GSP’s Graphite Thermal Battery technology is comprised of two patents:
Larkden 1 relates to:
- a method and apparatus for collecting and/or storing thermal energy in graphite in a useable form;
- a method and apparatus for heating a body of graphite by induced eddy currents; and,
- a method for converting thermal energy in a block of graphite into electrical energy using fluid such as steam.
Larkden 2 relates to:
- a method and apparatus for collecting and/or storing thermal energy by heating an inner region of a body of graphite;
- a method and apparatus for recovering the heat from a body of graphite by way of a heat exchanger when the energy is required for use; and,
- a method and apparatus for regulating the recovery of the thermal energy from the graphite.
Applications for the Larkden Patents
The application for which the Larkden Patents is most suited is the storage of excess electrical energy generated (in the form of thermal energy) by other generators including fossil fuels and renewables. Presently, the only storage medium used for this purpose is batteries. The cost of using batteries generally makes the sale of stored energy uneconomical.
The most likely users of the Larkden Technology are owners of photovoltaic (PV) and wind farms. They sometimes suffer from:
- supplying intermittent power due to variations in weather conditions;
- being limited to supplying power when climatic conditions are suitable; and,
- in some cases, having to endure “negative pricing”.
Other likely users are real estate developers. A large development that generates excess electricity from rooftop PV (sometimes in conjunction with a commercial PV farm) can use the Larkden Technology to store that excess electrical energy in the form of thermal energy. This stored energy can be used later during peak periods to generate electricity.
The cost of storing and generating power from a 50MW plant using the Larkden Technology is approximately 5 cents per kWh versus 25 cents per kWh if electrical batteries are used.