Energy storage company 1414 launches IPO, plans 250MWh module | RenewEconomy

Energy storage company 1414 launches IPO, plans 250MWh module

South Australian energy storage company 1414 degrees launches bid to go public


The Lead

1414 Degrees Head of Corporate Service Penelope Bettison, Executive Chairman Dr Kevin Moriarty and Chief Technology Officer Matthew Johnson at the commpany’s Lonsdale plant

South Australian energy storage company 1414 degrees has launched a bid to go public and raise up to A$50 million to fast track its operations.

The company has spent a decade and $15 million developing its silicon storage technology and today announced it had lodged a prospectus for an Initial Public Offering (IPO) with the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC).

1414 Degrees proposes to raise a minimum of $30 million – and up to $50 million – at 35 cents per share.

To date, the Adelaide-based company has largely been funded by individuals, families and private fund managers, along with Federal and State Governments.

However, Executive Chairman Dr Kevin Moriarty said more than 8000 investors had pre-registered their interest and 1414 Degrees had reserved $20 million for those investors to “make room for all”.

“This day has been a long time coming for 1414 Degrees and its foundation investors,” Dr Moriarty said.

“In December 2016, we became an unlisted public company, and it was a critical pillar of our pre-IPO planning that we first get our products operating in commercial sites in order to establish a strong value proposition for current and prospective investors. We now have agreements to do that.”

The 1414 technology stores electricity as thermal energy by heating and melting containers full of silicon at a cost estimated to be up to 10 times cheaper than lithium batteries.

Silicon, pictured above, is the second most abundant element in the earth’s crust after oxygen. A tonne of silicon can store enough energy to power 28 houses for a day. Its high latent heat capacity and high melting temperature of 1414C – make it ideal for the storage of large amounts of energy.

The process also generates large amounts of clean useable heat, which can easily be utilised for district heating or industrial purposes.

In 2017, 1414 Degrees received a Renewable Technology Fund (RTF) grant from the South Australian Government for a collaboration with SA Water, which will integrate energy generation from biogas waste with storage at the Glenelg Wastewater Treatment Plant in Adelaide’s west.

Last month it announced it would integrate its Thermal Energy Storage System into the existing operations of national poultry grower, Pepe’s Ducks in South Windsor, New South Wales.

The installation will provide Pepe’s Ducks with electricity and heat – predominantly in the form of steam.

With a nominal storage capacity of 25MWh, and coupled with a turbine energy reclaim system, the 1414 Degrees TESS-IND will significantly increase energy efficiency at the site while reducing power bills.

In April 1414 Degrees also announced it would build a pilot device for Austcor Packaging to be installed at its Wetherill Park, NSW plant.

The $3 million contract is to supply a pilot device at the corrugating plant where Austcor will also install several million dollars worth of solar panels. The energy from these will be stored in the TESS to create steam to power the plant’s corrugating machines.

“With three key projects now in place, our board and leadership team felt the time was right to take the company public in order to enlarge and diversify our equity base, and position 1414 Degrees for substantial growth in the short to medium term,” Dr Moriarty said.

“The IPO will enable us to commission three of our four key product lines in operating commercial industries and build and test a 1/15th scale cell of the TESS-GRID before proceeding with construction of a 200MWh module.

“The 200MWh TESS-GRID module will be built at a site with network connection to solar or wind generation. We have been working to identify a suitable location adjacent to the 100MW government peaking plant at the Adelaide Desalination Plant, and other sites have also been presented for consideration.

“A single TESS-GRID module will have a storage capacity of 200MWh – equivalent to approximately 400 tonnes of silicon – capable of charging at up to 40MW. It could supply up to 10MW base load electricity, plus heat over at least eight hours.”

While many customers would initially look to install 1414 Degrees products to ensure cost effective electricity storage, Dr Moriarty said there were a large number of industries that would purchase primarily for the technology’s heat generation offering.

“Our technology has the potential to revolutionise the approach of Australian and international industry to energy storage and heat generation,” he said.

“There is a huge market for our products – everything from grid scale deployment to use in factories and district heating projects.

“The IPO has come at a vital time in the evolution of 1414 Degrees. There is a sizeable gap in the market and our products have the potential to fill it. If we raise the capital needed to ensure we are first to market, we expect there to be a very strong demand.”

