Since our establishment in 1940, Air Products has built more than 2000 air separation plants, and today we own and operate more than 300 of them in over 40 countries worldwide. With hundreds of patents, expertise in equipment and processes, and decades of operating experience, Air Products is an acknowledged leader in cryogenic air separation technology and has long recognized the ability to store energy in the form of cryogenic liquids. We have used such technology on our own air separation plants to take advantage of lower cost off peak energy and offer this type of storage as an option to customers. See diagram below.
Air Products’ recognizes the growing need for energy storage solutions, especially as the power landscape is shifting towards greater use of renewable energy with variable output. With our cryogenics expertise, we have invested time and resources in developing liquid energy storage technology. With this technology, energy can be stored in the form of liquid air which increases the energy density up to five times as compared with similar compressed air energy storage (CAES) technologies. This key attribute greatly increases the siting flexibility of such systems.
While there are recognized needs for energy storage and advantages in cryogenic liquid storage, current market conditions (e.g., price of natural gas and need for governmental policy in many markets of interest) are such that we are not pursuing further development into cryogenic liquid air energy storage at this time but we continue to participate in the storage arena via equipment sales, merchant supply, and energy storage options on our cryogenic air separation plants.
Cryogenic Energy Storage Option for ASU
Time-shift of ASU power consumption to manage electric load
- Liquid oxygen from columns is boiled by condensing air feed
- Inject LOX, store liquid air
– Increase GOX supply at same column load or
– Maintain GOX supply with reduced power
- Store LOX, inject liquid air
– Reduce GOX supply at same column load or
– Maintain GOX supply and increase power