Khalifa University Masdar and Azelio launch electrical thermal energy storage system technology

13 Feb 2022

5 mins

  • Abu Dhabi’s desert environment provides the project with ideal solar conditions 
  • The new technology represents an important part of the renewable transition 
  • The project will run at Masdar City, Abu Dhabi’s only planned and approved R&D cluster A

n innovative R&D project that will demonstrate 24/7 affordable clean energy utilization has been launched at Masdar City in Abu Dhabi. The cutting-edge distributed and scalable Thermal Energy Storage-Power on Demand (TES.POD) system, will be run by Sweden’s Azelio long duration energy storage company, Khalifa University of Science and Technology, and Masdar, as part of a three-party research and development agreement. 

Now officially in operation, the Azelio storage system is used with solar photovoltaic (PV) panels and enables renewable and cost-efficient electricity 24 hours a day, seven days a week. The system will undergo extensive testing and demonstration at the Masdar Intitute Solar Platform (MISP), in a desert environment that provides ideal solar conditions to generate full daily cycles of clean energy in combination with solar PV. 

Dr. Nicolas Calvet, Assistant Professor, Mechanical Engineering, and Founder & Chair of the MISP, Khalifa University, said, “The Khalifa University’s Masdar Institute Solar Platform provides a convergence of renewable energy research, development and demonstration, and serves as a foundation for the UAE’s ambition to achieve world-leading innovation in clean and renewable energy. The Azelio demonstration project is our flagship project and a success story for the MISP.” 

Over the next twelve months, Khalifa University researchers will continuously operate Azelio’s electrical thermal energy storage system, collecting and analyzing the data, while conducting an independent validation of the system. At the end of the year, Khalifa University will provide a report on the system’s performance in the desert environment. 

The system’s storage units will be demonstrated and evaluated on several criteria, including supplying renewable electricity round-the-clock to a system for atmospheric water generation that captures humidity and condensates it to usable water. The capabilities of Azelio’s technology represent an important part of the renewable transition by making sustainable energy from, for example, cost-effective solar PV available at all hours of the day. 

Abdulla Balalaa, Executive Director, Masdar City, said, “Masdar City is committed to facilitating R&D projects that bring ground-breaking new technologies to the market and positively contribute to regional and global energy security. Azelio’s TES.POD system is another excellent example of what collaboration and innovation can achieve. Developing technologies that both protect and guarantee a constant, secure, and affordable source of electricity is extremely important and this project is set to bring us closer to that goal. As the regional home of technology innovation and R&D, at Masdar City, we are proud to be working with Azelio and Khalifa University to initiate and progress the TES.POD system.” 

Azelio's energy storage TES.POD stores energy as heat in a metal alloy made from recycled aluminum and silicon. The heat from the storage is transferred to a Stirling engine that enables supply of electricity and usable heat on demand at all hours of the day, without emissions and at an affordable price. The system is scalable and competitive from 0.1 to 100 MWe.

Dr. Arif Sultan Al Hammadi, Executive Vice President, Khalifa University, said, "This collaboration builds on Khalifa University’s expertise in energy-related research and innovation, and reflects our efforts to leverage our state-of-the-art concentrating solar power and thermal energy storage research facility – the Masdar Institute Solar Platform. It will bridge the gap between idea and implementation, to deliver tangible, commercially-viable solutions that will drive the sustainable energy sector in the UAE and the wider region." 

Jonas Eklind, CEO and President of Azelio, said, “The strong position and deep knowledge in renewable energy of Masdar and Khalifa University make the MISP platform a perfect place to showcase and test our technology. We look forward to demonstrating our TES.POD together with other groundbreaking solutions and taking further steps towards a global establishment of the solution."

Khalifa University’s MISP at Masdar City offers a valuable resource to equipment manufacturers, system integrators and installers, project developers, utility companies, investors, private end users, research organizations, and the public.

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