Department of Energy provides $ 6.3 million in grants for 16 energy storage prototypes

Solar-powered hydrogen production, “kosher” batteries to power a yeshiva on Sabbath and holidays, ice bricks that store energy and then release it into cooling systems, and a panel Combined solar and storage system for Bedouin farmers were among 16 projects to be received as part of a global grant of NIS 20 million ($ 6.3 million) to develop energy storage technology, a announced Tuesday the Ministry of Energy.

The sum of 11.7 million shekels ($ 3.7 million) was awarded for 11 lithium battery projects, with 4.3 million shekels ($ 1.35 million) to two initiatives in the field of hydrogen. Three other projects received 4 million shekels ($ 1.3 million).

All recipients will create prototypes in Israel.

Israel has set a target of producing 30% of energy from renewable sources by 2030. But such energy can only be relied on if some of it is stored during days when the sun is not shining or the wind is blowing. do not blow.

To solve this problem, Nostromo Energy has developed a storage system called IceBrick, which, unlike lithium, does not use any toxic or rare earth materials. It stores cold thermal energy in the form of ice capsules, releasing it for cooling during peak electricity periods.

He will now pilot the integration of his technology in a cooling plant at Soroka hospital in southern Israel, where air conditioning accounts for around 40% of the electricity bill.

In addition, EDF Renewables Israel, part of the French group EDF, which last week opened its 22nd solar energy field in Israel, in Timna near Eilat, will provide a “large yeshiva in Bnei Brak”, near Tel Aviv, with a lithium battery system to replace a polluting diesel fuel generator currently in use on Sabbaths and holidays when practicing Jews are prohibited from turning on electricity.

Additionally, Phinergy, which combines oxygen from the ambient air with metals – aluminum for energy production and zinc for energy storage – is partnering with Doral Energy to provide storage in one of its renewable energy facilities at Kibbutz Ma’ale Gilboa near Beit Shean. in northern Israel.

Last week, The Times of Israel reported that energy storage company Augwind, which uses water to compress air in underground chambers, signed an agreement with the Israel Electricity Corporation to build the first facility. of this type to the world, in Dimona, in the south of Israel. .

One of Augwind’s polymer air batteries at Kibbutz Yahel in southern Israel, December 15, 2021 (Sue Surkes / Times of Israel)

Another company, Enersol, will use its grant from the Department of Energy to create a prototype compressed air tanks 100 meters (330 feet) below the sea surface.

The Ministry of Energy is currently piloting agro-voltaic systems, before drafting regulations. These consist of PV (photovoltaic) panels, also called solar panels, mounted on crop fields that facilitate crop growth and generate electricity at the same time.

Another Israeli company, Agri-Light Systems, will erect a combined agri-voltaic and storage facility in fields cultivated by Bedouins in southern Israel. There, many Bedouins use solar panels that are not connected to the electricity grid, as well as unregulated storage facilities. The pilot project aims to reduce the number of unregulated distribution lines, panels and storage facilities while reducing electricity costs.

In addition, several companies were chosen to launch different forms of electric vehicle (EV) chargers, one of which was a government company, Energy Infrastructures Ltd.

Focusing on transportation and industry, the company will establish a pilot industrial site where solar energy will trigger the process of creating hydrogen (called green hydrogen).

Hydrogen and batteries will be used to store energy for uses such as recharging electric vehicles.

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