The world’s first-ever thermal battery plant owned by Bharat Energy Storage Technology Private Limited (BEST) was inaugurated in Amravati, Andhra Pradesh. This plant intends to create new energy storage form that’s expected to have commercial uses, while also maintaining low carbon footprint and less dependent on external factors like weather. The critical FactsThe plant begins its retail operations from May 2019. BEST is planning to create a battery capacity of 1000MW.

Working of thermal battery technology

This is expected to be upgraded to a 10GW capacity by 2025. The thermal battery relies on alternative sources of energy creation, and its existence is expected to reduce dependence on fossil fuels. It provides energy solutions for electrical grids, transportation, and telecom providers. Before we look at its applications, here is a lowdown on the science behind thermal battery technology.

This plant is based on technology patented in India by Dr. Patrick Glynn in 2016. Functioning of thermal battery technologies Thermal battery uses renewable energy to operate, i.e., the energy created by temperature differences. The energy transfer in this battery helps to keep heat when heat travels from one part of the battery installation to other. With this transmission, the thermal battery consists of two components viz. These two sides comprised of compounds known as phase-changing materials (PCM), which may alter their state of matter from the physical and chemical reaction. When sink of thermal battery receives heat, it transforms physically or chemically, thereby storing energy, whilst source cools down.

During operation, the sink is cooled down, so it releases stored energy, while source heats up. Based on the nature of the battery, then the system can expect heat from any source, making thermal battery very versatile. For power transmission, thermal batteries can function as long as there is a heat source. The world’s first-ever center to create rechargeable batteries will be inaugurated tomorrow in Andhra Pradesh, as reported by ANI. These batteries are based on alternative sources of energy creation, and their presence is expected to reduce the dependence on fossil fuels. Through rechargeable batteries, BEST will look to store energy that can power telecommunications, commercial enterprises, electric vehicles in addition to charging systems. Not only will it help create renewable energy, but these batteries are also expected to help provide energy to remote locations.

Following the plans are known, BEST intends to commercially available up against the plant by May 2019, where it could provide an initial capacity of 1000MW. In its first stage, it is going to create batteries for telecom, mini/microgrids, and electric buses, which are expected to run for up to 800kms on a single charge.read: Thermal battery plant unveiling in Andhra Pradesh today: what’s a thermal battery?

 

By 2025, BEST aims to expand the capacity of its rechargeable battery plant to 10GW. This technology, patented in India by Dr. Patrick Glynn in 2016, scores over Li-ion batteries because of lesser heat sensitivity, in addition to a smaller carbon footprint. Additionally, these also outperform solar panels, which can be costly to maintain, and thoroughly weather-dependent during operation. While adapting to the Indian government’s 2030 e-vehicles goal, BEST also intends to make batteries which are entirely free of metal or inflammable materials, so that re-usable materials could make up 95 per cent of all thermal batteries. How is it different from Traditional battery technology? Conventional battery technology works by electrical energy and is based on a system of charging and discharging cycles which are driven by power. For instance, Lithium-ion (Lion) battery, a staple of many electronic devices, consists of electric charges being transferred from electrodes. Energy is derived from this battery when lithium atoms turn into lithium ions (Li+) and get stored when this reaction reverses.

The thermal benefits battery is hailed as an ideal alternative to non-renewable energy resources. It is considered to be better than solar power. It will be an energy source for power telecommunications services, electric grids, electrical vehicles (electric buses, on a single charge expected to run for upto 800kms). It has minor heat sensitivity and low carbon footprint. These are better than Li-ion batteries and outperform solar panels, which have expensive maintenance, and high weather-dependent operation. Solar batteries can’t be charged or utilized to their best capacity after sunset or even when the heavens are densely clouded. Though thermal batteries are priced at par with widely used Lithium-ion batteries, they have a low carbon footprint and last longer.