The CryoHub project is preparing demonstration of the liquid air energy storage (LAES) technology to show that it is an economic low-carbon option for refrigerated warehouses and food factories.
This technology uses electricity to cool air until it liquefies, stores the liquid air in a tank, and then brings the liquid air back to a gaseous state (by exposure to ambient air or with waste heat from industrial processes) and uses this gas to drive turbines and generate electricity.
By employing renewable energy sources (RES) to liquefy and store air, CryoHub will balance the power grid, while meeting the cooling demand of a refrigerated food warehouse and recovering the waste heat from its equipment and components.
The LAES is a promising technology enabling on-site storage of RES energy during periods of high generation and its use at peak grid demand. However, to date LAES applications have been rather limited by the poor round trip efficiency due to unrecovered energy losses. The CryoHub project is therefore designed to maximise the LAES efficiency by recovering energy from cooling and heating in a perfect RES-driven cycle of air liquefaction, storage, distribution and efficient use.
If successfully demonstrated, this energy storage technology could be widely replicated, complementing and supporting the use of variable renewable energy sources.