February 25, 2020 – Sumitomo Heavy Industries, Ltd. (“SHI”) invested USD46million in Highview Power Limited (“Highview”), U.K., leading the development of Liquid Air Energy Storage (“LAES”) technology globally, which is expected to play an important role in the electric power industries just around the corner, in order to acquire the energy storage technology.
LAES is a technology which stores energy in form of liquefied air and discharges the stored energy as electricity when needed. The mechanism is 1) ambient air is taken from the surrounding environment, 2) carbon dioxide and water vapor are removed, 3) cleaned and dried, 4) refrigerated until minus 190 degree centigrade through a series of compression and expansion stages until the air liquefies, 5) the liquefied air is kept in insulated tanks. The liquid air is firstly evaporated and then heated further via a heat exchanger, which utilizes hot water/gas to transfer heat. The resulting high pressure gas is then used to drive turbine generators to generate electricity. At each of the liquefying and evaporating process, secondarily obtained heating and cooling energy is stored to re-use at the opposite process and to raise the overall energy conversion efficiency.
In order to spread the use of renewable energy, which is an important means of countermeasures against global warming, it is essential to eliminate instability of its power supply. In addition, function to stabilize power grids including a lot of distributed renewable power sources is very important. LAES can play a major role in solving these issues.
SHI, together with Sumitomo SHI FW (“SFW”), a wholly owned subsidiary of SHI, will promote cooperation with Highview and promote commercialization of energy storage system（“CRYOBattery™”） using this LAES technology. SHI will contribute to the global spread of this technology in Europe and the United States, where demand is growing rapidly, and throughout Asia.
Outline of Highview
|Company Name||Highview Enterprise Limited.|
|Location of Headquarter||London, U.K.|
|Business Description||Development of LAES system|
The Liquid Air Storage System consists of three main processes (or functions); 1) Charge: A charging device which uses excess electricity to power an industrial liquefier to produce liquid air. 2) Energy Store: An energy store where the liquid air is held in an insulated tank at low pressure. 3) Discharge: A power-recovery unit where gasified liquid air is used to drive a turbine and to generate electricity.
Figure 1．Liquid Air Energy Storage system