'Game-changing' report on grid-scale battery tech released by US national lab

by Michael Green
Texel Energy Storage device container and (inset) Lars Jacobsson. Photos: Texel
Details of a study into a new thermal battery technology, said to be "up to 90% more cost-effective than lithium batteries” for large-scale energy storage, have been released today by the US Savannah River National Laboratory (SNRL).

The technology was developed by SRNL and exclusively licensed by the Swedish cleantech company Texel Energy Storage.

SNRL’s report, published by the US Department of Energy’s (DoE) Office of Scientific and Technical Information, said the lab performed a techno-economic analysis that compared the new thermal battery tech to lithium-ion batteries to store energy when integrated with grid-scale photovoltaic installations.

'Compares positively'

The SRNL team examined the impacts on the levelised cost of storage (LCOS) for several scenarios and found that the thermal battery technology should achieve a LCOS ranging from $0.019/kWh - $0.073/kWh, at higher volume production, "which compares positively to the cost of storage expected today for lithium-ion, ranging from $0.087/kWh - $0.32/kWh".

Texel CEO Lars Jacobsson said the game-changing report from SRNL "is valuable information for all our external partners and further indicates that the world will be able to move away from fossil fuels in an economical, sustainable manner".

"We hope that this information will help us to mobilise needed funds and support to rapidly move the technology towards commercialisation.”

'Tremendous potential'

Report lead author and the inventor of the SRNL thermal battery technology, Dr Ragaiy Zidan, said the study showed "the tremendous potential of exploiting chemical bonds to efficiently store energy, an area that SRNL has been advancing for many years”.

SNRL, one of the DoE’s 17 national laboratories, is considered as one of the world's leading research labs on hydrogen-related technologies.

The lab has developed the new metal hydride materials used in the thermal battery and in combination with the Stirling Converter, exclusively owned by Texel and originally developed by Ford Motors. The technologies together create the new unique energy storage technology known as the thermal battery, SNRL said.

Technical report link – click here

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