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Industry-first liquid air energy storage demonstrator project goes live


Engineers on site Photo: Innovatium
Industry-first application of liquid air energy storage Photo: Innovatium

Innovatium’s new liquid air energy storage (LAES) energy efficiency technology has gone live at an Industrial Energy Efficiency Accelerator (IEEA) demonstrator project at Aggregate Industries’ Cauldron cement works in Staffordshire, UK.

The technology stores energy in liquid air form to provide compressed air, which allows partially loaded, variable-demand compressors to be turned off, improving the total system efficiency by as much as 25%. 


Scottish low carbon technology company Innovatium, in partnership with Birmingham University, has developed the potentially game-changing technology alternative to traditional compressed air technologies. 


The use of Peak Reduction by Integrated Storage and Management of Air (PRISMA) technology could significantly reduce carbon emissions for intensive energy companies in a range of sectors. Early data indicates that PRISMA can result in up to 25% energy savings and hours of back-up energy storage.  


An installation of the PRISMA system on Aggregate Industries’ Cauldon cement works is the first fully operational deployment in a live customer environment. It is expected to help the company achieve its 2030 sustainability strategy, especially with regards to reducing its carbon emissions to 500 kg CO2 net per tonne of cementitious material. 


The PRISMA system at Cauldon combines a latent energy cold storage tank filled with a phase change material (PCM) to store the thermal energy. With the addition of various off-the-shelf components, it forms a system that should work within Aggregate Industries’ existing compressed air network. It is the first time this technology has been integrated in an industrial setting for the provision of compressed air. 


Innovatium’s PRISMA technology received funding from the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) under the UK government’s Industrial Energy Efficiency Accelerator (IEEA) programme, managed by the Carbon Trust. 


Data will be published from the Aggregate Industries demonstrator project in summer this year. 


Innovatium recently received £900,000 in funding led by Kelvin Capital and co-investment partner Scottish Enterprise, which will go towards developing PRISMA technology further.