New thermal energy storage system launched
A patented thermal energy storage system (TESS) powered by biogas has been launched by 1414 Degrees at SA Water’s Glenelg Wastewater Treatment Plant, the company’s first commercial pilot site. Developed in South Australia, the GAS-TESS system is set to revolutionise the global energy environment, costing less than lithium-ion batteries and pumped hydro despite offering the same electrical energy storage, with the additional benefit of heat energy production.
The grid-scale system hopes to solve one of the biggest problems for renewable energy — intermittent supply — and in turn facilitate major growth of low-cost energy without sacrificing reliability.
The TESS takes gas or electricity from any source and stores it as latent heat in silicon that melts at 1414°C. The energy from the latent heat can then be reclaimed and distributed as electricity and/or clean heat when required. The GAS-TESS will enable SA Water to timeshift the use of its biogas to produce electricity and heat on demand, rather than use the biogas as it’s generated.
1414 Degrees Executive Chairman Dr Kevin Moriarty said, “Partnering with us to pilot this world-first technology demonstrates visionary leadership for SA. The wastewater management industry is watching closely, as are many other heat-dependent industries looking to reduce energy costs, save jobs and lower environmental impacts.”
Globally, biogas is an increasingly important source of energy, from wastewater management to agribusiness and landfill gas.
“Renewables are about more than wind and solar. It’s time to put our vast sources of biogas to more efficient and sustainable use. Naturally occurring biogas has the potential to lower the cost and increase the stability of energy with reduced demand on fossil fuels.” Dr Moriarty commented.
SA Water CEO Roch Cheroux said, “SA Water is working to reduce operational expenses to maintain low and stable water prices for our customers. Timeshifting of heat and electricity output from the GAS-TESS is expected to provide more control over heat flows to maximise our biogas generation and result in reduced costs of our energy requirements.”
1414 Degrees’ energy storage systems will feed power back into the grid at peak times and provide heat for industrial purposes, a process that is expected to reduce costs for consumers and create a more reliable source of power.
Dr Moriarty said, “We have a clear vision to scale our clean TESS technology to gigawatt-hour capacity and stabilise renewable generation. Our progress today marks another step forward.”
The GAS-TESS is co-funded by the South Australian Government’s Renewable Technology Fund and 1414 Degrees shareholders. The development of the technology was assisted with a grant from the federal government’s Department of Industry, Innovation and Science.
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