Stiesdal ‘hot rocks’ energy storage technology stoked by Andel funding boost

An innovative design of “Hot Rocks” energy storage systems, which is being developed by Stiesdal Storage Technologies (SST), is on the way to prototyping after the Danish energy and fiber optic company Andel invested DKr 75 million. USD) for the long-term operating time has thermal concept.

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The technology, which uses an innovative pump system to heat pea-sized gravel in insulated steel tanks and release the stored energy via a turbine to generate electricity, was tested at the Technical University of Denmark (DTU), but will now do it on a solar system in the Zealand region at the Baltic Sea tested and included in a project of the Danish energy agency ‘GridScale’.

“Stone is a cost-effective and sustainable material that can store large amounts of energy that take up little space and can withstand countless cycles of charging and discharging the storage system,” said Ole Alm, Andel’s Head of Development. “We know that from our tests on Risø [DTU] Facility. We now need to create units that are flexible and relatively easy to use.

“They can be installed in solar parks and offshore wind parks, in substations and industrial plants, and possibly on future wind energy sinks. To do this, we need an industrial partner like SST so that we can jointly create large-scale functional solutions. “

SST founder Henrik Stiesdal said: “The only really big challenge for a power supply that is 100% green is that we use the electricity from the moment the wind blows and the sun shines until it is used later can not save. Production and consumption are simply not in balance. So far there are no commercial solutions to this problem. However, we hope that we can provide this with our energy storage system ‘GridScale’.

“Technological development and sophisticated equipment are not enough. We also need to work with an experienced operator who has extensive knowledge of the power grid and who can put production, storage and consumption into practice. In this regard, Andel is a strong and ambitious partner who can test the technology and carry out a large-scale rollout. “

Jesper Hjulmand, CEO of Share, said: “[SST] represents a very special technological competence. We now have to complete a prototype together, which can then be tested and displayed.

“For Andel it is a strategic game that we are concentrating more on storing energy. This is the way forward if we want to achieve full integration of renewable energies and electrification of society. “

Peder Riis Nickelsen, CEO of SST, emphasized that “economically sustainable” storage of large amounts of energy would “require a very inexpensive storage medium and that the additional equipment can be mass-produced – the GridScale technology fulfills both criteria”.

“The cost of ballast per unit of energy is completely different from that of practically any other material used to store energy. Also, our loading and unloading system can use well-known technologies that have been used in other industries for a century and are well suited for mass production. “

In addition to Andel and SST, the GridScale project, which was supported by the Danish government with DKr 35 million, includes Aarhus University, DTU, Welcon, BWSC, Energi Danmark and Energy Cluster Denmark.