Rondo Energy, the company behind the innovative Rondo Heat Battery, has exciting plans to expand its factory. They aim to increase its capacity to a remarkable 90 GWh. This partnership with the Siam Cement Group (SCG) will transform the Thailand-based facility into the largest battery factory worldwide.
The Rondo Heat Battery, also known as the “brick toaster,” represents a major advancement in reducing carbon emissions from industries. It stores electricity as heat using refractory bricks made of common materials like oxygen, silicon, aluminum, and iron. This technology has been used for centuries in industrial heat storage.
Rondo claims that their heat batteries can convert intermittent renewable energy from sources like wind and solar into continuous, affordable, high-temperature heat for industrial use. The planned expansion of production will have a positive impact on various sectors, including mining, metals, fuels, and food production in facilities around the globe.
Energy analyst Pavel Molchanov from Raymond James recognizes the importance of electric thermal energy storage, stating that it can address the decarbonization needs of the slow-changing industrial sector. Moreover, this technology avoids using scarce and expensive materials, contributing to energy security.
What sets these heat batteries apart is their ability to store and release heat without the need for combustibles, critical minerals, toxins, or liquids. By harnessing the power of Rondo Heat Batteries, solar and wind energy can provide continuous, zero-carbon heat for industries at a lower cost than traditional fossil fuels. This is a game-changer for industries worldwide.
These batteries have a storage capacity of over 1 MWh per square meter, maximizing the utilization of space within industrial facilities. Rondo emphasizes that their batteries can seamlessly integrate into existing process heating equipment, leading to significant emissions reductions without requiring a complete factory overhaul. Furthermore, these batteries are expected to operate efficiently for over 40 years.
According to Our World in Data, decarbonizing the heavy industrial sector has been a challenging task, as it accounts for approximately 5.7% of global emissions.
With the planned 90 GWh capacity, it is estimated that Rondo’s expansion will reduce carbon dioxide emissions by around 12 million tons annually. To put this in perspective, it is equivalent to removing over 4 million gas-powered vehicles from the road every year.
Jeremy Keller, SVP of Rondo Energy, highlights the positive impact: “Our studies of customer facilities are showing 50% to 90% reductions in emissions and reductions in operating costs of 30% or more.”
In early 2022, Rondo achieved a significant milestone by securing a $22 million Series A funding round. This funding was led by Breakthrough Energy Ventures and Energy Impact Partners, highlighting the company’s commitment to developing renewable energy heat batteries that minimize the carbon footprint of industrial processes.
John O’Donnell, the CEO of Rondo Energy said: “Decarbonizing industrial heat is a trillion-dollar market requiring far more storage than the electric grid. The technology is here now. The demand is here now. This planned expansion means that the capacity is here now as well.”