TP Group, the specialist technology, engineering and managed solutions group focused on the aerospace defence and energy process industry sectors, has signed a consortium agreement to participate in CryoHub, a research and development project funded under Horizon 2020, the EU Framework Programme for Research and Innovation.
A pan-European team, the consortium is led by London South Bank University’s School of The Built Environment and Architecture, one of the leading urban engineering and sustainability research centres in the UK. The team will investigate the potential of a promising new technology – cryogenic energy storage (CES) – to solve the problem of how to store excess renewable energy. The intention is to use cheap, off-peak electricity to convert air into a liquid, which can then be stored over a long period of time in a storage vessel. Turning the liquid back to gas, by removing it from the store and applying heat to it, will produce a huge increase in volume and pressure – enough to power a turbine to generate electricity which can then be supplied back to the grid.
TPG’s initial involvement in the project over the 2016/17 financial year is estimated to be around €0.5m for the integration of its highly efficient turboexpander technology. The technology is already proven in other commercial systems, and this project will see the group work to tailor the turboexpander specifically to meet the needs of the CES architecture. The work will be carried out over the next two years, with the majority in 2016.
This agreement is TPG’s first participation in a publicly funded research consortium in the renewable energy sector. It puts its Design and Technology team at the forefront of renewable energy application development, working in a leading peer group with global industrial companies, technology specialists and academic institutions.
TPG’s directors believe that the resulting systems and applications will make a major contribution to consistent energy supply, providing safeguards against periods of intermittent supply and helping to stabilise the energy grid. This should open up significant new market opportunities for the firm and the other consortium partners.
In addition to the primary development, it is also anticipated that TPG’s engineering facility in Greater Manchester may be positioned to provide additional thermal engineering and fabrication support to the programme going forward.