Renewable energy is nowadays part of our future, for the simple reason that it is inexhaustible. This is clearly the supreme advantage its power has over the human generated one. The downside is it may lack efficiency: the time when it is generated and the quantity are unstable variables. In other words, you may not be able to stock it in the long run.
Storing any kind of energy has been a challenge for a very long time. Apparently, the British researchers at Highview Power Storage have the answer: you store power into liquified air!
They use the CryoEnergy System, which uses air comprised in refrigeration units and exposed to the extreme temperature of -196 °C. The resulted liquid air is then kept in an insulated tank, whose ambient pressure doesn’t exceed 1 bar.
The liquid air storage can thus be treated as a backup plan for when demand is at its peak: one just has to release it into a sealed space and raise the temperature above -196° C; this causes the liquid to expand for more than 700%.
The rest of the circuit is easy to imagine: the power creates motion inside the turbines, which turn the power generator. Not only that, but it appears the energy efficiency is around 50% and the system is successfully being applied for the last nine months now at Scotland’s Slough Heat&Power plant.