We may soon know the answer to this – through a plant being built in Slough in Buckinghamshire to pilot the effectiveness of a process that freezes air to -190, at which point it liquefies.
When the liquid is warmed, it expands fast into a gas, creating pressure that can power a piston engined car or drive a turbine.
This innovation solves one major issue in energy storage – it stores in what is effectively a compressed f0rm.
Storage systems for energy are mission critical if we are to avoid the brown outs now openly predicted for 2015 onwards, with our insufficient spare energy capacity.
This invention is both a source and a storage system. The experts seem both sanguine and excited by this potential.
There is no mention yet of the specifi8c risks involved in this process. They will exist and their sources can be intuited.
Why aren’t we funding science and engineering qualifications and research at the expense of many others? With limited resources, there is every reason for this sort of strategic deployment of what we have.