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World's first thermal battery could revolutionise energy storage

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South Australian startup CCT Energy Storage have unveiled the world’s first working thermal battery - a device that’s cheaper than lithium-ion batteries, with the capability of storing six times more energy.

CEO Serge Bondarenko (left) and  COO Graham Warburton (right) with the Thermal Energy Device (TED) at the device's launch last week
(CEO Serge Bondarenko (left) and  COO Graham Warburton (right) with the TED - Image via CCT)

The “Thermal Energy Device” (TED) can store energy from any source and store it as latent heat. 

It’s a modular unit that uses electricity to heat and melt silicon in a heavily insulated chamber. A heat engine will then take that energy when required and convert it back into electricity.

The Thermal Energy Device (TED) can use electricity from any source to heat silicon and retain the energy as heat, for later conversion back to electricity as needed
(Image via CCT)

According to CCT Energy Storage, a standard TED box can hold 1.2 megawatts of energy - storing it at more than 12 times the density of a lead acid battery.

Because of the modular design, the TED is easily scalable by connecting multiple boxes (each one fitting in a 20ft container along with all its input and output electronics) together. In the case of a power outage, each TED can remain active for around 48 hours.

“TED’s scalability means it can be used in small scale 5kW applications to large scale applications of hundreds of megawatts of instantaneous power,” said CCT Chief Executive Serge Bondarenko. 

“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.”

The TED was unveiled at an event at the end of March 2019
(Image via CCT)

The TED box will also last much longer than other batteries. Lithium-ion batteries are said to lose up to 80% capacity in around 5,000 charge cycles. CCT claim that the TED system has been subjected to 3,000 cycles of service on the test bench without showing any signs of degrading. They believe that the units could last for at least 20 years. 

“Molten silicon just doesn’t degrade like lithium does,” said Bondarenko.

“That’s a chemical process, ours is simply phase-change with heat. In fact, it appears silicon even gets better at storing heat after each cycle. And if you do need to decommission a TED device it’s 100 percent recyclable. It simply doesn’t create the environmental problems that lithium does.”

In addition to all these benefits, CCT also say that the TED is cheaper than the alternatives - around 60-80% of the price of equivalent lithium-ion solutions like Tesla’s Powerpacks. 

A single TED box with all the input and output electronics can fit in a 20ft container. The modular design allows multiple TEDs to be connected for major commercial usage.

“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.

“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.”

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Recent Comments
Congratulation for excellent work ..... Wish all the best for all team and hope to see the goods in the commercial market in very near future. Could you please send me more information and is it suitable to be used with solar system? Best regards, HK
Hani Khattab, 04 April 2019
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World's first thermal battery could revolutionise energy storage - Time to read 3 min
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