Green Energy storage: Why not liquid air?

Green Energy storage: Why not liquid air?

by tonytran2015 (Melbourne, Australia).

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(Blog No. … ).

#green energy, #storage, #liquid air, #lithium ion,

Solar energy is green but is available mostly around noon. Storing this energy for later use in the evening is a problem. Australian goverments (Victorian and South Australian in particular) are pushing for Lithium Ion battery technology, that is quite an expensive way for household energy storage. (Remember that Lithium Ion batteries were developed for the expensive weight averting laptops and smart phones and need replacement every few years).

Figure: A bloated exhausted Li-Ion battery from a smart phone.

Surprisingly no mention is made of an obvious established energy storage technology using liquid air (that had been shown in some scientific experiment from Holland documented in some films shown prior to 1980). That method was to efficiently make liquid air and store it until it is evaporated into air to run an air turbine producing electricity.

The past policies of Australian Federal Government on government subsidized pink batt thermal insulation, government subsidized Gas conversion for cars, “poor subsidizing rich” installation of domestic solar panels [1] have all been laughable financial failures. Governments subsidized Lithium Ion batteries (which are still expensive and have only few years of usable lives) may be another financial failure even more spectacular than those three previous failures on energy policies.

As with any infrastructure project, the governments concerned should provide convincing arguments for its choice of Lithium Ion technology over competing technologies such as Liquid Air Energy Storage, which is being tested for grid scale storage [2, 3] or reversible hydro-electric generation. Otherwise the choice of Lithium Ion batteries seems to be just another contract for “the boys”.

References.

[1].

[2]. Grid-Scale Liquid Air Energy Storage Plant Is Launched, Sonal Patel, 08/01/2018, https://www.powermag.com/grid-scale-liquid-air-energy-storage-plant-is-launched/

The plant located at the Pilsworth landfill gas site in Bury, near Manchester, in the UK (Figure 4), works by using surplus power (during off-peak hours) to refrigerate air into a liquid at –196C (–320F).

The liquid air is then stored “very efficiently” in insulated tanks at low pressure. When power is required, liquid air is drawn from the tanks. 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.

[3]. ‘Liquid Air’ Technology Offers Prospect Of Storing Energy For The Long Term, https://www.forbes.com/sites/mikescott/2018/06/08/liquid-air-technology-offers-prospect-of-storing-energy-for-the-long-term/#66b12daf622f

ENERGY DENSITY AND COSTS.

[4]. https://chemistry.stackexchange.com/questions/1342/whats-the-energy-density-of-liquid-nitrogen

[5]. https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Liquid_air

[6]. http://thermopedia.com/content/553/

[7]. https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Enthalpy_of_vaporization

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