The CryoHub innovation project will investigate and extend the potential of large-scale Cryogenic Energy Storage (CES) and will apply the stored energy for both cooling and energy generation.
By employing Renewable Energy Sources (RES) to liquefy and store cryogens, 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 intermittent supply is a major obstacle to the RES power market. In reality, RES are fickle forces, prone to overproducing when demand is low and failing to meet requirements when demand peaks. Europe is about to generate 20% of its required energy from RES by 2020, so that the proper RES integration poses continent-wide challenges.
The Cryogenic Energy Storage (CES), and particularly the Liquid Air Energy Storage (LAES), is a promising technology enabling on-site storage of RES energy during periods of high generation and its use at peak grid demand. Thus, CES acts as Grid Energy Storage (GES), where cryogen is boiled to drive a turbine and to restore electricity to the grid. To date, CES applications have been rather limited by the poor round trip efficiency (ratio between energies spent for and retrieved from energy storage) due to unrecovered energy losses.
The CryoHub project is therefore designed to maximise the CES efficiency by recovering energy from cooling and heating in a perfect RES-driven cycle of cryogen liquefaction, storage, distribution and efficient use. Refrigerated warehouses for chilled and frozen food commodities are large electricity consumers, possess powerful installed capacities for cooling and heating and waste substantial amounts of heat. Such facilities provide the ideal industrial environment to advance and demonstrate the LAES benefits.
CryoHub will thus resolve most of the above-mentioned problems at one go, thereby paving the way for broader market prospects for CES-based technologies across Europe.
More information is regularly made available on the project website: www.cryohub.eu