Posted on March 8, 2023 by Rich Powell and Mitch Kersey
Roughly one-third of global emissions come from the manufacturing sector—more than electricity, agriculture, or transportation. By 2030, industrial facilities are expected to be the top source of U.S. emissions, too, exceeding those from both power plants and vehicles.
If we want to meaningfully reduce carbon dioxide emissions around the world using American technology — the industrial sector is a great place to focus.
Antora Energy has developed a way to store thermal energy and use it to deliver on-demand, zero-carbon industrial heat and power. Learn more from this video in less than four minutes!
Today, manufacturers have to generate a lot of heat and use a lot of fossil generated power for their process. Antora’s thermal batteries eliminate emissions from the equation.
You’re probably familiar with how to store energy using battery technology. And you may also know that the market for long-duration, grid-scale battery storage is growing rapidly.
The problem is, most batteries are too expensive to supply round-the-clock heat and power. There are also supply chain challenges associated with critical minerals like lithium and cobalt, which are key materials for many batteries.
Antora solves these problems using carbon blocks—the same blocks used in steel furnaces and aluminum smelters. The simplicity of this approach cuts out a lot of the complexity and need for critical minerals, eliminating the supply chain challenges that threaten conventional batteries.
In fact, of all the material options for thermal storage, carbon blocks may be the most energy dense, simplest, and lowest cost.
Antora’s thermal battery can store 15 megawatt hours in the footprint of a shipping container—that’s 5 times more than a Lithium-ion battery.
Antora’s thermal batteries take excess solar and wind energy not needed for the grid, and use it to heat blocks of carbon until they’re glowing hot — think of the glow from your toaster when the coils heat up. Then they discharge that heat to customers, on-demand, at temperatures up to 1500 degrees Celsius or higher.
We don’t recommend toasting bread at that temperature … in fact, it’s hot enough to melt and manufacture products like steel and cement.
Antora’s batteries can also convert the energy from those hot carbon blocks into emissions-free electricity. They do this with what are called thermophotovoltaic cells and it’s part of what makes their technology so transformational. Solar photovoltaic cells capture light from the sun. Thermophotovoltaic cells capture light coming off hot objects, including, say, carbon blocks that are glowing hot. Some technologies offer zero-carbon heat, others zero-carbon power — this process does both.
Antora has the potential to change the way large industrial companies generate heat and power, providing a zero-emissions alternative at prices even cheaper than options available today.
If we want to bring more manufacturing of heavy industrial products back to America, lowering costs is the most important thing we can do. And if we want to solve the global climate challenge, using American clean energy innovation is better than alternatives coming from China or Russia.
Antora’s technology is a win-win, and will put us on a clear path toward lowering our carbon emissions.