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South Australia powers up as a renewable energy leader

South Australia is showing its power as a leader in renewable energies, with a local company unveiling the world’s first working thermal battery.

Lonsdale-based CCT Energy Storage has developed the TED (Thermal Energy Device), which it claims can store six times more energy than lithium-ion batteries per volume, for 60-80 per cent of the price.

The battery accepts any kind of electricity – solar, wind, fossil fuel-generated or straight off the grid – and uses it to heat up and melt silicon in a heavily insulated chamber, storing the energy as latent heat.

CCT Chief Executive Serge Bondarenko said the device was a cost effective, environmentally safe and sustainable power source: “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.”

The launch of TED was applauded by Minister for Energy and Mining, The Hon. Dan van Holst Pellekaan MP: “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. That’s why projects like this one – leveraging cutting edge storage technology – are so exciting and so necessary.”

The South Australian government has committed to maximising the economic and job opportunities associated with renewable energy and energy storage projects, in a bid to meet both the state’s energy needs and Australia’s Paris climate emission agreements.

It is increasingly focused on large-scale renewable energy generation and storage, such as wind, solar thermal, solar PV, bioenergy, battery, pumped hydro and thermal storage.

South Australia has recently put the world’s biggest lithium battery into operation – the Tesla 129 MWh Powerpack system at the Hornsdale Wind Farm.

South Australian capital Adelaide was also host to the 2018 Australian Energy Storage Conference and Exhibition.

The state is also leading research and industry partnerships in low carbon technologies, as well as R&D in areas including hydrogen production, use and export; and the uptake of zero emission vehicles and investment in charging and refuelling infrastructure.

Readily scalable, TED will be used to power remote communities, commercial businesses, telecommunications networks and transport systems. “TED’s scalability means it can be used in small scale 5kW applications to large scale applications of hundreds of megawatts of instantaneous power,” Bondarenko says.

Production of TED will begin immediately at the Lonsdale plant. At least 10 TED units are scheduled for commercial customers this year, with production expected to increase to more than 200 units by 2020. European energy partner MIBA Group will exclusively manufacture and distribute TED to Denmark, Sweden and the Netherlands.

 

(via: CCT Technologies, New Atlas, Renewables SA)