Source: The Lead. Reproduced with permission.

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  1. Alan Benn 3 years ago

    So the idea is to store excess PV/Wind generation when its abundant by melting the silicon. Then when electricity is needed use the stored heat to generate steam and run a turbine ? This presumably is why they say it can also “generate” heat – its the waste from the approx 30% efficiency of turbine generation ? Or does the “waste” heat get recirculated back in to re-heating the Silicon ? It wouldn’t be hot enough to melt any more ? So what is the overall efficiency (electricity in to electricity out) of this thermal battery – presuming you don’t need the waste heat ? A battery pack is about/over 90% round trip efficiency I think so is the lower efficiency here included in the “10x cheaper than Li batteries” ?

    • Mike Westerman 3 years ago

      I find the 10x claim a bit of a stretch – small steam sets are not cheap, particularly the condensers, and the complexity means monitoring and maintaining the auxiliaries is not either. Then there is the water consumption, which would be well in excess of pumped hydro.

      • Eric 3 years ago

        I think this will be for a different use case to Lithium ion, looks interesting. But what the efficiency is would be handy to know.
        Even more handy would be the real world true costs of the energy storage per kwh. And what is the predicted reduction in those costs over time as the technology scales
        I wouldn’t invest a penny until I see companies actually buying this technology. And get some transparency around costs etc.

        The hype around these things can generate more heat than the actual technology, so beware!

        But best of luck to them, we need all the storage we can get!

      • Catprog 3 years ago

        For water consumption their is the tech for air cooling
        (just a quick search on google for an article)

        • Mike Westerman 3 years ago

          Yep – air cooled condensers are very large and expensive and reduce performance, hence my scepticism re the “10x” guesstimate

    • Tom 3 years ago

      I’ve got half an idea they’re coupled to Stirling engines. It would have to be a bloody big one, but it would avoid a lot of the complexities of steam.

  2. Giles 3 years ago

    I don’t think this article makes it clear enough what this storage is for. It is overwhelmingly for heat. So more likely to be used in greenhouses and the likes, and district heating in Europe. Can produce electricity, might not really very economically. so you wouldn’t use it like a pumped hydro or battery storage. different application it seems to me.

    • Ian 3 years ago

      This technology deserves more analysis, Giles. The company 1414 may or may not succeed commercially but they are doing something amazing:

      1. They are containing molten silicon at incredible temperatures, steel melts at 1370’c

      2. They manage to extract 31% of the initial electricity input as electricity output- better than a petrol engine.

      3. They store plenty of heat energy in a small volume of silicon

      4. The combined heat and electricity performance is 80% meaning 20% of the energy input is lost to the environment : could that be heat loss from the storage unit or from the electricity generating unit or from the exhaust side of the generating unit?

      5. If the silicon storage has an electrical element type heater then the efficiency of heating extremely hot silicon is probably not much worse than heating cold silicon . Which can be very useful. For instance heating a block of silicon from 30’C to 110’C would probably need as much energy as heating the same block from 1300 to 1380’C.

  3. Ian 3 years ago

    Check out their web site the prototype achieved 31% electrical efficiency and 80% CHP (combined heat and power) efficiency.

  4. Ben Davies 3 years ago

    Very interesting. The track record of companies in ‘new energy’ in Australia is not that good. I recall the ‘hot rock’ company at Innamicka (I worked on the design of that power plant) and the graphite heat storage project at Cloncurry spring to mind. However i wish them well and I think there is more momentum behind renewables now. I still think that thermal storage in the home, whether it be in the form of a multiday hot water tank or as storage heaters, especially in the southern parts of Australia still have their place.

    As Giles says, a store of process heat to replace natural gas is definitely a market for this type of product. For steam generated electricity (I am an electrical engineer btw) I just don’t know enough about the technology or economics to comment.

    • Jonathan Prendergast 3 years ago

      Was that the 1km or 1 mile high tower?

      Agree with your thoughts on storing heat. It is cheap and easy already to store heat via our hot water tanks.

  5. Ken Fabian 3 years ago

    This looks like something for industry to better use renewable energy to reduce rather than add to their energy costs – and getting industry to shift from being obstructive to a transition to renewable energy to being supportive has important political consequences.

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