Amadeus is a EU project that investigates the potential to store large amounts of energy in high-temperature molten materials, like silicon and boron.
1414 °C is the melting point of silicon. A company in Adelaide, Australia, has named itself 1414 Degrees and claims to have achieved a breakthrough in energy storage by bringing down storage cost per kWh with a factor of 10 compared with lithium-ion. Based on the latent heat in molten silicon. Energy is fed to containers with silicon in order to melt it. Due to the high latent heat capacity of silicon, much energy is stored during the phase change from solid to fluid silicon. A cube with a rib of 70 cm is said to be able to store 500 kWh. Silicon has a density of 2.33 ton/m3. One tone or 429 liter silicon would suffice to power 28 homes for a day. That would amount to 36 times the capacity of a 14-kWh Tesla Powerwall-2 lithium-ion battery. The company however doesn’t target individual households and doesn’t aim to compete with batteries but instead is aiming at “district heating, major industry, electricity producers and suburb-scale residential developments”. At a large scale the claim is that 1 MWh can be stored at the cost of $70,- or 7 cent/kWh. The number of charge/discharge cycles is said to be virtually unlimited.
[amadeus-project.eu] – EU Amadeus project
[puretemp.com] – Extremely high-temperature TES prototype development in Europe
[wikipedia.org] – Thermionic emission
[aip.scitation.org] – Hybrid thermionic-photovoltaic converter
[ec.europa.eu] – What is Horizon 2020?
[cordis.europa.eu] – Next GenerAtion MateriAls and Solid State DevicEs for Ultra High Temperature Energy Storage and Conversion
[renewableenergyworld.com] – Europe to Lead Research Project for Energy Storage in Molten Silicon
[upm.es] – Innovative molten silicon-based energy storage system
[1414degrees.com.au] – Official site
[theengineer.co.uk] – Molten silicon used for thermal energy storage
[wikipedia.org] – Latent heat
[renewableenergyworld.com] – Silicon Energy Storage Technology Scales Up for Commercial Production
[greentechmedia.com] – Startup Says Molten Silicon Will Make Lithium-Ion Storage ‘Uneconomic.’
[nextbigfuture.com] – Molten Silicon thermal energy storage system has higher energy density and ten times lower cost than lithium ion batteries for utility storage