XPRIZE Long-Duration Energy Storage

Cost-effective, geographically flexible, seasonal storage can help overcome the variable nature of some renewable energy sources while improving service reliability and resilience by mitigating supply/demand peaks.

In addition, the IEA estimates that, in order to keep global warming below 2 degrees Celsius, the world needs 266 GW of energy storage by 2030. This energy industry segment was identified as one that can help accelerate the transition to a sustainable, equitable, and abundant energy future.

This prize will lead to innovative long-duration (seasonal) energy storage solutions.

What are the innovation gaps in this area?
Do you think this would make for an audacious prize competition? If so, what exactly would the winning team need to do, and what would be the likely impact of this prize?

Hi @mikelandmeier, @AnthonyMburu and @bernardsaw - Given your expertise in this area, you may have inputs to share on this prize direction.

Do you think long-duration energy storage solutions is an audacious enough to be the next XPRIZE competition? if so, what should the wining team demonstrate?

Hi @peterk, @Ianelliott, and @fmeggers - In your views, do you think a prize for long-duration (seasonal) energy storage would be audacious enough? If so, what would be the expected Impact of such a prize?

Hi @Adaryani, @Cemalbasaran and @aphhuang - One of the prize Idea in the energy domain is to incentivize long-duration energy storage.

What do you feel about this prize idea? is it audacious enough? What are the innovation gaps in this space?

Seasonal energy storage surely is a topic that needs attention.
The innovation gaps here is to utilise the existing infrastructure (maybe use abundant oil and gas infrastructure) to develop the energy storage facility. Maybe converting empty oil tanks and offshore platforms into a energy storages.
The Competition would be to achieve 10 MW energy storage facility with ability of a long-term storage. The winning team will receive a price to scale and expand the winning solution.

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Hi @AnaFortuna,
We wanted to understand this space further, what technology/model could be used for a competition in this space? What should we asked the wining team to demonstrate?

Ask teams to demonstrate proven energy storage technology that will allow to store 1 MW of power from the warm season to the cold season (energy from solar in the summer that can be stored for 3 months until the heating season will start).
The winning team should demonstrate technology that allows storage for 2-3 months of 1 MW of energy.

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We’re wordsmithing what we call the “winning-team-will statement” for this prize: a succinct description of what a competing team would need to do to win.

Here’s the current version, and I’d appreciate your thoughts:
Demonstrate the most efficient, cost-competitive, long-duration (weeks to months), and sustainable, community-scale energy storage system.

The next step are drafting the testing and judging criteria for the prize. Here’s what we have so far:

  • Build a physical energy storage device
  • Storage duration: weeks to months.
  • Scale: below GW. Serve a neighborhood or village? vs. GWh scale (whether in a single unit or many units of 10MW+)
  • Cost: lower CapEx than pumped hydro, OpEx cost-competitive with pumped hydro
  • Store for over one month or more
  • Efficiency: Efficiency round trip 90%. No more than 10% energy self loss.
  • Materials:
    • Use commercial off-shelf parts (for ease of maintenance)
    • Sustainable materials, avoid rare earth metals
    • Having a fewer critical material and resource inputs than Li-ion
  • Grid integration
  • Demonstrate a failure incident to show the ease of maintenance and repair, locally, by the community.
  • Deliver power output (100s of MW?) on demand as electricity or high quality heat.

@b0bbybaldi, @mikelandmeier, @AnthonyMburu, @bernardsaw - We would love to hear your feedback on this wining team will statement and the testing and judging criteria.

@Shashi the initial idea looks great! However, it needs a bit of work on clarity. As it is written, it leads me to the confusion of whether a large or small scale solution is needed. Wording such as off-shelf parts causes such incoherence. Also, it would be important to clearly state the need for such a solution to reach scale and be replicable in multiple locations.

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Hi Shashi, For a solution to (modestly) Long-Duration Energy Storage, see my response to Off-Grid Clean Power. Voltage losses over two weeks range from 5-40%, or perhaps an average of 1.6%/day. This does not constitute inter-seasonal storage, but is more than sufficient to handle occasional drops in the key forms of renewable energy generation, such as solar and wind, particularly if these are paired or else HVDC powerlines can be used to recharge them from renewable sources located thousands of kilometres away.

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Reiterating my response to Off-Grid Clean Power:

You don’t need to have any traditional energy storage systems when you can have clean locally 24/7 continuous generation systems on demand in ridiculously confined spaces.

What I mean is that it is possible to generate electrical energy from magnetic systems, and this is where the comment regarding the objective of the competition fits:

"The magnetite found in neodymium magnets is the most efficient energy storage system ever created."

Neodymium magnets have a very high coercive force, and there will be no demagnetization and magnetic changes under the natural environment and general magnetic field conditions. Assuming under an appropriate environment, even after a long period of use, the magnetic performance of the magnet will not be greatly reduced. Therefore, in practical applications, we often ignore the influence of time on the magnetic performance of neodymium magnets.

