The Anonymous Widower

How Will Highview Power Affect The Lithium-Ion Grid Battery Market?

In this article on the Telegraph, Rupert Pearce, who is Highview’s chief executive and ex-head of the satellite company Inmarsat, discloses this.

Highview is well beyond the pilot phase and is developing its first large UK plant in Humberside, today Britain’s top hub for North Sea wind. It will offer 2.5GW for over 12 hours, or 0.5GW for over 60 hours, and so forth, and should be up and running by late 2024.

The Humberside plant is new to me, as it has not been previously announced by Highview Power.

  • If it is built it will be megahuge with a storage capacity of 30 GWh and a maximum output of 2.5 GW.
  • Humberside with its connections to North Sea Wind, will be an ideal location for a huge CRYOBattery.
  • The world’s largest battery is at Ouarzazate Solar Power Station in Morocco and it is 3 GWh.
  • The world’s largest pumped storage power station is Fengning Pumped Storage Power Station in China and it is 40 GWh.

The proposed Humberside battery also has a smaller sibling under construction at Carrington in Manchester.

This will have a storage capacity of 250 MWh and a maximum output of 50 MW.

Factors Affecting The Choice

Several factors will affect the choice between lithium-ion batteries and Highview Power’s CRYOBattery.

Reliability

Reliability is paramount and whilst lithium-ion batteries batteries have a high level of reliability, there probably needs to be more development and quality assurance before CRYOBatteries have a similar level of reliability.

Size

The largest lithium-ion battery, that has been proposed in the UK, is the 320 MW/640 MWh battery that will be installed at the Gateway Energy Centre in Essex.

This size of CRYOBattery should be possible, but this size is probably in range of both lithium-ion and CRYOBatteries.

Safety

The Wikipedia entry for Battery Storage Power Station has this to say about Safety.

Some batteries operating at high temperatures (sodium–sulfur battery) or using corrosive components are subject to calendar ageing, or failure even if not used. Other technologies suffer from cycle ageing, or deterioration caused by charge-discharge cycles. This deterioration is generally higher at high charging rates. These two types of ageing cause a loss of performance (capacity or voltage decrease), overheating, and may eventually lead to critical failure (electrolyte leaks, fire, explosion).

An example of the latter was a Tesla Megapack in Geelong which caught fire, fire and subsequent explosion of battery farm in Arizona, fire of Moss Landing battery farm. Concerns about possible fire and explosion of a battery module were also raised during residential protests against Cleve Hill solar farm in United Kingdom. Battery fire in Illinois resulted in “thousands of residents” being evacuated, and there were 23 battery farm fires in South Korea over the period of two years. Battery fires may release a number of dangerous gases, including highly corrosive and toxic hydrogen fluoride.

The long term safety of a CRYOBattery is probably not yet known in detail, but I suspect in some applications, CRYOBatteries could be safer than chemical batteries.

Environmental Factors

I suspect that CRYOBatteries can be built without any hard-to-mine or environmentally-unfriendly materials like lithium.

Cost

The article in The Telegraph, says this about costs.

Mr Pearce said Highview’s levelised cost of energy (LCOE) would start at $140-$150, below lithium, and then slide on a “glide path” to $100 with over time.

It does look that the all important factor of cost could be the clincher in the choice between the two systems.

For larger batteries, the CRYOBattery will probably have a larger advantage.

Conclusion

I can see Highview Power and their CRYOBatteries putting up a good fight against lithium-ion batteries, especially with larger batteries, where they have a larger cost advantage.

In the UK, we will know they have won an advantage, if the two big battery-storage funds; Gore Street and Gresham House, start to install CRYOBatteries.

 

 

July 29, 2022 - Posted by | Energy, Energy Storage | , , , , , , ,

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