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Thermal Batteries | Curtinnovation Awards 2019


By 2023, renewable energy sources are
expected to supply almost one third of the world’s electricity needs. But their intermittent nature makes them unviable to replace baseload power plants without large-scale battery storage. However, for each megawatt hour stored, current battery technologies such as
lithium-ion are too expensive. Curtin researchers have developed a
battery that stores energy as heat using high-temperature chemical reactions. The material cost of their thermal battery is a
fraction of other storage technologies and is able to operate above 600 degrees C,
which increases conversion efficiency. The key to the innovation is a novel catalyst for limestone that enables the battery to maintain its storage capacity over multiple charge/discharge cycles. with limestone costing between $5 and $10 per ton, the Curtin thermal
battery is a cost-effective solution for large-scale energy storage. The Curtin team is in partnership with international renewable energy companies
Texel cell ITP Thermal, and has attracted a $1 million Federal grant
to further develop the technology.

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