April 18 – The ‘1414 Degrees prototype’ of the patented thermal energy storage system (TESS) has been built in the Tonsley Park Innovation Precinct in Adelaide. Inside the unit elements heat silica in receptacles to its melting point, 1414 degrees Celsius, where it has “a large energy capacity associated with every unit of silica,” he says. The elements require energy to get sufficiently heated up and supply spikes from renewable energy sources would fit the bill.
Warmer than normal weather throughout much of the United States resulted in the first recorded net natural gas injection during a week in February since weekly storage data has been collected. For the week ending February 24th, the amount of natural gas in storage in the Lower 48 states increased by 7 Bcf.
Feb 8 - Italy's Enel has partnered with storage systems provider Aton Storage in order to expand its portfolio in the sector.
The deal follows agreements reached by Enel in recent months with Tesla, BYD and LG Chem.
Enel has also incorporated the Aton storage system in its commercial offering of photovoltaic panels combined with energy storage systems “which will launch shortly” it said.
One of the key factors that will determine the amount of gas used in power generation over future years is the cost and effectiveness of energy storage. The cheaper the storage, the more intermittent renewables will be able to be introduced to grids, and the less gas that will be required; especially in higher latitudes where solar is not available part of the year.
Oct 5 – Working with the utility Hamburg Energie the Technical University Hamburg Harburg (TUHH), Siemens is developing a thermal storage solution to be paired with wind energy, which it hopes “will set a future standard in efficiency.” Excess wind energy is used to heat rock-fill, protected by an insulated cover – when stored electricity is needed a steam turbine converts the heat energy back to electricity. Tests in spring 2017 will evaluate the energy conversion of a 36 MWh test bed based on a container holding approximately 2,000 cubic meters of rock-fill.