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Australian-Developed ‘Energy-on-Demand’ offers Solution to Global Energy Crisis

Announcement posted by Mave 06 Apr 2017

Pat Conroy, Shadow Assistant Minister for Climate Change and Energy to Inaugurate on Behalf of Opposition Leader Bill Shorten

SYDNEY and NEWCASTLE, Australia, 6 April, 2017 – Australian company Infratech™ Industries, in collaboration with the University of Newcastle has launched a world-first ‘Energy-on-Demand’ system that overcomes the predictability and environmental issues that currently plague existing renewable energy and storage solutions.

The Infratech™CLES (Chemical Looping Energy on Demand System) is a game-changing technology that will put the production, distribution and management of power, oxygen and hydrogen into the hands of the consumer. Offering a solution to Australia’s ‘energy crisis’ - as described by Prime Minister the Hon. Malcolm Turnbull MP - the technology creates an entirely new category that allows for integrated power generation, oxygen generation (health and wellness), water heating, heating and cooling ventilation, and hydrogen.

There are no comparable systems in the world to the Infratech™CLES system, according to Professor Behdad Moghtaderi of the University of Newcastle who is leading the technical development of this collaborative project.

Dr Rajesh Nellore, CEO and founder of Infratech Industries said that the impetus on energy storage systems, such as batteries, needs to be supplemented with impetus on the ability to generate energy when required, thereby creating “Energy on Demand”.  According to Dr Nellore, this, accompanied by other revenue generators such as oxygen, would be welcomed with open arms by commercial, retail and residential customers alike.

“What makes the Infratech™CLES solution so unique is that it generates a multitude of benefits, has no negative impact on the environment, and it also improves the well-bring and lifestyle of those who use it,” said Dr Nellore.

Inaugurating the system today at University of Newcastle’s Newcastle Institute for Energy and Resources (NIER), Pat Conroy, Shadow Assistant Minister for Climate Change and Energy, reiterated the importance of Government and industry looking to alternate solutions to Australia’s looming energy crisis.

“This is truly Australian-made technology that has global applications and serves multiple needs for its customers,” said Mr Conroy. “If Australia is to reap the benefits of the clean energy industrial revolution, universities and businesses must collaborate to develop products that satisfy our energy needs while reducing our carbon emissions. And it is in that vein that I welcome Infratech’s ‘energy-on-demand’ system.”

Chemical Looping ‘Energy on Demand’ technology with Infratech™ Industries

Professor Behdad Moghtaderi, Director of the Priority Research Centre for Frontier Energy Technologies and Utilisation at the University of Newcastle’s NIER (Newcastle Institute for Energy and Resources) facility, co-leads the team to develop the advanced thermochemical process for "Distributed Energy Generation (DEG)", otherwise known as the Chemical Looping ‘Energy on Demand’ technology with Infratech™ Industries.

“While the technology draws from my invention - the CLAS (Chemical Looping Air Separation) process which is patented by the University of Newcastle - it also features a number of unique characteristics which make it distinct,” said Professor Moghtaderi. “It’s a poly-generation process capable of simultaneous production of heat, power, oxygen, hot water and chilled water for air-conditioning.  As a result, the overall efficiency of the process is in excess of 90 percent.”

The Infratech™CLES process runs on natural gas for temperature balancing, which is the most reliable utility in many parts of the world, releasing only a third of the greenhouse gas emissions (GHG) of fossil fuels and no intermittency compared with renewable energy sources. 

“We also designed the Infratech™CLES system for around the clock operation. In this mode, the system needs external heat to maintain reactions within the particle mixture. The heat can be supplied by either natural gas, electricity from renewable energy sources, by the system itself or in any combination,” said Dr Nellore.

Consumers Worldwide to benefit from Infratech™CLES

The Infratech™CLES system is scalable and can service larger customers such as hospitals, commercial complexes such as shopping centres, to smaller installations like residential and medical therapy customers where numerous types of respiratory diseases are treated with oxygen due to its beneficial palliative and supplementary role. It also creates a hydrogen network for fuel cell cars in the future. The system can run for pre-defined hours at a time, for example, in peak periods and can be programmed to produce only power and oxygen, or a combination of both along with heating, cooling, hot water and hydrogen.

According to market research firm HIS, the energy storage market is set to “explode” to an annual installation size of 6 gigawatts (GW) in 2017 and over 40 GW by 2022[i]  — from an initial base of only 0.34 GW installed in 2012 and 2013. 

The reference plant, inaugurated today at the University of Newcastle’s Newcastle Institute for Energy and Resources (NIER), can produce energy for 30 homes (an average Australian home consumes 18KWh per day) along with oxygen, hot water, heating, cooling and hydrogen for these homes. Within 18 months a scaled Infratech™CLES system will be available to every Australian home owner.

Following the launch today, the reference plant system will be shipped to a permanent customer site in Australia, to be chosen from a pool of interested companies that will shape the future of energy distribution and technological advancement in Australia.

“The application of this technology can meet the needs of both developed and developing economies. It’s a step-change in technology from what is currently available,” said Dr Nellore.  “The future of the planet’s viability depends on the usage of sustainable technologies.  Australia has an abundant supply of the natural ingredients that power Infratech™CLES and this would only mean local jobs and export opportunities.” 

[i] http://energystorage.org/energy-storage/facts-figures