Innovation That Matters

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Could firebricks decarbonise polluting industries?

Agriculture & Energy

The bricks store and release energy at more than 95 per cent efficiency

Spotted: The International Energy Agency’s Electricity 2024 report finds that low-emissions electricity sources, which will help us reduce our reliance on fossil fuels, are projected to account for almost half of the world’s electricity generation by 2026, compared with 39 per cent in 2023. With a significant portion of the global energy demand going towards heating, electrifying those supplies requires increased storage capacity due to the intermittent nature of wind and solar power.

Following ten years of testing, Electrified Thermal Solutions created the Joule Hive Thermal Battery (JHTB) to meet the needs of heavy industries seeking to decarbonise their operations. The JHTB is made up of patented electrically conductive firebricks (“E-Bricks”) that enable the conversion of electricity to heat, reaching temperatures as high as 1,800 degrees Celsius.

The JHTBs store power when electricity is cheapest or when they are being charged by onsite renewables. Electric currents run through the bricks and joule heat them, enabling storage as thermal energy. When the energy is needed, the JHTB runs air or gas over the bricks to release it, bringing heat to any furnace, boiler, turbine, or kiln. The design of the bricks enables the storage and transfer of energy at rates above 95 per cent efficiency, helping to make decarbonisation more affordable at costs near to those of fossil fuel sources.

The JHTBs work as modular supplements to existing systems, when delivering hot air or gas as a synthetic flame. The E-Bricks can also be incorporated into new furnaces to provide direct radiative heat. And because of their material structure, the bricks are robust enough to create and withstand the extremely high temperatures required to decarbonise even the hardest to abate industries, such as cement, steel, and glass.

From gravel to aluminium, innovations featured in Springwise’s library are tackling the challenges associated with storing and transporting renewable energy both affordably and efficiently.

Written By: Keely Khoury




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