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There are many forms of energy storage out in the wild, most of which are based around lithium-ion batteries, but tech company Calix Limited (ASX:CXL) is working with Sweden’s SaltX Technology to pilot a unique salt-based energy storage system.
The pilot will use excess renewable energy available during the day to power Calix’s electric direct separation reactor (eDS) to heat and charge/dehydrate the salt.
When energy is required, the salt is recombined with water to produce heat to generate power.
SaltX will use Calix’s eDS technology for a 200 kilowatt pilot reactor as part of a demonstration project for the SaltX system.
This will be similar to the BATMn reactor that Calix successfully built and commissioned in 2019 for the Bacchus March facility in Victoria.
Calix will have the right to undertake its own research in the eDS unit and will work with SaltX on further collaboration on a larger 1 megawatt capacity salt energy storage unit if the pilot project is successful.
“The use of Calix’s technology in base load energy storage systems was foreshadowed as we developed our SOCRATCES project in Europe – which is based upon solar-powered calcium looping and is progressing well,” Calix managing director Phil Hodgson noted.
He added that the SaltX system has ‘great’ potential for load balancing applications as the grid de-carbonises.
Calix’s eDS is an appliction of its kiln technology, which involves the grinding of minerals and flash heating them in an externally heated reactor in a very short time at temperatures of up to 950C.
Gases trapped in the minerals bubble out of the particles, creating honeycomb-like structures in the particles.
Notably, the process allows for the direct separation of carbon dioxide, allowing it to be used for carbon dioxide reduction in traditionally carbon dioxide intensive industries, such as lime and cement production.