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The Australian solar tech that may have found a low cost solution to deep storage

By District Energy posted 09-13-2023 05:33


Renew Economy


It’s a cool and sunny morning out near the small community of Carwarp in western Victoria, and RayGen CEO Richard Payne is pleased. But he’s got a nervous eye on the clouds rolling in from the west.

The real beauty of this Carwarp solar project is that RayGen needn’t be bothered by intermittent cloud cover because it claims to have solved one of the big challenges of concentrated solar projects, or any renewable project for that matter – how to deliver cheap and efficient deep storage.

The storage is also deceptively simple. Instead of using fluids such as molten salt with temperatures of 600°C or more, RayGen has borrowed from conventional district heating and geothermal technologies, and uses hot and cold ponds, low temperatures (90°C) and Organic Rankin Cycle engines, which have been around for years.“So it’s actually taken from the district heating technology from Northern Europe where they collect solar hot water in the summer. And they dispatch it through the district heating network in the winter. And so we’ve leveraged up that technology.

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