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Silicon will blow lithium batteries out of water says Adelaide firm 

Monday, February 13, 2017 3:58
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One claim by the developer is that ‘its devices could increase the revenue of a wind farm by 25 per cent, through increased output and exploiting higher wholesale prices when the wind isn’t blowing’. It has to be said that battery and storage innovations have a poor record of turning into commercial success, but as ever time will tell.

An Adelaide company has developed a silicon storage device that it claims costs a tenth as much as a lithium ion battery to store the same energy and is eyeing a $10 million public float, reports

1414 Degrees had its origins in patented CSIRO research and has built a prototype molten silicon storage device which it is testing at its Tonsley Innovation Precinct site south of Adelaide.

Chairman Kevin Moriarty says 1414 Degrees’ process can store 500 kilowatt hours of energy in a 70-centimetre cube of molten silicon – about 36 times as much energy as Tesla’s 14KWh Powerwall 2 lithium ion home storage battery in about the same space.

Put another way, he says the company can build a 10MWh storage device for about $700,000. The 714 Tesla Powerwall 2s that would be needed to store the same amount of energy would cost $7 million before volume discounts.

No comparison

“There’s no comparison. Except for a few specialized circumstances it will make them totally uneconomic frankly,” Mr. Moriarty said. “I don’t think it’s dawned on the market yet and it won’t until we get them into a real-world situation.”

1414 Degrees has raised $500,000 of a $2 million seed capital issue that it hopes to complete by the end of next month. It is in talks with a hydroponic herb farm and wind farm suppliers about pilot commercial scale trials of its technology, and is planning a $10 million public share issue to fund construction of the first two 200 megawatt hour units.

Mr. Moriarty is counting on 40 per cent to 50 per cent of the cost of these initial devices being funded by government subsidies because of the unique technology. The device stores electrical energy by using it to heat a block of pure silicon to melting point – 1414 degrees Celsius. It discharges through a heat-exchange device such as a Stirling engine or a turbine, which converts heat back to electrical energy, and recycles waste heat to lift efficiency.

The report continues here.


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Total 2 comments
  • Fokofpoes

    Yeah I knew that. Here are some “hints”, vaguely. Silicene, maybe something like hemp, pseudographene, pretty good supercapacitors.

    • Fokofpoes

      Indeed, the sands of time will tell.

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