(Image credit: Pixabay)
Alphabet’s X division has recently spun an offshoot company from within its ranks with Malta announcing it raised $26-million in new funding from Breakthrough Energy Ventures for continued development of their electro-thermal energy storage solution. The newly formed company has chosen Cambridge (MA) as their new headquarters where they will carry out their endeavors of building on their green energy storage platform, which uses a thermal differential between hot and cold media to save energy until it’s needed.
The media Malta uses to store that energy includes high-temperature molten salt and a low-temperature antifreeze liquid. Their system functions by first gathering energy from several different sources, including wind, solar and fossil generators connected to the grid. The collected electricity is then converted to thermal energy using said temperature differential- the heat side is stored in molten salt, while the cold in the antifreeze liquid.
Malta’s energy storage process uses temperature differential properties to convert and store energy. (Image credit: Malta)
Electricity is collected from the grid while demand is low, however, when demand rises, the temperature difference is converted to electrical energy using a heat engine and chucked back into the network. According to Malta stored energy can come from nearly any source, renewable or fossil, is cost-effective and easily scalable, can be charged thousands of times without degradation, placed anywhere, and can store energy for six or more hours.
The engineers at Malta have created many detailed designs for their system over the last few years, along with building numerous prototypes and are ready to build their first megawatt-scale pilot plant, though it’s uncertain as to when and where this will take place. Until things are finalized, they will continue to consult and collaborate with industry partners to bring their energy storage system to the market.
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