How This Startup’s Energy Storage Solution Is Accelerating Renewable Energy Adoption
With climate change becoming an imminent existential threat, the world is now moving away from thermal energy sources and toward renewable energy. Prime Minister Narendra Modi also pledged at the COP26 climate conference that India will achieve net zero carbon emissions by 2070.
But this cannot be achieved without the help of startups, and many of them are stepping up their game to help India transition to clean energy.
Among them is the head office of Bengaluru energy generation startup that builds next-generation power plants that have zero emissions and are capable of long-lasting grid-scale energy storage. It was incubated at IIM-Bangalore and supported by Tata Trust, Tata Power (TP-DDL), Government of Delhi and Government of Karnataka.– a clean
Listed in 2016 by the husband-wife duo Vijay Prateik and Megha Rawat, the startup partners with energy producers, refineries, and more. to help them save excess energy and use it when energy needs are greatest. The founding team included four other members who helped build the product but are no longer associated with the startup.
Their engine is designed according to the thermodynamic cycle, which they have been working on since 2011, with pilots starting in 2017.
During paid driver it crashed up to 50kW capacity in Delhi and Bangalore. The startup is working on a sale with a refinery, a global fashion brand as well as the Indian army and navy.
the startup of 12 members started with an investment of nearly Rs 50 million of the founders, their friends and their family.
Statement of the problem
“Essentially, our problem statement focuses on two points,” says Vijay Your story.
In December 2021, India total installed renewable capacity is 151.39 GW, according to data from the Central Electricity Authority – which accounts for only 38 percent of total electricity production. One of the reasons behind this is that renewables are known for their intermittent power generation and Indian power grids are not designed for intermittency or unpredictability; they need a steady flow of energy.
One possible solution is to store the energy in batteries in which excess energy can be stored during the day or when renewables produce energy, and use them in the event of a power shortage. Needs for base load electric generators, thermal power plants and nuclear power would be reduced.
“The problem is that today there is no such energy storage system,” he adds.
Lithium-ion batteries can provide power for a few minutes. However, grids need energy storage that can last for a day or at least 18 grid-wide hours.
“We resolve in a longer-term perspective when we talk about power plants and grid-scale energy storage. We want to produce power plants that can store energy for very long durations at the network scale,” Vijay explained.
While electrochemical energy storage is excellent for frequency regulation, deMITasse’s technology is designed to maintain grid parity for hours and days, and can even be used for seasonal energy storage applications.
In contrast, India loses on average 20,000 megawatt hours of thermal energy power plants each year, Vijay says, which he adds is a conservative estimate. Much of this waste heat is low-grade energy that has the exhaust temperature below 200 to 250 degrees Celsius.
While conserving this energy and reusing it would give the grid a boost, mainstream technology cannot absorb heat and convert it to electricity, and those available are very expensive and fail to capture heat below 150 degrees Celsius.
“As we are using a material with very low boiling points of working fluid, it can utilize this waste heat, even up to 60-70 degrees Celsius,” Vijay added. “Furthermore, our technology can convert this energy into electricity, which can either be reused by the industrial unit where it operates, or send this energy back to the public. So that’s a big problem that exists, and we’re aiming to solve it.
solve for energy
Vijay and his founding team dropped out of colleges such as MIT and Cornell to pursue this mission.
Fascinated by energy during his university years as a personal project, Vijay worked on a Design of small hydropower plants (SHP) which could be installed in remote villages in places like Uttarakhand which have low-velocity rivers that could be harnessed for small-scale power generation. They also contacted the Ministry of New Renewable Energies (MNRE) for assistance.
When they realized that India was still lagging behind in renewable energy generation, they decided to work on sustainability to create an energy storage system for the power grid. Megha, who had her own sustainable fashion brand that promoted recycled products, decided to join Vijay to work on solving this problem.
“When we started, we found that the industry was very cash-intensive,” Vijay added. “However, it is clear that little has been done in this area, which is obviously not the solution. So we decided to give it a shot.”
Being a fledgling startup, the main challenge for the startup was limited capital, as equipment can be extremely expensive and a few materials had to be imported.
On this front, deMITasse Energies has received a lot of feedback from the industry Tata Power and Escorts Limited and helped to build the first PoC (Proof of Concept).
Although our country produces engineers in droves, Vijay says finding the right talent can be a difficult task.
“Finding talent is very difficult. When you find them, they prefer to work at companies like Boeing and LSE, and getting them to work for a start-up startup becomes even more difficult,” Vijay added.
deMITasse Energies is in talks to set up a plant in Denver, USA. He is also looking to raise capital this year, which would be used to expand his team and expand into the United States.
Currently, the startup plans to generate revenue by selling the factory. But, in the future, deMITasse Energies plans to have a power station and to sell energy by subscription.
To achieve this, it also plans to set up a R&D center develop a large-scale factory
Currently, the company offers waste heat recovery systems to capture waste or process heat from existing industrial facilities and power plants, diesel generator replacements and energy storage solutions for medium to large applications. capacity, including renewable power plants and industrial units.
It has set up six large-scale recovery pilot plants and several laboratory-scale prototypes.
“We also have several products for the military and are currently working with the Indian and US military,” adds Vijay.
Market and competition
India does not have many startups venturing into the clean energy field as it requires large investments and is expensive. deMITasse Energies competes with highly funded startups based in the US, UK and Northern Europe.
Companies like Malta, Highview Power, LightSail Energy (now closed), Quidnet Energy, Ambri, ESS, Gravitricity operate in long-term energy storage space. Meanwhile, its competitors in waste heat recovery include Thermax, Triveni, Thyssenkrupp, Siemens, Atlas Copco and Turboden.
Many Indian startups face the challenge of convincing people of the need for energy storage in India or the technology used. However, the situation is changing as foreign investors venture into the market, seeing the need to reduce dependence on fossil fuels.
In a February 2021 report, the Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis (IEEFA) pointed out that India will need a new 500 billion dollars of investments in new wind and solar infrastructure, energy storage and grid expansion and modernization, including battery storage to achieve 450 gigawatts (GW) capacity by 2030.
India is currently investing around $18-20 billion of power generation capacity and an additional $20 billion into the grid on an annual basis, the IEEFA said in an August 2021 report.
The same report mentions that in the first four months of fiscal 2021, from April to July 2021, investment in India’s renewable energy sector reached $6.6 billion, surpassing the level of 6.4 billion for the 2020-21 fiscal year and on track to easily exceed the $8.4 billion in total made in 2019-2020 before the pandemic.