Anmar Frangoul writes via CNBC: Work has started on a liquid air energy storage site in the northwest of England, with the team behind the project stating it will be one of the largest energy storage systems in Europe. Highview Power’s 50 megawatt facility in Greater Manchester will harness technology that uses something called “air liquefaction.” The system involves a number of steps: excess or off peak electricity powers an air liquefier. This cleans, compresses then cools ambient air, turning it into a liquid at -196 degrees Celsius (around -320 Fahrenheit). According to the company, this liquid air is “stored at low pressure and later heated and expanded to drive a turbine and generate power.” The technology being deployed by Highview Power stems from an idea developed by Peter Dearman, the brains behind the concept of a “liquid air engine.” According to the U.K. government, Dearman — who’s been described by the BBC as a “self-taught backyard inventor” — worked alongside a team from the University of Leeds to develop the idea of “using air as a form of energy storage” when compressed and liquefied. The new site, which is scheduled to open in 2023, will be operated by Highview Power in partnership with another firm called Carlton Power.

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