- – Further R&D required to deliver higher efficiency TESS to raise commercial readiness level
- – New development path mapped for long duration storage competitiveness
- – Long term levelised cost of storage (LCOS) predictions are positive compared to other technologies
1414 Degrees can now report key findings of the technology review as foreshadowed in the last quarterly report.
There have been significant learnings since the 1414 Degrees Thermal Energy Storage System (TESS) was first demonstrated in the prototype in 2016 and then scaled up to build the TESS-IND and GAS-TESS pilot devices, the latter having now operated for more than a year. Over this time the Company has greatly increased its capability for technical management and development, appointing highly qualified materials and mechanical engineering specialists. Its business development team has gained valuable insight into commercialisation prospects by conducting numerous economic assessments of potential customer sites. Therefore, as Executive Chairman I recently commissioned reviews of the technical and commercial status and recommendations for future directions.
A key finding is that earlier expectations for sales of product were optimistic. Although the larger pilot TESS systems performed well in generating power for up to 8 hours and very efficiently charging from gas or electricity, key components of both the storage and energy recovery subsystems require significant development to deliver reliable performance, in particular:
- – the prototype silicon storage technology could not sustain many cycles without degrading. In response to this challenge, 1414 Degrees operations management was refocused to work on developing a robust, scalable and energy dense storage technology for air and combustion environments. That work is progressing well.
- – the third-party energy recovery system (ERS) could not perform to the required efficiency specifications. 1414 Degrees is working with external specialists and partners to deliver a commercially robust, high performance ERS.
The commercial review found that a fully developed electric charging TESS is not currently competitive with fossil fuel heating in most customer sites due to the higher input cost of electricity with transmission charges, even when the TESS is configured in its most efficient mode of storing electricity and supplying heat only.
With the experience gained from the pilot installations, our now highly qualified technical team has mapped out a path to make the 1414 Degrees TESS technology competitive in the expanding long duration energy storage market with comparable technologies such as pumped hydro and molten salt.
Following their wide-ranging customer assessments and surveys of growth markets, our business development team have identified major commercial opportunities for the TESS in the well-funded markets for long duration grid scale storage, and hybrid power plants. Further, in addition to preparing to service the utility market with the GAS-TESS, the commercial priority is to partner with utilities on large scale innovative energy solutions.
Our new storage technology and ERS improvements can be proved in the GAS-TESS pilot device and followed at larger scale in the first stage of the Company’s Aurora Project.
The 1-2 year revenue potential for the Company is to commence electricity sales from the first stage Aurora 70MW solar farm. The 2-5 year potential is expansion of the Aurora Project to generate 400MW from PV with TESS (Silicon Power Plant) to sell firmed power and grid strength services, and sales of improved GAS-TESS to global utilities.
Dr Kevin Moriarty