Your company: phelas GmbH
Name of the case: Scalable, cheap and sustainable energy storage enabling 100 % renewable future!
phelas was founded to make a very simple vision a reality: We want 100% renewable electricity to be a given everywhere on this planet. That is, that it is economically and environmentally the most viable form of electricity generation.
Over the past 20 years, the world has made progress in lowering the cost of renewable power generation, but still lacks a scalable, resource-efficient storage option to offset the uncontrollable volatility of renewables and thus fully decarbonize the power sector. The phelas team is developing Aurora, a standardized, mass-produced large-scale electrical storage system built on a new, proprietary approach to air liquefaction, designed to achieve over 50% efficiency and revolutionize the cost of electricity storage. We are using air and gravel as the primary storage media – both materials are universally available and, unlike lithium-ion, less hazardous and less resource-geographically dependent. The technology offers a decisive cost advantage for large amounts of energy, while at the same time exhibiting no cyclic degradation and combining this with excellent environmental compatibility. Since the storage system is based on already developed and reliable technology (compressors, cryotanks, turbine technology, etc.), the entire system can be operated extremely reliably and with low maintenance.
What is the impact of your case:
phelas Aurora is able to significantly mitigate CO2 emissions on two levels:
Cheap long duration energy storage, such as phelas Aurora, is able to replace fossil fuels together with renewables in a cost competitive, scalable and sustainable manner by providing renewable baseload power. Assuming fossil plants will be replaced by 100% renewable energy sources, which will achieve –placed strategically, considering transmission lines, demand response and low correlation between wind and solar – a capacity factor of 70%. The remaining 30% will be covered by storage.
Thus, long duration energy storage will have significant GHG mitigation potential of approx 5.2 Gt (CO2 eq). Moreover, phelas addresses the resource criticality and environmental impact of existing storage technologies by using abundant and recyclable resources. According to Climate Impact forecast 350 t Co2 eq can be saved per 8 MWh phelas system.
On a global scale, long duration energy storage has the CO2 mitigation potential of 5.2 Gt CO2(eq). This number origins mainly from enabling baseline renewable energy (such as wind or solar) and by thus, replacing thermal, fossil based power plants (oil, gas, coal). Moreover, as part of a preliminary study with the Climate Impact Forecast, we could allocate a social and environmental impact of 350 t CO2(eq) per 8 MWh system. These savings origin from the comparison to current storage technologies (Lithium NMC, LFP, NCA, LMO).
How is your case innovative:
The Aurora system is a new approach to liquid air energy storage (LAES). It uses both pressure and cryogenic temperatures and the enthalpy inherent in the phase transition to store energy. The primary focus of our system is to reduce capital expenditures – efficiency considerations must sometimes take a back seat to this. Thus, for commercial success, a good trade-off must be made between the rapidly exponentially increasing cost of improving efficiency and the value added to the customer by improving efficiency. We are continually evaluating this trade-off with potential customers who are encouraging us in our approach.
The final system will be modular to allow independent sizing of storage performance and capacity, as well as easy transportability of the storage systems. The modules will be realized in the form of standardized 40-foot shipping containers and are thus well adapted to the global transport infrastructure.
Sustainability, Storing and switching of energy