Project Synopsis

Perform a feasibility study by creating specific process simulation cases followed by development of a rough cost estimate of a new technology (liquid air energy storage system) when incorporated into a commercial scale electric power generation plant.

Project Summary


The client, a U.S. electric power generation cooperative, contracted Process Engineering Associates, LLC (PROCESS) to provide process engineering support for performing a liquid air energy storage system simulation and cost estimation study.  The study was based on a concept developed by a third party technology developer.  PROCESS utilized and built on its previous experience and knowledge of the technology along with related work that was recently developed while performing similar projects for a past client whom the current client was in cooperation with.  The goal of this project was to explore the use of the novel power cycle concept when applied to commercial electrical generation systems within the client’s operations to see if there were any economic benefits to such operations.

PROCESS completed the following tasks in support of this effort:

  • Transmitted a preliminary list of information needed to conduct the process portions of the study.  Required information included performance data on a client electrical generation natural gas turbine evaluated with the novel power cycle such as:
      • Efficiency ratings
      • Compression and letdown ratios (pressure ratios)
      • Maximum/minimum inlet and outlet pressures and temperatures
      • Representative operating data of the actual turbine performance
      • Equipment data sheets, specifications, and drawings on the above mentioned turbines.

  • Developed process study basis information.  The process study basis consisted of all project goals, constraints, and requirements.  Developed a preliminary study basis document that was transmitted to the client project team members for review and comment.  Incorporated comments into the study basis document for the purpose of producing a final study basis.

  • Developed a simulation model based on the information provided by the third party and subsequently refined by PROCESS during two (2) previous projects to provide a “best case” model of the Outflow cycle.  This model was based on use of refrigerant R-410a, using a turbine (size and information about the turbine selected by the client as part of the design basis).  The model results provided a power usage and natural gas consumption estimate for the Outflow cycle used in conjunction with the selected turbine.  CHEMCAD simulation software was used to the extent possible for the development of the mass and energy balance information. 

  • Developed a model of an Inflow cycle that stores liquefied air used later in the Outflow process.  This model was based on information provided by the third party technology developer.  The results of this model provided an estimate of power required for the Inflow cycle.  During the development of this simulation, PROCESS validated the third party claims regarding the technology Inflow cycle, as well as identified potential improvements where possible.

  • Executed a small set of process evaluations for technically-feasible processing alternatives for portions of the novel power cycle.  For each area, PROCESS identified technically-feasible process alternatives and executed a technical evaluation of the alternatives.

  • Utilized the Inflow/Outflow models developed and altered the process by replacing the gas turbine with a simple combustion chamber.  PROCESS analyzed the predicted effects on the process performance by making this change.  The results provided a power usage and natural gas consumption estimate for both cycles.

  • Developed a preliminary factored capital cost estimate (CAPEX).  All capital cost estimates developed were Rough Order of Magnitude level at best.  This cost estimate was developed for project planning purposes only.


Industry Type

  • Commercial Electrical Power Generation

Utilized Skills

  • Process simulation
  • Novel process technology evaluation

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