The golden ticket is in “How to harvest electrons” …

This can make it possible to generate the necessary energy in two ways:

  1. Autonomous Generation Distributed towards the immediate systems that consume it “locally”
  2. Autonomous Generation Embedded within the systems that consume it. Let’s not go further, it can be applied from a refrigerator to an electric vehicle, without the need for expensive batteries.

As we have commented previously, the Autonomous Systems of Generation of Energy by Magnetic Transduction, can be applied to generate true green hydrogen, thermal energy, electrical energy, plasma, etc.

In the economic balance, the levelized cost of energy indicates a return on investment time of 2.5 to 3 years, if we consider that a magnet can have a life time of up to 150 years, the rest of the time the energy is financially free.

We hope that these comments can offer an idea of the scope of following this development path, we continue to do our part.

Thank you very much, as always it is a pleasure to greet you and to be able to contribute to the project.

Best regards to the XPRIZE team.

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Hi @Cemalbasaran, @aphhuang, @nastben - Given your expertise in energy storage, we feel you might be able to advise us by providing feedback on this prize metrics. Thanks.

It’s hard to beat hydrogen for long duration energy storage. Batteries have the edge for smaller projects at shorter term storage. The bigger the project and the longer the duration needed, the greater the advantage for hydrogen.

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If you exclude the grid integration criterion, then new versions of the old but still good idea of solar ponds becomes a good solution for communities living in places with high insolation and saline water availability. Whilst solar ponds can best store diurnal or seasonal heat, they can also be used to generate steam engine power. Furthermore, fresh water and new brine for more solar ponds could be generated from saline water, or drinking water from polluted sources, using hot air from the ponds and Perlemax’s isothermal distillation method.

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Thanks for sharing your thoughts @markjayct and @Sev .

Based on the advice of our founder and chairman, Peter Diamandis and inputs from experts, we have updated the prize metrics.

Following is the updated wining-team-will-statement:
Demonstrate the most efficient, cost-competitive, sustainable, minimal land footprint energy storage of 300 MWh for 32 days, for 1,000-5,000 households, at no more than $414/MWh and towards $175/MWh.

Following is a draft testing and judging criteria for this prize:

  • Demonstrate an integrated, off-grid system with renewables, in innovators’ choice of climate geography.
    • Bonus: for minimal land footprint
  • Store 300 MWh of electricity for 32 days at a charge efficiency of ≥80%
  • At the highest round-trip efficiency, ≥70%.
    • Bonus: at 25ÂşC, minimum self discharge of <0.3% per 30 day
  • Convert back to electricity at a minimum 90% discharge efficiency (includes excess heat); sustaining discharge for ≥100 hours
    • Bonus: higher discharge power capacity than charge power capacity
  • The levelized cost of storage must be ≤$414/MWh and will be scored towards $175/MWh.
  • Lifetime: minimum 10 years and will be scored towards 40 years (≥10,000 cycles)
  • At the highest sustainability scores
    • Sustainability, circularity and environmental impact: evaluating LCA (GWP and water), EoL plans towards circularity (maximize reuse and recycling), final components must fit within a circular economy, and evaluating source materials towards net-positive impact.
  • And highest scalability score:
    • Grid intergradable - capable of working off and on-grid
    • Business plan describing growth (accounting for materials’ availability) to build 30 THW of storage per year
    • Bonus if solutions can operate in multiple climate geographies (location agnostic)

@AnaFortuna, @b0bbybaldi, @Magneto, @markjayct, @Sev - We would love to have your feedback on the updated wining-team-will-statement and the testing and judging criteria.

What are the other metrics? Time frame to develop? Prize amount? Hydrogen is excellent for long-term storage, but efficiency at the levels proposed is extremely ambitious. We here at Infinity Fuel Cell and Hydrogen, Inc have developed a small scale solar/hydrogen regenerative system for the US Navy. This prize looks challenging–as all XPrizes should be. I will confer with our chief honcho. Sashi, can you email me at msackler@infinityfuel.com for more detailed feedback from out technical staff.?

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Shashi–our CEO and founder, William F Smith, has has 35 years experience working with hydrogen and fuel cells. His reaction to this was to ask several questions as much of this needs clarification. He will write up his reply and I will post it to you. k While Hydrogen is not the only possible solutions, it is certainly a major possibility and his feedback should be considered in constructing the prize. Stay tuned for more.

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@Shashi, in a similar fashion to the green building challenge, I fail to see the innovation here. This is a prize that I do like and which seems great to do, but as of now, it seems to be stated more as an engineering problem rather than a repeatable scalable solution that will truly impact microgrids. I would say that whenever this competition is released it will have to be carefully communicated with appropriate words so that is understood that what is meant to be developed is not only a solution to a single problem but a repeatable innovation such as a system, product, or standard.

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Thanks @markjayct for sharing details with Mr. Smith. We look forward to his feedback.