Oil and gas major Woodside has tipped more money into Adelaide energy storage minnow 1414 Degrees (14D), increasing its bet on the company’s molten silicon energy storage and industrial heat solution.
1414 said on Monday that Woodside Energy Technologies had increased its funding of 14D’s SiBox Demonstration Module (SDM) by $US750,000, taking the total funding to $US2.75 million.
The increase in funding follows the successful commissioning in mid 2023, demonstrating the SDM’s ability to convert electric energy into a controlled very hot air stream for industrial processes.
The company’s SiBox demonstration module (SDM) was commissioned in August, consisting of 14D’s proprietary silicon-based storage technology, known as SiBricks, and capable of safely and efficiently storing renewable electricity as latent heat.
14D claims that the SDM is now operating autonomously and has been able to demonstrate its ability to meet a range of industry needs by operating with constant flow rate at outlet temperatures ranging up to 900°C, including providing a stable hot air stream for over 6 hours at 900°C and over 15 hours at 700°C.
“SiBox has demonstrated that our tech has the potential to abate emissions in carbon-intensive industries and has been recognised by Woodside for our progress in achieving technical milestones,” said Dr Mahesh Venkataraman, 1414 Degrees chief technology officer.
“We have now successfully completed a key milestone in the validation of SiBox and will continue to test this technology for industrial applications.”
The increased funding from Woodside – which combines with $2.2 million provided from the Australian Government’s Modern Manufacturing Initiative – will be made on the completion of specific further milestones by 14D.
Woodside will consider options for both technology infusion and potential pathways for commercialisation of 14D’s SiBox following successful technology validation.
“Over the next 12 months, we anticipate that SiBox will emerge as a pivotal emissions solution for industrial sectors that manufacture the infrastructure of our societies and electricity generation,” said Dr Kevin Moriarty, 1414 Degrees chairman.
“With financial support from Woodside and the Australian Government Modern Manufacturing Initiative, we are well-positioned to facilitate industries’ transition to lower carbon energy by providing high capacity high-temperature heat, addressing their unique challenges of high temperature, reliability, and cost-effectiveness.”
1414 Degrees is continuing work on the Aurora Energy Project in Port Augusta, which it bought in late 2019 after the collapse of US solar developer SolarReserve, and where the storage technology may be deployed.
In June 2022, Sydney-based Vast Solar acquired 50% of the shares in Silicon Aurora, a subsidiary of 1414 Degrees, in a deal to jointly operate the Aurora Energy Project, which proposes to feature a combination of solar thermal, PV, and battery technologies.
Joshua S. Hill is a Melbourne-based journalist who has been writing about climate change, clean technology, and electric vehicles for over 15 years. He has been reporting on electric vehicles and clean technologies for Renew Economy and The Driven since 2012. His preferred mode of transport is his feet.