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Antora Energy recently demonstrated the world's most efficient solid state heat engine


Antora Energy working in the lab. (left to right Tarun Narayan, David Bierman,
Justin Briggs, Andrew Ponec) PHOTO CREDIT: Marilyn Chung, Lawrence Berkeley National Lab


 
March 18, 2020

On a mission to commercialize ultra-low-cost energy storage to support the widespread deployment of wind and solar power.

Antora Energy's technology stores electricity as heat in extremely inexpensive raw materials and uses a novel thermophotovoltaic heat engine to convert that heat back to electricity when consumers need it, hours, days, or weeks later.

The startup, led by Stanford University alumni Andrew Ponec, BS ’17, and Justin Briggs, Ph.D. ’17, and MIT alumnus David Bierman, Ph.D. ’17, has recently demonstrated the world's most efficient solid state heat engine, topping the performance of all previous thermophotovoltaic, thermionic, and thermoelectric devices. This breakthrough is a key enabler for Antora's energy storage technology, and also opens up numerous other applications ranging from industrial waste heat recovery to flexible carbon capture, utilization, and storage.

“We think the ability to efficiently convert heat to electricity with a lightweight, low-profile device that can easily scale from watts to gigawatts without taking a performance hit will be a game-changer in energy storage and multiple other industries,” says Briggs.

Their recent demonstration of over 30% conversion efficiency has drawn substantial customer interest and validated their technology roadmap of achieving over 50% conversion efficiency. Multiple classes of customers have expressed that this current level of performance will meet their needs, so Antora is moving fast to deploy.

The Antora team is currently working with a power producer customer to develop and build a first customer-sited energy storage product.

With early support from the TomKat Center's Innovation Transfer Program, Cyclotron Road, ARPA-E DAYS program, Shell/NREL GameChanger prize, FLOW Competition, and venture investors, Antora's progress is building momentum and drawing attention. Their technology has recently been highlighted in articles by CNBC, Vox, and MIT Technology Review.