A Newcastle based thermal energy storage start-up will set its sights on international expansion after raising $8 million in early investment funds to commercialise its innovative thermal heat-storing technology.
MAG Thermal, headquartered in the Hunter Region, completed the funding round with the backing of the CSIRO founded venture capital fund Main Sequence, with additional investments from Alberts Impact Capital, New Zealand’s Climate Venture Capital Fund, The Melt and other angel investors.
The company said the ‘Miscibility Gaps Alloy’ blocks it is seeking to commercialise could store energy as thermal heat that can be tapped on-demand to produce steam to run a conventional thermal generator.
The Miscibility Gaps Alloys have shown a high capacity to both store high-temperature heat as well as allowing for heat to be extracted rapidly from the materials as needed to drive thermal power generation.
The blocks could be used to store energy originally generated from solar or wind farms and used to provide dispatchable firming supplies of electricity.
MGA Thermal said the blocks created the potential for thermal generators, otherwise fuelled by coal or gas, could be switched to renewable sources of heat, allowing them to play a continued role during a transition to zero emissions energy.
Energy storage technologies have emerged as key to a successful transition to clean energy technologies, providing the ability to balance out the variability of primary sources like wind and solar to provide reliable supplies of power.
The company said the $8 million funding injection would be used to scale up its manufacturing capacity, allowing it to produce hundreds of thousands of thermal blocks each month and expand into international markets.
“Our mission is to help accelerate the shift to renewable energy by providing a new way to store energy that’s clean, economical, and scalable,” MGA Thermal’s CEO Erich Kisi said. “We are gratified by our investors’ recognition of our achievements and their confidence in our ability to execute on this exciting new phase of growth.”
“We believe that thermal storage will play an important role in the energy transition, and are overwhelmed with international and domestic interest to date. The potential opportunities and use cases for our technology are extensive.
“Whether it’s retrofitting our thermal power stations, providing power to remote communities, supplying heat to industry, heating houses and commercial spaces, or heating for electric vehicles, this can all be powered using renewable energy stored in our MGA blocks.”
Main Sequence, which as previously invested in CSIRO affiliated ventures including renewable hydrogen producer Endua and innovative electricity retailer Amber Electric, said that it was focused on supporting the emergence of new technologies that had the potential to drive Australia’s transition to clean energy sources.
“A core focus of our new fund is uncovering the scientific discoveries and helping to turn them into real, tangible technologies so we can reverse our climate impact,” Main Sequence partner Martin Durrsma said.
“Erich Kisi and Alexander Post’s impressive deep research backgrounds, their expert team, and innovative technology are paving the way for grid-scale energy storage and boosting the capability of a renewable energy future globally.”