Australia, which seems hesitant to cut its long-standing ties with fossil fuels, especially with coal, can theoretically run on 100 percent renewable energy.
Large parts of South Australia face recurring problems with blackouts, while the arid region holds enormous potential for solar power.
To address this energy supply crisis, South Australia authorities have opted for Elon Musk’s energy storage solution and had Tesla build a giant lithium-ion battery farm with 100 MWh of storage capacity.
By selling the stored electricity, Tesla’s Powerback battery system in South Australia has already helped cut the costs of the grid service by 90 percent in the first six months of operation.
This renewable energy storage solution seems so efficient that other countries, like Japan, are considering building similar facilities.
But perhaps these countries, and especially Tesla, Inc., should reconsider their plans.
Meet TED, the World’s First Working Thermal Energy Battery
Climate Change Technologies (CCT) is a startup based in South Australia that proposes an energy storage solution based on thermal batteries.
The company announced its launch of “the world’s first working thermal battery today,” which it calls TED, for Thermal Energy Device, in Lonsdale, South Australia.
Basically, TED can take in electrical input – no matter its source, it could be a solar or wind farm, fossil fuels, or even from the grid itself – and store it as latent heat, then converted back into electrical power on demand.
While 10 commercial customers have already ordered TED units to be delivered this year, CCT projects the sale of 200 units by 2020.
Serge Bondarenko, CCT Chief Executive, believes in the ability of their thermal battery tech to change the global energy storage 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. 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,” said Bondarenko.
CCT’s thermal battery technology is more versatile and affordable than stationary li-ion battery farms like Tesla’s Powerpack.
This system could back up the main grid and boosts its resilience, or operate independently as a microgrid to provide power to remote communities, transport systems, and telecoms infrastructure, or wherever and whenever electricity is needed.
With a lifetime of at least 20 years, TED can be scaled up from 5kW to hundreds of megawatts to meet any small or large scale energy demand.
Compared to its lithium-ion counterparts, TED system cuts 60 to 80 percent of the price while storing six times more energy per volume.