The Battery Technology
The battery is developed by TEXEL by combining innovation and development with collaborations and through the purchase of different technologies. The battery includes several key components, where the Stirling converter is one of them. A Stirling converter converts thermal energy (heat) to electricity and is scalable depending on the application. TEXEL´s V4-Stirling converter is defined as the world´s most developed and was originally developed by Ford Motors in cooperation with the company Kockums, which specializes in military submarine manufacturing. TEXEL bought all rights to the converter in 2012.
The thermochemical storage technology is another key component in the system and was originally developed by US Department of Energy and Savannah River National Laboratory. TEXEL signed an exclusive license agreement for this technology in 2018. After combining the most cost effective, most sustainable, and circular energy storage solution with the most developed, and efficient Stirling converter, TEXEL is now in the final process of development, commercialization, and industrialization of the technology. Key characteristics include:
- The thermal battery does not include any Rare Earth Elements (REE)
- The battery has no degradation problems
- The battery is 100% circular
- The technology is 100% recyclable
- The technology has high energy density.
- Gas hybrid – no backup systems needed.
- Long storage duration (+100 years).
- The battery can be charged with electricity as well as any other heat source
TEXEL is a New Way to Store Energy
The TEXEL battery technology is just another way to store energy. It stores energy in a thermochemical battery, with electric output similar in performance to electrochemical batteries like lithium-ion, but much more cost effective. Just like lithium-ion technology, the TEXEL thermochemical battery can be charged by electricity. But it can also be charged by any type of heat source, such as flared natural gas, and still deliver electric energy. Stored heat energy released from the thermochemical battery to the Stirling Converter forces the generator to produce approximately 40 percent electric energy and 50 percent heat energy, equivalent to 90 percent total energy efficiency.
The TEXEL battery technology has a hot and a cold side consisting of metal hydrides (metal and hydrogen compound), which are cycled in a closed process. When the hot side of the battery is charged with heat, a chemical reaction is initiated, and the H2 will be released from the metal hydride. The H2 will then move from the hot side to the cold side to be stored. The energy is stored in ambient conditions and can be stored there for 100 years with a minimal amount of energy loss. When the stored H2 is forced back to the hot side, thermal energy will be released during the reformation of the metal hydrides and the hot side becomes hot once again. The heat is then transferred to the Stirling Converter that starts to spin, creating kinetic energy that will force the generator to produce electricity.
A Second Storage Technology
TEXEL has started development of a second thermochemical storage technology based on metal carbonates. This system works similarly as the metal hydride technology but use CO2 as its working gas instead of H2. TEXEL has exclusive licenses for both technologies and offer them as alternatives for different applications.
High Energy Density
The TEXEL battery technology has more than twenty times higher energy density than other heat storage technologies, such as molten salt. The energy density is predicted to be improved dramatically with future development. The high energy density of the TEXEL battery also opens for other market segments where space, weight, and environmental issues matter.
Gas Hybrid – Guaranteed Energy Production
In general, with regards to renewable energy technologies, in order to guarantee a constant supply of energy there is a need for an additional power generation system to create an overall hybrid solution. For instance, a PV or Wind plant will have to be combined with a more traditional gas power station, or diesel generators for smaller installations, in order to guarantee energy supply.
TEXELs uniquely built-in hybrid solution is based on the battery’s thermal storage technology which enables the battery to be charged with any kind of heat source when there is no access to solar or wind power. Or in the event of catastrophes such as wildfires, earthquakes, terror attacks, etc. This feature places the TEXEL technology far ahead of existing technologies such as lithium-ion, which needs a separate backup system to supply energy 24/7/365.
One Battery – Numerous Applications
One TEXEL Battery unit or cell stores much more energy than ordinary battery cells and is scalable from smaller applications like a single household or buses, to cities and state grids. One battery unit delivers 30kW and can be sized from 30 minutes to 24 hours (15kWh – 720 kWh) of storage.
A series of batteries will of course increase the energy output – 10 battery units x 30kW = 300kW with a storage capacity up to 720kWh x 10 = 7.2MWh, electricity only.