Antora Energy receives $4 million grant to scale up photothermal technology – pv International Magazine
Antura says its thermal batteries provide a cost-effective way to store energy and produce high-temperature industrial heat and electricity on demand
From PV Magazine USA
Antora Energy has received a more than $4 million grant from the California Energy Commission (CEC) to scale up its heat-to-energy photovoltaic technology, which can store renewable energy as heat in blocks of solid carbon.
Thermal photovoltaics (TPV) It is a power generation technology that uses thermal radiation to generate electricity in photovoltaic cells. A TPV system generally consists of a heat emitter that can reach high temperatures, approaching or exceeding 1000°C, and a photodiode cell that can absorb photons coming from the heat source.
This technology has attracted the attention of scientists for decades because it can It captures sunlight in the entire solar spectrum and has the technical ability to overcome the Shockley-Queisser limit of conventional photovoltaic cells. However, the efficiencies reported to date have been too low to make them commercially viable, as TPV devices still suffer from optical and thermal losses.
Antura said the funding comes from EPIC’s Electricity Program Investment Charges program and another program at the Department of Energy’s Advanced Research Projects Agency.
The additional financing will further accelerate Antora Energy’s production of thermal photovoltaic, or TPV, technology, said Andrew Bonnick, co-founder and CEO of the company. “With TPV, Antora is able to decarbonize the entire energy demand of large industrial facilities – both heat and power – opening up the quickest and most cost-effective path for the industrial sector to reach net zero,” Bonnick said.
“Industrial emissions are among the most difficult to mitigate, and Antura’s cutting-edge technology shows promise in overcoming this challenge,” said Jonah Steinbock, CEC Director of Research and Development.
The company’s thermal PV technology essentially converts heat into electricity with no moving parts, Brendan Case, head of photovoltaics research and development, told pv USA. “Just as a solar cell is designed to capture light from the sun, TPV cells convert light emitted by hot, glowing objects — such as Antora Energy’s carbon blocks — into electricity,” Case said.
Antora Energy says its thermal batteries provide a cost-effective way to store energy and produce high-temperature industrial heat and electricity on demand. Until now, processes that convert heat into electricity have historically required large-scale machines with lots of moving parts, Case said.
“Think of steam turbines and internal combustion engines — technologies that have dominated for centuries — which require constant and expensive maintenance, and are only efficient and cost-effective on a large scale,” Case said.
Antora Energy’s thermal photovoltaics are modular and manufacturable, so their efficiency and cost are independent of size – enabling cost-effective deployments from kilowatts to gigawatts, Kayes added. This means it can help replace the use of fossil fuels in processes in the food, beverage, paper products, chemicals, steel and cement industries.
The company says the company’s technology has achieved two thresholds around efficiency and scale manufacturing. It has demonstrated heat-to-electricity conversion efficiency above 40%, and earlier this year, it established a dedicated manufacturing line for thermal photovoltaics, the first of its kind. Of its kind in the world. The manufacturing line is located in Sunnyvale, California, and has an initial capacity of 2 MW of cells per year.
Thermal batteries are designed to meet the energy needs of almost every industrial sector, and could have major ramifications in sectors beyond manufacturing, including the electric grid, remote power and others, Case said.
Last December, Antura Energy announced that it had acquired Medley Thermal — a development and software company specializing in renewable energy-to-heat systems — to help commercialize its heat and power technology. Medley Thermal has previously developed projects that use renewable energy sources to cost-effectively electrify heat, and has a strong pipeline of energy-to-heat conversion projects, Antura Energy said.
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