Energy Dome: Optimizing energy storage with the first CO2 batteries
Founded in 2019, Energy Dome is an Italian start-up that deals with the large-scale long-duration storage of electricity. With a battery that uses carbon dioxide as a working fluid, Energy Dome makes the supply of electricity from renewable sources available 24 hours a day, offering a strategic solution to a common problem in the sphere of the ecological transition: the storage of large quantities of energy..
Through the Corporate Venture Capital programme, we have invested in Energy Dome in order to continue our mission: to promote an innovation ecosystem in the sphere of the energy transition and the circular economy..
How do we store renewable energy?
The storage of electricity coming from renewable energy sources is one of the main areas of challenge and innovation in the process of energy transition. Renewable sources do not, in fact, always manage to produce energy continuously, making it difficult to guarantee a steady supply of electricity to the grid. Moreover, currently available energy storage systems, like lithium batteries, are unable to provide storage for large quantities of energy for lengthy periods of time.
Yes, a CO2-fuelled battery
Energy Dome solves the problem of storing large amounts of energy coming from renewable sources by using a particular type of battery: the CO2 Battery. This technology makes it possible to store energy produced from renewable sources during periods of excess, with storage times of between 4 and 24 hours, then release it when demand for energy intensifies or production from renewables decreases. In this way, for example, the supply of electricity can continue throughout the day despite the limits of photovoltaic and wind plants, where production depends on the presence of the natural source.
But how does the CO2battery work?
The CO2 Battery uses machinery able to compress the CO2to 65 atmospheres.
During the charging phase, energy from the grid is used to compress the CO2 inside the dome at environmental temperature and pressure, generating heat which is stored.
During the discharging phase, the previously stored heat is released by the CO2 and used to make the CO2 itself evaporate. This process drives a turbine and thus generates electricity.
In brief, the CO2 Battery absorbs energy from the grid when there is a surplus or at low cost, returning it to the grid when needed. Thanks to the efficiency of the cycle, the CO2 Battery returns to the grid 75% of the energy stored without any deterioration of power or capacity during its useful life, which lasts at least 30 years.
Energy Dome was among the winners of the 2022 Bloomberg New Energy Finance (BNEF) Pioneers 2022,contest, which identifies the most original low-carbon-emission innovations which also have the greatest impact on the economy. The CO2 Battery earned top prize in the “Providing round-the-clock zero-emissions power” category with its development and marketing of this technology for long-duration energy storage.
Energy Dome has already set up a demo plant in Sardinia and is now preparing to build its first 20MW/200MWh industrial-scale storage facility for 10-hour storage. Its uniqueness and innovativeness were recognized by Cleantech for Europe’s Scale-Up Coalition, supported by Breakthrough Energy, founded by Bill Gates.
Making sustainable energy more sustainable
Thanks to the contribution of Energy Dome and to the development of the CO2 Battery, a battery that uses carbon dioxide as its working fluid for the storage of large quantities of energy produced from renewable sources, it will be even easier for A2A to guarantee a constant supply of completely sustainable electricity.