The photo is sourced from mgathermalstorage.com
One of the main elements of the plant will be the so-called miscibility gap alloy (MGA), which, when heated, is able to store heat energy but, at the same time, remain externally solid. This effect is achieved through the use of materials with different melting points. Material with a lower melting point is present as discrete particles within a solid material with a higher melting point. Alloy particles embedded in graphite-based blocks will heat up to 400-700 degrees Celsius.
MGA units will store heat with a minimal energy loss for a long time: from a couple of hours to several days. The heat exchangers at energy release will use a carrier gas to absorb heat from the MGA units. In this case, the heated gas can be used both for industrial heat supply and for driving a steam turbine generating electricity.
The development of MGA Thermal is not the only Australian energy storage innovation put to trial over the last year. Earlier, startup Gelion, founded by Thomas Maschmeier, a University of Sydney professor, created a demo of a non-flow zinc-bromine battery using a reaction between bromine and zinc for electricity generation, and a gel solution of zinc bromide for making it conductive. The battery, resistant to high temperatures and not requiring special cooling systems, will be tested this year at a solar power plant in the Spanish province of Navarra.