Energy storage company 1414 Degrees switched on its gas thermal energy storage system (TESS) at the Glenelg Wastewater Treatment Plant in Adelaide, its first commercial pilot site. The company says the technology is the first in the world to solve the issue of effectively storing biogas as thermal energy to produce heat and electricity on demand.
TESS technology takes gas or electricity from any source and stores it as latent heat in silicon which melts at 1414°C. The energy from the latent heat can then be reclaimed and distributed as electricity and/or heat when required. A 10MWh storage unit is about the size of a 40-foot shipping container.
1414 Degrees Executive Chairman Dr Kevin Moriarty said biogas from wastewater management to agribusiness and landfill gas was an increasingly important source of energy globally.
“This marks a pivotal phase in the commissioning process, firing the burners for the first time and heating up the thermal energy store. Importantly, we will pay for the biogas we use and sell electricity at market prices to test the revenue model,” he said.
“The wastewater management industry is watching closely, as are many other heat dependent industries looking to reduce energy costs, save jobs and lower environmental impacts.
“Renewables are about more than wind and solar. It’s time to put our vast sources of biogas to more efficient and sustainable use. Naturally occurring biogas has the potential to lower the cost and increase the stability of energy with reduced demand on fossil fuels.”
Biogas is produced when organic waste, including human waste, is broken down in an anaerobic environment with the help of bacteria. The 10MWh GAS-TESS is co-funded by the South Australian Government’s Renewable Technology Fund and 1414 Degrees shareholders.