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Developing Cryogenic Energy Storage at Refrigerated Warehouses as an Interactive Hub to Integrate Renewable Energy in Industrial Food Refrigeration and to Enhance PowerGrid Sustainability

Periodic Reporting for period 3 - CryoHub (Developing Cryogenic Energy Storage at Refrigerated Warehouses as an Interactive Hub to Integrate Renewable Energy in Industrial Food Refrigeration and to Enhance PowerGrid Sustainability)

Reporting period: 2018-10-01 to 2021-03-31

Greater direct use of renewable energy resources means that the electricity grid is either dependent on weather variations or on tidal flows. Too little, or too much, energy may be generated and there is little control of when the energy is generated. This provides an issue for grid stability as energy production is not controllable. The problem is likely to become more severe with the increasing application of renewable energy resources, especially as the EU aim to generate 20% of the energy used in Europe from renewable sources by 2020. One method to balance the issue of generation and demand is to store energy during periods of low demand and use it at times when there is high demand.
Cryogenic storage makes use of low-temperature liquids (such as liquid air or liquid nitrogen) as an energy storage and transfer medium. Cryogenic storage can provide large scale, long duration energy storage.
The prime objective of the CryoHub project is to investigate the potential of large-scale LAES (Liquid Air Energy Storage) at refrigerated warehouses and food factories and to use the stored energy for providing both cooling on site and electrical energy generation during peak demand periods. There are several benefits to this approach:
1. To provide large scale energy storage to aid grid balancing on daily and weekly timescales (take grid energy when there is too much and put in energy when there is not enough).
2. To store energy from local intermittent RES (Renewable Energy Sources) before supplying to the grid.
3. To ‘peak shave’ (i.e. remove the peak power requirement from the grid) refrigerated warehouse/food factory energy use and at the same time generate and supply part of the required peak energy back to the grid.
4. To provide free cooling to the cold stores during power generation.
5. To decarbonise the electricity grid.
By utilising LAES there are considerable benefits in being able to use low carbon resources more effectively.
To achieve this overall goal the CryoHub project has the following sub-objectives:
1. Evaluate the present and future potential for LAES at refrigerated warehouses, disseminate to stakeholders and end users from the energy and food refrigeration sectors.
2. Determine key processes and unit operations to make use of LAES in a common refrigerated warehouse and identify how waste heat and the stored cryogenic cold should be integrated in the best possible way.
3. Identify the energy and carbon savings that the LAES could achieve in refrigerated warehousing and food factories against the background of conventional facilities.
4. Identify engineering solutions to consolidate a LAES system with a typical warehouse refrigeration plant for performance optimisation and efficiency enhancement.
5. Develop a software system for automated decision support and management of the RES proportion and cryogen expenditure as a function of predicted warehouse and grid behaviour, environmental conditions, energy demand and availability, price variation (depending on tariff plans negotiated and/or fluctuations on the stock market), etc.
6. Build, validate and demonstrate the performance of LAES system technology for a refrigerated warehouse.
7. Elaborate a strategy for LAES implementation across Europe.
During the first 30 months of the project the following has been achieved:
1 The project management has been set up and ongoing management activities are on track.
2 Regular meetings are taking place (in addition to the General Assembly meetings) and good links and working arrangements between partners have been developed.
3 The project communications partner has set up a web site and social media feeds. The project branding and identity has been completed and used in promotional materials and activities. Materials to communicate information (newsletters, brochures, publicity posters) have been created and used by the team at events to publicise the CryoHub project. The CryoHub team have communicated information at a number of workshops, conferences and events.
4 The refrigeration facility and RES mapping has been completed and the work described in WP2 has been completed.
5 The potential for refrigerated warehouses without access to renewable energy schemes to install RES technologies has been determined.
6 Case studies on the application of LAES at refrigerated warehouses in 6 locations has been completed.
7 The work on market barriers and strategies has been completed.
8 The modelling of the CryoHub system has been completed and will be used as an ongoing tool in the final design of the CryoHub demonstrator.
9 A PI&D for the CryoHub demonstrator has been developed and components and equipment are being integrated. Costs for components have been obtained and the design for the demonstrator is being adapted to enable the budgetary constraints to be respected. Frigologix has been identified as the site for the CryoHub demonstrator and FRIG have been added as a new partner in the CryoHub consortium.
10 The operation procedure and network codes and the energy management strategies simulations for the CryoHub demonstrator have been completed.
11 Heat exchangers for the CryoHub demonstrator have been identified and their integration in a cold storage warehouse modelled.
12 Thermal stores for the demonstrator have been designed and tested at laboratory scale. Although the work described in WP7 has been completed (D7.2 was marginally late) some ongoing work is anticipated to test thermal store materials at larger scale and at lower cryogenic temperatures. A prototype thermal store has been built at AL and will be tested in the next few months.
13 Analysis of when and where integration of the technology would be most valuable for business and at the energy system level has been completed.
14 Further work on policy, business models and future integration of the CryoHub system into the grid is ongoing.
The CryoHub project takes LAES beyond its current development to generate improved efficiencies and demonstrates its benefits to refrigerated warehouse and food factory operators. The project takes components that are currently at TRL5 or above and integrates them in novel designs to provide cooling as well as energy generation from a LAES system. LAES systems have been developed but the systems have never utilised waste heat from refrigerated warehouses or food factories.
Within the project the ambition is to encourage refrigerated warehouse and food factory operators to become aware of LAES systems and their potential. Through the demonstration it is anticipated that end users can be convinced of the benefits of LAES and have the information and tools to incorporate them into current and future RES installations. The project is working closely with refrigerated warehouses and food factories to overcome the concerns regarding installation of a process that is new to the end user and to understand the issues surrounding uptake of the technology.
The CryoHub project is expected to contribute to the expected impacts outlined in the work programme in the following areas.
Developing policy related to LAES.
Reducing energy demand and carbon emissions.
Increased use of RES.
Grid balancing.
Developing the LAES sector.
Business opportunities for companies in a new sector.
Overview of sectors covered in project