Multi-energy liquid air energy storage: a novel solution for flexible operation of districts with thermal networks

Andrea Vecchi*, Yongliang Li, Pierluigi Mancarella, Adriano Sciacovelli

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Liquid Air Energy Storage (LAES) stores electricity in the form of a liquid cryogen while making hot and cold streams available during charging and discharging processes. The combination of electricity, hot and cold makes LAES a promising asset for the management of multi-energy streams in various energy systems; however, such opportunity has not received attention so far. To overcome the traditional view of LAES as electricity storage only, this study investigates the techno-economic value of using LAES as a smart multi-energy asset for the provision of heat and cold, alongside power, in districts with heating and cooling networks. A reduced thermodynamic model of LAES was developed, validated and used to i) quantify the thermodynamic efficiency for a multi-energy LAES, ii) generalise the multi-energy capability of LAES over the three energy vectors considered iii) link different plant designs and integration conditions – in terms of loads and temperatures – with the associated multi-energy LAES performance and iv) describe multi-energy LAES operation as part of two district sizes, for provision of peak and base load. It is found that, by leveraging the vector-coupling capability of LAES, more flexible district operation can be achieved, with increased LAES energy efficiency from 47% to 72.8% and up to 8–12% reduction of operational costs, in the considered integration case studies. Results demonstrate the technical feasibility of multi-energy LAES operation and illustrate the associated trade-offs and potential: new perspectives for smart management of multi-energy systems are opened up.

Original languageEnglish
Article number114161
Number of pages18
JournalEnergy Conversion and Management
Early online date24 Apr 2021
Publication statusPublished - 15 Jun 2021

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Dr A Sciacovelli acknowledges the finance support from EPSRC, UK (EP/R016402/1) and Royal Society (IEC\NSFC\170264; NMG\R2\170082). Prof P Mancarella acknowledges the finance support from EPSRC, UK, through the MY-STORE project (EP/N001974/1). Andrea Vecchi acknowledges University of Birmingham/University of Melbourne Priestley Joint PhD Scholarship.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021 Elsevier Ltd


  • Decarbonisation
  • District cooling network
  • District heating network
  • Liquid air energy storage
  • Multi-energy system
  • System integration

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Renewable Energy, Sustainability and the Environment
  • Nuclear Energy and Engineering
  • Fuel Technology
  • Energy Engineering and Power Technology


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