Innovative Energy Storage: Australia Unveils Silicon Brick Heat Accumulation System
In a groundbreaking move, Australian company 1414 Degrees has introduced a demonstration module for thermal energy storage, showcasing their innovative Silicon Brick (SiBrick) technology. This system leverages the remarkable heat retention capabilities of silicon to cater to high-temperature industrial sectors, aligning with carbon-neutral energy principles. By utilizing renewable energy sources, the module heats air and stores the thermal energy within silicon bricks, which can then be released on demand to power industrial processes.
The experimental SiBox module, with a capacity of 1 MWh, accumulates heat using patented Silicon Bricks. Silicon’s unique properties, including a melting point of 1414°C, grant the module a superb heat capacity, enabling it to operate at temperatures as high as 800°C. Prior to its operational launch, the SiBox module successfully underwent 32 phase-change cycles, consistently operating within temperatures ranging from 700°C to 850°C, and providing continuous performance for 6 to 12 hours at each target temperature.
“The test results align perfectly with the expectations set by our engineered tools and models, providing confidence in scaling up the SiBox technology,” the company stated. The SiBricks within the module, each with a 1 MWh capacity, performed reliably and were declared to be in excellent condition following visual inspections.
1414 Degrees revealed that the demonstration module is presently operating autonomously and is set to undergo continuous cyclic and discharge tests over the next 12 months as part of the validation phase.
“In the coming months, our engineers will utilize the outcomes from the demonstration module to develop the commercial-scale SiBox technology, with a capacity of up to 100 MWh,” the press release stated.
The development of the SiBox demonstration unit was supported by the petroleum and gas giant Woodside, which allocated up to AUD 2 million (approx. $1.3 million) for the project’s realization. As part of this collaboration, Woodside gains the opportunity to jointly develop and commercialize the SiBox technology.
This initiative is not isolated; several similar projects have garnered significant investment interest. Notably, Bill Gates has backed Rondo Energy, a company currently constructing the world’s largest heat-storing brick production facility in Thailand.
- I'm Martin Harris, a tech writer with extensive experience, contributing to global publications. Trained in Computer Science, I merged my technical know-how with writing, becoming a technology journalist. I've covered diverse topics like AI and consumer electronics, contributing to top tech platforms. I participate in tech events for knowledge updating. Besides writing, I enjoy reading, photography, and aim to clarify technology's complexities to readers.
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