A new energy system which moves beyond battery storage to deliver “energy on demand” has been unveiled in NSW.
The system has been developed by a joint venture between the University of Newcastle and Infratech Industries, and comprises not just energy storage, but heating, cooling and generation of oxygen and hydrogen.
A Newcastle plant, with the capacity to produce enough energy for 30 homes, has attracted interest from hospitals, property developers, and aged care homes, Infratech has told the Australian Financial Review.
Infratech is also developing a scaled down version, the size of a fridge, which can be installed in a home. This is expected to be available within 18 months.
Unlike rooftop solar, which takes 10 years to deliver payback to householders, the Infratech system claims to be able to payback within two years.
According to the Financial Review, the technology involves pushing compressed air through a particle system enclosed in a patent-protected cartridge, oxodising the particles to produce heat and hot air to drive a turbine.
The particles then reduce, producing oxygen and/or hydrogen. The unit can be configured differently depending on whether oxygen is wanted as a by-product or hydrogen, also giving it the potential in fuel cell vehicle technology.
In energy storage mode the system works like a battery and needs electricity to charge. To produce oxygen, it requires gas.
Infratech claims that because the system can simultaneously produce heat, power, oxygen, and hot and cold water for airconditioning, its overall efficiency is more than 90 percent.