Saturday, February 24, 2024

Australia’s 1414 Degrees commissions molten silicon energy storage system

Australia’s 1414 Degrees has commissioned its SiBox Demonstration Module (SDM), marking a key funding milestone in the SiBox Development Agreement with Woodside Energy Technologies Pty Ltd.

The 1 MWh SiBox pilot unit uses its SiBrick molten silicon energy storage solution to store intermittent renewable energy and produce clean, high-temperature heat for industrial settings.

The company says SiBox is the complete thermal energy storage system – designed to be retrofitted to heavy industry processes to provide clean heat. The company’s proprietary silicon-based storage technology – SiBrick – is installed within SiBox to safely and efficiently store renewable electricity as latent heat. It provides high-temperature air output, up to 1000°C, coupled to the process via an energy recovery system.

The heat is then available for use, providing a potential zero-carbon heat source to replace fossil fuels for industries requiring temperatures above 800 degrees. There are various opportunities for its application across the minerals processing and manufacturing industries – including the cement, alumina, and iron and steel sectors.

It is a viable replacement for fossil fuels and can provide the industry with reliable, decarbonized ultra-high-temperature heat 24/7.

The company said the commissioning phase involved extensive trials, demonstrating the SDM’s ability to convert electric energy into a controlled, very hot air stream for industrial processes. The unit showed excellent energy storage performance, successfully undergoing 32 cycles of phase change.

In addition, SDM has showcased its flexibility to meet a range of industry needs by operating at outlet temperatures ranging from 700°C to 850°C and delivering 6–12 hours of continuous output at each set point.

The SDM is now operating autonomously and is ready for continuous cycling and discharge testing over the next 12 months to complete the validation phase.

“Over the next 12 months, we anticipate that SiBox will emerge as an important emissions reduction solution for the industrial sectors that manufacture the infrastructure of our societies,” 1414 Degrees Chairman, Dr. Kevin Moriarty, said in the press release.

“With financial support from Woodside and the Australian Government Modern Manufacturing Initiative, we are well-positioned to make significant contributions to industries’ transition to clean energy. Our expertise in converting renewable electricity to zero-carbon heat can help them tackle their unique challenges of high temperatures, reliability, and cost-effectiveness.”