Comparative Assessment of Cryogenic-based Energy Storage Technologies

In this article, we will dive into the comparative assessment of cryogenic-based energy storage technologies.

The Need for Energy Storage

Renewable energy sources like solar and wind power are highly variable due to factors such as weather conditions and time of the day. Energy storage systems provide a means to capture and store excess energy generated during peak production periods and release it during periods of high demand or when renewable sources are not available. This allows for a smoother integration of renewable energy into the grid while ensuring stability and reliability.

  • Addressing Intermittency: Energy storage technologies help mitigate the intermittency of renewable energy sources, allowing for a more consistent and reliable power supply.
  • Peak Load Management: By storing excess energy during low-demand periods, energy storage systems can help meet peak energy demands without relying on additional conventional power plants.
  • Grid Stability: Energy storage can improve the stability and resilience of the grid by balancing supply and demand, reducing the risk of blackouts and voltage fluctuations.

Cryogenic-based Energy Storage Technologies

Cryogenic-based energy storage technologies offer unique advantages in terms of energy density, efficiency, and environmental impact. Let’s explore two prominent cryogenic-based energy storage technologies:

Cryogenic Battery

Cryogenic batteries store energy in the form of cryogen, usually liquefied air or liquid nitrogen. The process involves cooling the cryogen to extremely low temperatures, which causes it to liquefy and release energy. When energy is required, the cryogen is heated, expanding rapidly and driving a turbine or piston to generate electricity. Cryogenic batteries offer several advantages:

  • High Energy Density: Cryogenic batteries have high energy density, enabling the storage of large amounts of energy in a relatively small footprint.
  • Long Duration Storage: Due to their high energy density, cryogenic batteries are suitable for long-duration energy storage, making them ideal for grid-scale applications.
  • Environmentally Friendly: Cryogenic batteries use non-toxic and non-flammable cryogens, minimizing environmental impacts and ensuring safety.

Notable projects utilizing cryogenic batteries include the Highview Power’s cryogenic energy storage plant in the UK, with a capacity of 250 MWh.

Cryogenic Heat Battery

A cryogenic heat battery stores thermal energy generated from excess electricity in the form of cryogens, such as liquid air or liquefied nitrogen. The heat battery utilizes the stored energy to produce both electricity and heating or cooling as needed. Cryogenic heat batteries offer the following advantages:

  • Efficient Energy Conversion: Cryogenic heat batteries can achieve high energy conversion efficiency by utilizing both electricity and stored thermal energy.
  • Flexibility in Energy Applications: The stored thermal energy can be used for various applications like space heating, refrigeration, and industrial processes.
  • Renewable Integration: Cryogenic heat batteries facilitate the integration of renewable energy by providing dispatchable power and thermal energy on demand.

An example of a cryogenic heat battery project is the Kelvin Energy’s demonstrator unit in the UK, which utilizes liquid nitrogen for energy storage and heat recovery.


Cryogenic-based energy storage technologies offer promising solutions to address the challenges of renewable energy integration and grid stability. With their high energy density, long-duration storage capabilities, and environmental advantages, cryogenic batteries and cryogenic heat batteries have potential applications in grid-scale energy storage. By harnessing the power of cold, these technologies contribute to a more sustainable and reliable energy future.

For more information on energy storage technologies, visit the U.S. Department of Energy’s website or the Environmental Protection Agency’s website.