EnergyNest officially inaugurated its pilot project implemented in cooperation with the Masdar Institute in Abu Dhabi. From now on, an innovative thermal energy storage (TES) system developed by the Norwegian start-up will store energy from the “Beam-down” solar power plant in Masdar City. During a test period of several months, EnergyNest was able to prove the functionality of its new storage solution with valid performance results. In the future the modular storage system will make it possible to store large quantities of energy at unprecedented low cost. The proven technology offers huge potential when it comes to solving global energy challenges.
The commercially validated pilot project involved the integration of two 500 kWh storage modules in the Masdar Institute’s “Beam Down” solar power plant. The power plant currently has a total capacity of 100 kW, whilst EnergyNest’s TES boasts a capacity of 1 MWh of thermal energy, enough to power 70,000 cell phones and simultaneously produce 10,000 litres of freshwater by desalination. Where required, the new storage solution can easily be scaled up to several gigawatt hours and is also extremely cost-efficient, with costs barely 10 percent of those of a battery system.
The core of the new storage system is the special concrete HEATCRETE, developed in cooperation with HeidelbergCement, which can store large quantities of thermal energy over long periods of time with virtually no performance degradation. In comparison to batteries and other forms of storage, the TES particularly stands out for its very broad application spectrum. The system can handle both thermal oil and steam as a heat transfer fluid, and can operate within a very broad range of temperatures. In comparison to other large-scale thermal storage solutions, its low investment and operating costs are truly impressive.