Turning air into liquid may offer a solution to one of the great challenges in engineering – how to store energy, according to a report on BBC News.
The Institution of Mechanical Engineers says liquid air can compete with batteries and hydrogen to store excess energy generated from renewables.
(As pictured on the right, the energy storage technology has been tested for two years at a power station in the UK. Image courtesy BBC News.)
IMechE says "wrong-time" electricity generated by wind farms at night can be used to chill air to a cryogenic state at a distant location.
When demand increases, the air can be warmed to drive a turbine. Engineers say the process to produce "right-time" electricity can achieve an efficiency of up to 70%.
(Roger Harrabin is BBC's environment analyst.)