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PPMA Show 2020

NEC, Birmingham(B40 1NT)

29/09/2020 - 01/10/2020

PPMA Show 2020 is the UK’s largest ever event dedicated to state-of-the-art processing and packaging (more)

Advanced Engineering 2020

NEC, Birmingham(B40 1NT)

04/11/2020 - 05/11/2020

The UK's largest annual advanced manufacturing trade show, Advanced Engineering is your opportunity to (more)

Drives & Controls Exhibition

NEC, Birmingham(B40 1NT)

25/01/2021 - 27/01/2021

The show brings together key suppliers of state-of-the-art equipment representing the multi-tasking culture (more)

Liquid air could unlock £1bn industry and 22,000 UK jobs

Liquid air technology could increase UK energy security, cut greenhouse gas emissions and create a new industry worth at least £1bn per year and 22,000 jobs to the UK, according to a report, published by the Centre for Low Carbon Futures (CLCF). The report concludes that liquid air technologies could also significantly increase the efficiency of road vehicles, particularly in Britain's fleets of buses, vans and refrigerated lorries.

Liquid air is a pioneering solution to the problem of energy storage, which captures 'wrong time' energy - such as excess renewable energy produced at night when there is too little demand - storing it to provide peak time electricity and/or low carbon transport fuel. Air can be turned into a liquid by cooling it to around -196C using standard industrial equipment. 700 litres of ambient air becomes about 1 litre of liquid air, which can then be stored in an unpressurised insulated vessel. When heat is reintroduced to liquid air it boils and turns back into a gas, expanding 700 times in volume. This expansion can be used to drive a piston engine or turbine to do useful work. The main potential applications are in electricity storage, transport and the recovery of waste heat.

Liquid air could in the short term strengthen UK energy security: a single gasometer-style tank of liquid air could make good the loss of 5GW of wind power for three hours - equivalent to almost 10% of the UK's peak electricity needs - and help to protect British homes from black-outs. In addition, smaller systems can be used to provide zero-emission back-up and reserve services, warehousing wrong time, surplus energy to replace diesel gensets. It could also reduce diesel consumption in buses or freight vehicles by 25% using a liquid air dearman engine/diesel hybrid, and cut emissions from refrigeration on food lorries by 80%. At the same time, it also raises the possibility of zero-emission liquid air city cars filling up at road-side forecourts at a fraction of current fuel costs and with lower lifecycle vehicle emissions than either electric or hydrogen powered vehicles.

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