Developing highly efficient thermal storage units based on crushed rock, Brenmiller Energy develops three different elements in one design: thermal storage, heat exchanger and steam generation.

Tal Tutnauer
Business Development Economist

In order to make your technology understandable, it is important to describe it well in few words. We have asked some of our key innovators for a short interview.

What is the key technology of Brenmiller?

Brenmiller’s technology is a thermal energy storage solution which stores high temperature heat in crushed volcanic rocks. This technology has been developed for the last eight years in Israel with a $60m investment. The uniqueness in the bGen is combining three different elements in one design: thermal storage, heat exchanger and steam generation. Heat is stored in modular sub-units, and is capable of accepting multiple forms of heat or electricity (using embedded electrical heaters), and released as superheated steam for electricity generation, saturated steam for industry or hot water upon demand.

What the regional and industry scope? Where do you believe to have the largest growth in the next five years?

We see ourselves in different applications across different regions. We are looking for projects in the US and Western Europe mainly, where there is large penetrations of renewables, and there is more awareness and capabilities for emission reduction. We’re also putting major efforts to Brazil, where there is a massive market for industrial thermal energy. We’ve located a good partner in Brazil which have close collaboration in penetrating the market, and were planning to open a manufacturing facility together in Brazil once we see the economic validation for it.

Why do you believe in its future potential?

We believe that only when renewable energy could compete with fossil fuels in its economics, where it count the most, then we’ll start seeing substantial change and a more dramatic shift towards renewables. And this time has come. PV and wind are cheaper than most fossil fuels. We’re starting to see grid management problems of due to the instability of the renewable sources. Without energy storage the world is limited to renewable integration, and we believe that there will be room for different technologies as the market potential is huge.

What kind of support would you need to scale the technology?

First project are hard. Customers want to see something working nearby. We have five pilot projects that are underway these days in the US, Italy, Brazil and Israel to showcase the technology. These pilots are funded by innovation grants and emission reduction programs. As we are a start-up company with limited resources, the support we need is in locating the right partners that understand the value in our solutions and have the capabilities and resources to introduce this technology to the markets where they operate.