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Gravel store key to eco thermal battery

The e-Tanker prototype

The e-Tanker prototype

Start-up Cheesecake Energy Ltd (CEL) reckons that its e-Tanker battery system gets the potential to function as greenest on earth and you will be able to increase electric car charging while protecting the grid from overload.

The e-Tanker battery system was among 13 entries in a competition run by National Highways and Innovate UK, calling for suggestions to change just how roads were created, managed and used.

CELs energy storage system uses compressed air and thermal storage instead of rare metals like cobalt which are had a need to make lithium-ion batteries. The production of lithium-ion is resource-intensive and nearly all production materials can’t be recycled.

The e-Tanker system in comparison just uses old Volvo truck engines plus some gravel.

When air is compressed it gets hotter which heat is stored in a tank containing 20 tonnes of gravel as the air is stored in pressure vessels. Once the electricity is necessary the compressed air and heat are accustomed to turn the Volvo truck engines again which drives the electric motors backwards to create electricity.

CEL claims that that the machine will undoubtedly be 30% to 40% cheaper compared to the cheapest battery available. The machine uses established mechanical processes and will be charged using energy from the grid or perhaps a renewable source.

Gravel thermal store
Gravel thermal store

National Highways head of innovation Annette Pass said: Cheesecakes project is a great exemplory case of the changes which are being designed to reduce carbon in the transport industry. In addition, it plays a component in National Highways net zero carbon plan, that may visit a rapid cut in carbon fromroad construction, maintenance and operations, and supports the transition to zero emission vehicles.

Currently, 95% of the strategic road network is at 20 miles of a charge point, however they only appeal to a small amount of electric vehicles, so when those numbers increase its essential that people can appeal to that, particularly on remote elements of our network. Innovations such as this one can help us make that happen.

CELs prototype system will be installed in a depot in Nottingham for charging a fleet of electric vehicles.

CEL chief commercial and product officer Mike Simpson said: Hopefully to continue dealing with Innovate UK and National Highways to greatly help mitigate the consequences of climate change by giving more sustainable answers to decarbonise the transport sector.

Repurposed Volvo truck engine used to compress air
Repurposed Volvo truck engine used to compress air

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