Developing a world first thermal energy storage system
CBD Energy acquired the patent for the storage of heat in graphite and its recovery through embedded heat exchangers. In a joint venture with Hydro Tasmania, funding was obtained through the Federal Government to construct an integrated wind, solar PV and diesel energy system. CNF was engaged to integrate these renewable energy components and to construct a world-first energy storage system.
CNF was appointed by CBD Energy to:
- Design and construct a graphite energy storage module based on the patent owned by CBD Energy.
- Help to acquire the machinery and facility to design and construct the thermal energy storage system.
- Designed the thermal energy storage system, which comprised 20 tonnes of synthetic graphite, heated by silicon carbide heating elements. The graphite storage module was heated to 650oC, and the module stored 6.6MWh of thermal power. The module was designed with over two hundred embedded thermocouples to analyse the thermal characteristics of the storage module.
- Designed and constructed a proving plant that simulated the input conditions of the constructed power plant and conditioned the 630oC steam to the required process conditions of 450oC and 40barg.
- Developed new machinery and construction methods.
The system met its technical due diligence criteria and demonstrated that it could store thermal energy, which was generated to drive a steam turbine.
The design and manufacture of specialised construction machinery to enable the embedded heat exchangers to achieve a high degree of heat transfer.