but that is just part of what will be required to integrate renewables at the scale needed to be on track for net-zero. And whilst there is a growing number of energy storage demonstrator sites in the UK and globally, there is little data available on their operations.

NATIONAL NETWORK OF FACILITIES “UKESTO will connect energy storage pilot plants on university campuses to create a network of national facilities that establish the UK as an innovation hub – allowing systematic study of energy storage technologies to an extent that is not possible with industrial demonstrators.” T e observatory makes use of the UK

Energy Research Centre’s Energy Data Centre, a well-established national data repository. Professor Ding and Professor Toby Peters,

Professor of Cold Economy at the University of Birmingham, are widely recognised as the ‘founding fathers’ of liquid air energy storage, having identifi ed both the need for large-scale energy, long duration storage back in 2004 and the potential to integrate mature components from existing industries in a new system able to scale to hundreds of MWs.

COLD CONCEPT Working together, Professor Ding led the team that invented and proved the idea of cold recycle, key to achieving high-levels of effi ciency and Professor Peters mainstreamed the concept of liquid air as an energy storage solution vector for both electricity grids and clean cold and power. Air’s main component gases liquefy at ~-196°C and the result occupies a 700th of the volume of those gases at room temperature. When liquid air is warmed and allowed to expand, its forceful expansion can spin turbines – operating generators and recovering part of the electricity used for liquefi cation. “We’re hugely excited at the opportunity to build on the vast experience in cryogenic energy storage at the University of Birmingham and help to unlock the potential of liquid air and other energy storage technologies,” comments Professor Peters.

“Liquid air energy storage is a unique solution to provide low-cost, large-scale long duration energy storage with no geographical constraints. It also can harness waste heat or waste cold in the system to further increase the overall effi ciency. “With the demand now for large-scale, long duration energy storage, liquid air can emerge as the serious competitor to lithium-ion in grid-scale-storage.”


The future of high power contact solutions

The new ML-CUX of the MULTILAM flexo line by Stäubli Electrical Connectors has been designed for demanding high power contact solutions for power transmission and distribution that require compactness and high power density. ML-CUX offers quality and longevity at best price performance ratio.

■ Two-component contact element

■ High rated current and short circuit current carrying capacity ■ Large operating range

■ Simple assembly in rectangular mounting groove ■ Reduction of Total cost of Ownership

■ Very high lifespan with consistent performance ■ 100%-tested product properties

LEFT: Experimental cryogenic energy storage facilities at the University of Birmingham

Staubli is a trademark of Stäubli International AG, registered in Switzerland and other countries. © Stäubli 2020 | Photocredits: Stäubli 11

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