Australian startup Climate Change Technologies has struck a deal with Stillmark Telecommunications to bring a new battery type to market. The device is called "Thermal Energy Device" or thermopile. Production of the first batteries, which surpass their lithium-ion counterparts in all respects, will begin this quarter.
A thermopile receives electricity from any source and uses it to melt silicon. The substance, heated to 1400 ° C, is stored in an isolated chamber and cools down extremely slowly. It can always be reheated by adding more energy, and a conventional heat engine is used to extract it. The design has a minimum size, but no maximum - the thermopile can be scaled as much as necessary, increasing the power up to tens of megawatts.
Silicon, unlike lithium, does not degrade over time, plus there are only three moving cells in the battery - even after 3000 recharge cycles, the device shows zero wear. The design life of the thermopile is about 20 years, while its cost is one third lower than that of the lithium-ion competitor, and after decommissioning the silicon can be completely recycled. The thermopile is almost insensitive to power outages; in extreme cases, you can simply turn it off and wait until the silicon cools down, then turn it on again.
It is stated that the capacity of a thermopile is 12 times that of lead-acid batteries, and 5-6 times that of lithium-ion batteries of the same size. But it is precisely the size that is the Achilles' heel of the innovation - due to technological limitations, the thermopile cannot be reduced to a size suitable for installation in a car. There is no talk about gadgets, but the authors of the development see great prospects in the application of technology on ships, public transport and in everyday life.