Highview Power unveils modular ‘cryogenic battery’

The cryogenic battery will be able to store “weeks’ worth” of power at a time.
Published: Fri 28 Jun 2019

Highview Power has unveiled a modularised version of its pioneering “cryogenic battery”.

The company said the technology will be able to store “weeks’ worth” of renewable power at a time, providing a clean alternative to dispatchable thermal generation. It quoted a levelised cost of storage of $140/MWh for a 200MW/2GWh system.

“This is a pivotal moment for the renewable energy industry and for anyone who wants to deploy large amounts of renewables,” said Highview Power president and chief executive Javier Cavada.

“As more and more renewables are added to the grid, long-duration, giga-scale energy storage is the necessary foundation to make these intermittent sources of power reliable enough to become baseload.

“Not only does our CRYOBattery deliver this reliability and allow scalability – it is proven, cost-effective, and available today.”

Highview Power opened a 5MW/15MWh demonstration plant near Manchester in June 2018.  The system uses surplus electricity to compress air and lower its temperature to minus 196 degrees Celsius. The air condenses into a liquid, which is then stored on low-pressure insulated containers.

To recover electricity, the air is removed from the containers and reheated, causing it to evaporate back into a gas and rapidly expand. The expanding air is used to drive a turbine and generate power.

Highview Power said the technology has multiple benefits over forms of long-range storage such as pumped-hydro or compressed air. It has a small footprint, can be installed in any location, and unlike many batteries, does not use any hazardous materials.

The company recently announced the launch of a joint venture with engineering and construction firm TSK to develop projects in Spain, the Middle East and South Africa.

Meanwhile, Anesco has completed the construction of a 20MW/20MWh storage facility in Lascar near Manchester. The installation, consisting of 16 containerised lithium-ion battery systems, brings the total size of its storage portfolio to 147MW.