As the world looks to Australia for energy solutions – we have one of the largest interconnected electricity grids in the world – the country’s electricity supply system struggles with soaring prices in most jurisdictions, instability, and harmful emissions. These challenges were discussed today at the Senate Select Committee into the Resilience of Electricity Infrastructure in a Warming World.

Australia’s electricity demand profile is increasingly characterised by widening gaps between peaks and troughs and a diminishing base load, which is increasingly challenging the existing generation mix in the grid.

Robert Riebolge, Chief Network Analyst at 1414 Degrees, who was asked to present at the Select Committee, says 1414 Degrees has the solution to these issues with an invention that has been a decade in the making. This is an energy storage system, which has had a commercial prototype running since September 2016. It is capturing the public’s imagination and is attracting investment opportunities from global sources. The company is preparing to launch an Initial Public Offer, seeking to list on the ASX and is looking to raise up to $10m.

Riebolge states that the issues of the demand profile that we’re dealing with now are only going to get much worse. In the next three to five years a new category of consumer will emerge in the form of electric vehicles. Electric vehicle owners will be arriving home and plugging in their electric car at about the same time, causing huge spikes in demand for short periods of time.

“Our current generation mix is not designed to meet this kind of demand profile. What is needed is a fleet of load following generators.

“1414 Degrees storage system converts intermittent renewables (e.g. solar and wind) into load following generators that can respond instantaneously to the demand profile.

“The smart grid, which is rapidly replacing our legacy grid, will orchestrate the dispatch of these renewable energy generators and as the build out of the infrastructure is amortised, it will put significant downward pressure on electricity prices as the sun and wind are free sources of energy.

“The world is watching how we deal with these pressing issues. Australia now has the opportunity of being at the forefront of this energy revolution, which has global reach,” says Riebolge.

1414 Degrees has developed its thermal energy storage system (TESS) over the past decade with assistance from the Federal Government’s AusIndustry Accelerated Commercialisation program, creating a product that is highly efficient, safe, scalable with low emissions and unlike any other energy storage product.

The company is also pioneering large scalable bulk energy storage with its revolutionary system. The TESS uses abundantly available elemental silicon for storing and retrieving electrical energy resulting in low capital and operating costs for a system that provides a stable supply back to the grid.

 

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1414 Degrees Ltd
(Previously Latent Heat Pty Ltd) is testing the commercial prototype of its large-scale thermal energy storage system (TESS), which has all of these advantages. Its 10MWh module will be installed as stand-alone or multiple interconnected units to supply hydroponic farms and commercial or residential complexes. Larger 200MWh modules will meet the energy storage and frequency inertia requirements of grids and be placed where they can also supply heat to major industry. A smaller TESS module will service smaller locations, particularly offgrid. 1414 Degrees has USA and Australian patents, and will extend these protections. ?1414 Degrees plans to interconnect its storage units in networks to capture excess generation from renewable sources installed in the power networks and release this as electricity and heat when there is a demand for it, thereby accessing revenue streams from otherwise unexploited energy. 1414 Degrees can install oversized storage modules at suitable client locations to capture more low cost electricity during periods of low demand.
1414 Degrees TESS is fabricated from readily available components that can be “off-the shelf”, for example, gas and steam turbines will be standard models available from a variety of manufacturers and the insulating lining is in use for other high temperature applications.?1414 Degrees has modelled TESS versus lithium-ion as alternatives for micro grid scale residential storage (250 houses or more) and the results are compelling, especially considering that the reducing efficiency and eventual disposal and replacement of lithium-ion batteries is not included as a cost. TESS silicon can be cycled indefinitely. TESS is particularly competitive where it can supply heat.