TED: the new kid on the energy storage block
In 2018, 51.2% of electricity in South Australia was generated by renewable energy, according to data from the federal government’s Department of the Environment and Energy.
One way the state has been harnessing renewable energy is through the Hornsdale Power Reserve (HPR), installed in 2017, which is claimed to be the world’s largest lithium-ion battery energy storage system. An Aurecon report found that after one year of operation, the 100 MW/129 MWh Tesla Powerpack system contributed to a reduction of close to $40 million in the frequency control ancillary services (FCAS) market. But is there a new kid on the block?
South Australian company CCT Energy Storage has revealed a new way to store electricity in a thermal battery, which may offer a cheaper, more sustainable energy storage solution.
Claimed to be “the world’s first working thermal battery”, the company’s TED (Thermal Energy Device) accepts any form of electrical input — including solar, wind, waste, fossil or grid energy — to store energy as latent heat and convert it back into electrical energy on demand.
According to CCT, TED uses a unique phase change material (Silicon) that is melted and stored as heat energy before being extracted by a thermic generator when needed. The battery, which fits into a 20-foot container, can store 12 times more energy than a lead–acid battery and 5–6 times more than a lithium-ion battery.
CCT Chief Executive Serge Bondarenko said it has the ability to change the global energy market.
“We believe energy is a resource that should be accessible to all corners of the globe — and that means it’s vital to provide an energy source that’s cost-effective, environmentally safe and sustainable,” he said. “TED is the first battery of its kind and will be a game changer in the renewables space, with the ability to significantly reduce power costs while providing versatile and long-lasting energy with little to no environmental effect.”
At least 10 TED units will be supplied to commercial customers this year, but CCT expects production to increase to more than 200 units by 2020. It is readily scalable and can be used to power remote communities, commercial businesses, telecommunications networks and transport systems.
“TED’s scalability means it can be used in small-scale 5 kW applications to large-scale applications of hundreds of megawatts of instantaneous power,” Bondarenko said. “And unlike some renewable energy sources, TED can manage input variations, produce base load output and charge and discharge simultaneously — minimising energy wastage and making it applicable to numerous commercial industries.”
Minister for Energy and Mining Dan van Holst Pellekaan said CCT’s energy storage solution helps ensure South Australia’s abundant renewable energy delivers cheaper and more reliable energy for consumers.
“We already know South Australia is leading the world in the generation of renewable energy, but to maximise the benefits for consumers it must be harnessed with storage to make variable renewable energy dispatchable on demand,” he said. “That’s why projects like this one — leveraging cutting-edge storage technology — are so exciting and so necessary.”
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