Malta, the renewable energy storage project started in Alphabet’s moonshot factory X, is now independent and flush with $26 million from a Series A funding round led by Breakthrough Energy Ventures .
Malta Inc. has created a system designed to keep power generated from reusable energy or fossil fuels in reserve for a much longer time than average lithium-ion batteries. The electro-thermal storage system first captures energy generated from wind, solar or fossil generators on the grid. The collected electricity then drives a heat pump, which exchanges the electrical energy into thermal energy. The heat is stored in molten salt, while the cold is stored in chilled antifreeze liquid. A heat engine is used to convert the energy back to electricity for the grid when it’s needed.
Malta says that this system can easily store electricity for days or even week.
Malta is going to use the funds to work with industry partners to turn the detailed designs developed and refined at X into industrial-grade machinery for its first pilot system.
BEV, the lead investor in Malta’s Series A round, was created in 2016 by the Breakthrough Energy Coalition, an investor group that includes Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates, John Doerr, chairman of venture firm Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, Alibaba founder Jack Ma, Amazon founder and CEO Jeff Bezos, and SAP co-founder Hasso Plattner.
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