will deliver the world’s first pilot demonstrator of a energy storage technology developed by a UK company – Highview Power Storage.

The ‘cryogenic energy storage’ plant, designed in the UK with some of the major components engineered and fabricated in China, is scheduled to be operational next month at a site in Slough. Engineers from the Chinese manufacturers are currently on-site to help with the commissioning programme.

Affordable, utility-scale energy storage is seen as a key requirement to help support intermittent renewable energy. In a market very much dominated by Japan and the States, this is the first UK novel technology deployed. The project has been supported by the Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC).

Deployment of a fully operational, grid-connected pilot plant is for Highview an important step to commercial development and marketing into what is now recognised as a global, multi-billion dollar, new market. In fact, research in the US last year by Kema suggested energy storage could deliver upwards of 100,000 new jobs.

The system, conceived by Highview with scientists from University of Leeds, uses liquefied air to store ‘wrong-time’ or off-peak energy. It is scalable up to very large utility scale and is significantly cheaper than batteries. Along with large-scale energy storage, the system has two important benefits:

– The system can simultaneously store and harness low grade waste heat from co-located processes. Capturing waste heat, especially lower grade, could have a significant impact on the nation’s energy efficiency objectives. .

– The exhausted is clean cold air, which offers the potential for cooling applications in industrial or commercial applications i.e. data centre cooling, commercial air conditioning/cooling.

While a number of the world’s major industrial gasses companies, including Air Products and Praxair, have been looking at the use of liquid air or liquid nitrogen for energy storage, Highview is the first to deploy a plant. It also currently has a number of patents lodged. Hosted by energy company SSE (Scottish & Southern Energy), the 300kW/2.5MWh pilot demonstration plant is connected to the Grid on the Slough Trading Estate, outside London. Although only a pilot plant, it is large enough to support several hundred houses for upwards of eight hours.

An engineering team from Chengdu Air Separation Engineering Co. is currently on-site to commission and performance test the air liquefaction plant – the front end of the process. The plant was designed and built by Chengdu Air in China before being shipped across to the UK. They were chosen for their design capability and also, critical for a young development company such as Highview, the ability to deliver against tight time and budget constraints.

The project has equally enabled Highview, as a young development company, to learn how to source, contract and deliver manufacturing within China (from first contact to shipping). China is also an early important export market opportunity for Highview.

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