Boston-based Fourth Power secured Series A funding to advance its innovative thermal battery technology, enhancing renewable energy storage capabilities and providing grid operators with unparalleled grid flexibility. The funding was led by DCVC, joined by Breakthrough Energy Ventures (BEV) and the Black Venture Capital Consortium.
The investment signals a pivotal moment for the Boston-based company as it gears up to scale its groundbreaking thermal battery technology. This technology promises cost-effective solutions for renewable Energy Storage efficiently, addressing the challenges posed by the intermittent nature of wind and solar sources.
“Our vision has always been to tackle climate change by making renewable energy – which is the most cost-effective form of power – a reliable resource for the grid to use at all hours of the day,” said Fourth Power’s CEO, Arvin Ganesan.
What is it about?
- The Black Venture Capital Consortium, Breakthrough Energy Ventures, and venture capital firm DCVC led the Series A round of funding that will go toward building the company’s 1 MWh-e thermal battery facility north of Boston.
- The entire cost of the system is reduced by utilizing more affordable and widely available materials, making electricity storage 10 times less expensive than lithium-ion batteries.
- The secret to Fourth Power’s high-power density is its proprietary liquid metal heat transfer mechanism, which enables operation at nearly half the sun’s temperature, setting a new record for high temperature.
Innovative Thermal Battery Technology
Developed by Asegun Henry, Ph.D., the mind behind this groundbreaking technology, Fourth Power holds impressive records, including a Guinness World Record for the highest temperature pumping of liquid metal at 1200°C degrees.
“Fourth’s Power’s solution is an engineered sun-in-a-box. We are thrilled to join forces with this exceptional team, whose best-in-class technology can greatly increase the production and use of renewable energy,” said Zachary Bogue, co-founder and managing partner at DCVC.
Fourth Power’s pioneering thermal battery system operates by converting renewable energy into heat, storing it for both short and long durations. The core of this technology involves heating liquid tin, which is then channeled through a piping system to heat stacks of carbon blocks until they glow intensely.
The released heat is harnessed and converted into electricity using thermophotovoltaic (TPV) cells. This approach offers a versatile and modular solution that ensures maximum efficiency while providing grid operators with unparalleled control and flexibility.
“After more than ten years of research and development in enhancing renewable energy storage, we are grateful to reach this crucial milestone in our journey thanks to our funding partners who recognized the innovation and potential of Fourth Power’s thermal battery technology,” said Asegun Henry, founder and chief technology officer of Fourth Power.
Strategic Investment and Prototype Facility
The Series A funding will facilitate the scaling of Fourth Power’s thermal energy storage solution and pave the way for the construction of a 1 MWh-e prototype facility near Boston. This facility, slated for completion in 2026, will serve as a testament to the company’s commitment to advancing renewable energy storage capabilities.
“I’m proud to lead this team of engineering experts and look forward to continuing our work to develop a long-duration energy storage solution that can be significantly cheaper than existing solutions, reliable, and, importantly, scalable without the necessity of mining for lithium,” added Asegun Henry.
Fourth Power’s ascent in the renewable energy landscape represents a significant leap towards a more sustainable future. With its innovative thermal battery technology and strategic funding, the company will play assist in the global shift towards cleaner and more reliable energy sources.
“Clean energy storage that is reliable and scalable will be a cornerstone of a zero-carbon future,” said Carmichael Roberts of Breakthrough Energy Ventures. “Fourth Power’s years of research and technological breakthroughs leave them well-positioned to accelerate the development of its innovative storage solutions and achieve significant milestones in the coming years.”
Addressing Renewable Energy Challenges
Fourth Power’s thermal battery technology comes at a crucial juncture when addressing the challenges of relying solely on the real-time generation of wind and solar energy. Without effective energy storage solutions, the grid struggles to maintain a consistent and reliable power supply, hindering progress in reducing dependence on fossil fuels.
“We need utility-scale energy storage that can grow with the grid to make this a reality on a global scale. With the support of our investors, Fourth Power will accelerate our mission and reshape the clean energy landscape by making grid-scale thermal battery storage the most cost-effective solution for power production. We are energized by the opportunity to create a better, more sustainable future,” said Arvin Ganesan.
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