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Azelio accelerates innovative Stirling concentrated solar power with thermal energy storage technology commercialization

2018.06.13     From: CSP Focus光略咨询

The world requires clean, accessible and cost competitive electricity to handle current and future economic, environmental and social needs. Today we are 7.4 billion people, where 1.2 billion lack access to electricity. In 2040, we will be 9 billion. We will have added another China and India in global energy demand and the growth of new electricity customers will be an astonishing 45 million annually. 


During the past couple of years, we have seen a positive development where more than half of new global power has been based on renewable sources, predominantly solar. With falling cost of renewables, this development will likely continue. However, the limit of growth is not only depending on cost. As the share of renewables increases, another factor is gradually becoming more important - intermittency. Most renewable energy solutions are limited by weather conditions, without the ability to deliver electricity based on demand. Furthermore, the somewhat random production pattern creates new costs for grid stabilization and indirect costs for other power sources.


As announced earlier, Cleanergy just changed its name to Azelio and accelerates the commercialization of its unique solar energy technology. Azelio's objective is to make clean electricity accessible through low cost energy storage and on demand distribution. Making it the most cost competitive of all alternatives on the market. Taking renewable and clean electricity from being a minority of the electricity mix to a majority.


Azelio has a Stirling based electricity production, using concentrated solar power (CSP) where energy can be stored as heat (thermal energy storage – TES) and distributed as clean electricity on demand. There are plenty of well-known technologies on the market today that convert sun and wind to electricity where the energy can be stored in batteries, hydrogen, flywheels and other technologies. However, they are all expensive in the context of multi-hour storage. 


To illustrate this, in 2017, the cost of producing one kWh of PV (photovoltaic) electricity was in the region of 4 US cents. The cost of storing one kWh was in the area of 24 US cents. Mixing PV with batteries works for shorter periods of time, but for twelve hours storage, on top of six hours daytime production to meet a full day and night demand would come at an average price of 17 cents per kWh, which is more expensive than most fossil fuels.


Storing energy in the form of heat is done at a fraction of the cost of storing electricity


For multi-hour storage, this technology is much cheaper as well as more environmentally friendly than batteries. As demand for energy storage is rapidly growing together with higher penetration of renewables, so has demand for CSP plus TES. This trend will continue and accelerate, leading to continuous lowering of prices for this technology.


To share deep on the Stirling CSP with TES technology, Mr. Jonas Wallmander, VP Partners & Collaborations from Azelio will be speaking at the upcoming CSP Focus MENA 2018(June 27-28, Marrakeck Morocco) conference. Azelio, with a new name and new innovation, welcome you to join the event and seek for face-to-face communications. 


Last chance to register the conference and NOORo visit. Click to download brochure of CSP Focus MENA 2018


Azelio's unique initial position on the market is in the large and fast-growing segment between 0.5 – 50 MW with a storage capacity over 4 hours and up to 14 hours. Other CSP solutions are competitive based on “benefit of scale”, in much larger installations for locations with well-developed and stable grids. A unique capability is also the “benefit of volume”, where a low price point is not depending on scale and can be maintained in smaller installations from 100 kWh up to any size requested, thanks to industrial automation and high-volume production of components. Enabling distributed small-scale installations with production and storage, at a competitive price. 


 Azelio is targeting a market segment that today 

is a blank spot with a high market potential


Azelio uses the same general physics as today's CSP and TES solutions on the market. However, it differs in key abilities with a higher degree of energy density for longer and more efficient storage, modularity for cost effective distributed production and storage already from small-scale installations, and a differentiated conversion technology. Whereas the majority of today's CSP solutions first converts the heat to steam and then runs it through a turbine, Azelio uses a Stirling engine, which runs directly on the heat. Stirling engines are  known for their superior ability to convert heat into mechanical work and in the next step, electricity. Azelio’s Stirling engines convert 30 % of the solar energy to electricity as compared to around 18 % for steam turbines.


The higher efficiency, dictated by the law of physics, translates into major cost savings. For every kWh electricity produced, Azelio's Stirling engines need only 60 % of installed CSP mirror area relative to what steam turbine based CSP needs. The same goes for the amount of thermal energy stored. Another relative advantage is that Azelio's storage solution does not consume any resources to maintain an even capacity, thus not requiring continuous supply of a storage media. 


Initial targets are MENA markets and China, where Azelio has been active for many years and are engaged in strategic partnership with leading actors as Masen – Moroccan Agency for Sustainable Energy for collaboration on thermal energy storage, and Masdar – Institute of Science and Technology for research on thermal energy storage. 


In June 2018, a demonstrator of the ground breaking thermal energy storage unit will be presented based on patented technology. With that, Azelio is preparing for a listing on the Stockholm Nasdaq stock exchange. In 2019, complete agreements with partners for industrialization and production of the system is ready to be signed together with solid orders. First deliveries of smaller commercial projects in 2020, followed by volume deliveries from 2021 with a fast ramp up in volumes. 


Fast growth is expected for a long time given the uniqueness of the technology with its ability to offer modular and distributed production and storage at a lower cost than competing technologies.


Relevant CSP Conference:CSP Focus MENA 2018(June 27-28,Marrakeck Morocco)

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