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Automating the world’s first full-scale liquid air energy storage facility

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An environmentally neutral, grid-scale energy storage system that utilises electrical energy to liquefy the air around us, store it, then expand it back through a generator to feed power into the grid - may sound a bit like tomorrow’s world. It is however, a very real prospect since the new 5MW Liquid Air Energy Storage (LAES) facility, designed by Highview Power Storage will soon be operational thanks, in part to control and systems integration work from Optimal Industrial Automation.

After having built and tested a successful pilot plant (which has now been moved to University of Birmingham), Highview and project partner Viridor were awarded government funding by the Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) to build a pre-commercial scale 5MW Liquid Air Energy Storage technology demonstrator. That LAES plant is now currently undergoing final commissioning in Bury Lancashire, where control panels built and supplied by Optimal are dotted throughout the site ready to manage and synchronise each of the crucial stages of the process.

The LAES system comprises of three primary processes: a charging system, an energy store and a power recovery stage. In its commercial form, these can be scaled independently to optimise the system for different applications.

Optimal Industrial Automation Limited
Tel: +44 (0) 1454 333 222 Fax: +44 (0) 1454 322 240
Web: www.optimal-ltd.co.uk
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