Eindhoven-based startup Cellcius has secured a 1.2-million-euro investment to scale up its energy storage technology. The spinoff from Eindhoven University of Technology and TNO has developed a so-called heat battery, which stores unused or residual industrial heat, allowing it to be transported to users. Heat networks be can used for that same purpose, but their deployment has proven cumbersome across the Netherlands due to high investment risks and fragmented availability of suitable heat sources.
The heat battery is based on a common basic material, ie a salt called potassium carbonate, and water. To store excess heat, hydrated salt beads are brought into thermal contact with heat. This causes entrapped water to evaporate. As long as the heated beads are kept away from water, they’re stable and store the energy that was put in indefinitely. The energy is released simply by adding water. Because of the fully reversible cycle, the battery can be used to both heat and cool.
The first real-world test of Cellcius’ technology is currently being prepared, aiming to transfer heat from the Chemelot industrial area to fifty households in Sittard-Geleen. The beads will be packaged in modular cassettes, which are ‘charged’ at Chemelot and transported to local discharge stations, from which heat is distributed to residences.
The investing consortium consisted of the Brabant Development Agency (BOM), Brabant Startup Fonds, Innovation Industries and Goeie Grutten Impact Fonds, along with existing shareholders TUE and TNO.