Renewable energy storage company, Azelio, has integrated a unique energy storage technology at the world’s largest solar power plant, the Noor Solar Power Station in Quarzazate, Morocco.
Courtesy of Azelio
The power storage system uses a unique recycled aluminium based system that decreases the reliance on diesel by up to 95 percent. Interestingly, the new technology is based on the 200 year old Stirling Engine that runs solely on heat, without any emissions.
The technology represents a seismic shift for the energy sector. It halves the cost of electricity compared to diesel, whilst generating round-the-clock clean and sustainable power. The innovation is key in delivering universal access to renewable energy, especially in the African, South and Central American, Californian and Asian industrial & commercial markets where the need is greatest.
The inaguration ceremony took place at the Noor Solar Power Station in Quarzazate, Morocco, attended by representatives from the Moroccan Agency for Sustainable Energy (MASEN), officials from Sub-Saharan countries, energy specialists from the World Bank and the Swedish government and others.
Over 2 billion people suffer from energy poverty – nearly 1 billion lack access to electricity whilst 1.5 billion are connected to an unreliable electricity supply, according to the World Bank Off-Grid Solar Market Trends Report, 2020.
Azelio’s unique thermal energy storage system delivers electricity and heat with a total efficiency of up 90 percent and 50 percent cheaper than diesel generated power. The base of the thermal storage system is made of recycled scrap aluminium, a first for the industry.
Azelio is implementing three verification projects in 2020, one in Sweden, one with Masen in Morocco and one with Masdar in Abu Dhabi. There will be two smaller commercial projects installed this year and the company also has commercial installation plans ready in California, Oman, Jordan, Zambia and Pakistan. Industrial volume production will commence in 2021.
‘Through-the-night’ storage ‘is a key factor in making solar and wind power a robust (24-hour) energy solution. Paradoxically, the increase in solar energy also increases the need for more diesel generated electricity in order to cover the hours of darkness. Azelio’s technology addresses this by providing 13 hours of clean electricity at full power which can be adjusted also match exact demand. This represents a huge breakthrough for energy storage technology and renewable energy supply. Diesel generators are commonly used due to low investment costs but Azelio’s energy storage solution negates the need for diesel.
Using a heat element, Azelio’s thermal energy storage can be charged with solar or wind power.
A recycled aluminium alloy is heated up to 600 degrees Celsius, thereby changing from solid to liquid to maximize the energy density. With high energy density, the material has the ability to store energy for an extended period of time, with no degradation of the aluminium.
Using a heat transfer fluid, the thermal energy can be transferred from storage to a Stirling engine. The Stirling engine runs a generator to produce electricity on demand, with zero emissions and at a lower cost than diesel electricity.