South Australian CCT Energy Storage firm produces the world-first TED thermal battery

CCT Energy Storage's TED (Thermal Energy Device) battery aims to revolutionise renewable energy.

South Australia’s CCT Energy Storage launched the world’s first working thermal battery in 2019. The TED (Thermal Energy Device), battery accepts any form of electrical input to convert and store energy as latent heat. This makes it versatile, affordable and long-lasting.

TED can be scaled to power remote communities, businesses, micro grids, rail signalling or telecommunication, as a substitute for diesel generation.

CCT Energy Storage originated in 2011 in small factory in the southern Adelaide suburb of Lonsdae when a tenacious group of scientists and engineers began researching, developing and designing a large-scale thermal battery to revolutionise the market for global renewable energy.

The cutting-edge technology and its potential grew exponentially which led to Climate Change Technologies Pty Ltd being formed as a private South Australian company in 2011 and a working scale prototype in 2012 from more than $6 million in research and development.

In 2019, the company's Lonsdale plant was set to make 10 units for commercial customers that year and production expected to rise to 200 by 2020.

CCT Energy Storage’s thermal battery incorporates a unique phase change material that can store energy at more than 12 times the energy density of a lead acid battery. The stored energy can then be extracted from the thermal battery via a heat engine, to provide an electricity supply when needed.

The thermal battery is not only suitable for renewable energy such as wind and solar. It’s also adaptable to non-renewable energy sources from fossil fuels. Climate Change Technologies has found a Swedish partner in MIBA Solutions for manufacturing and distributing TED throughout Europe.


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Charles Rothauser's Adelaide inventions: world firsts in syringes and dual-flush toilets

Besides inventing the world’s first disposable plastic hypodermic syringe in Adelaide in the late 1940s, Charles Rothauser, a pioneer of the injection-moulding of plastics, also developed the first all-plastic toilet cistern. Hungarian-born Rothauser, educated as an architect in Vienna, had begun making dolls with his wife Christine in Adelaide in 1939 as the Quality Toy Company. Finding a niche in the nascent plastics field enabled Rothauser to invent the plastic hypodermic syringe – a medical breakthrough that benefited millions of people. Starting with a factory in Norwood in 1941, his Caroma company became Australia’s leading manufacturers of bathroom products, including the world-first dual flush toilets system in 1982. He developed the Caroma Deluxe, the world’s first all-plastic one-piece moulded toilet cistern to combat Adelaide water’s corrosive effect on brass fittings. He built on the Caroma innovations with the first two-button dual flush and smartflush technology. Caroma was the first company to achieve the Australian water efficiency labelling and standard (WELS) five-star rating. Rothauser won a swag of export and design awards for his Caroma products out of the factories in Wetherill Park, Sydney (closed in 2014) and Norwood (closed in 2017).
Caroma products continue but are now all made overseas, with the Norwood plant shutting in 2017. The Caroma Dorf group of companies continues to offer bathroom, kitchen and laundry products from brands such as Fowler, Dorf, Clark, Epure, Radiant and Irwell. But its products are now made in Malaysia, China and Europe.


Crystal Brook, Tonsley, Port Lincoln hydrogen plants fit 2017 state government roadmap

The South Australian Labor government in 2017 gave $1 million to help Neoen complete feasibility of a 50MW hydrogen superhub powered by the wind-solar-battery at Crystal Brook Energy Park, near Port Pirie. The vision was for an electrolyser to produce up to 20,000kg of hydrogen a day, opening renewable hydrogen exports to Asia. The Crystal Brook proposal would be much bigger than a 15MW hydrogen electrolyser power plant, announced in 2018 for near Port Lincoln, seen as a globally-significant demonstrator. This was closely followed by a $11.4 million 1.25MW Siemens electrolyser to produce hydrogen using grid electricity and potentially onsite solar by the Australian Gas Infrastructure Group (AGIG) at Tonsely innovation district in Adelaide. These projects fitted the government’s Hydrogen Roadmap, launched in 2017 under its $150 million Renewable Technology Fund. Developed with industry – including Siemens and Advisian (part of the WorleyParsons Group) – the roadmap outlined to developers how the state’s nation-leading renewable wind and solar capacity could attract international investment in producing hydrogen. Hydrogen can be obtained from surplus renewable sources such as wind or solar through electrolysis that splits clean water into hydrogen and oxygen. Hydrogen can then be used in a fuel cell to power vehicles or exported around the world.


Alfred Traeger's two-way radio with pedal power enables flying doctor/school of the air

The two-way-radio powered by a pedal-operated generator was invented by Alfred Traeger in 1927 and became the central to the success of the Royal Flying Doctor Service and long-distance School of the Air education in the Australian outback. Traeger, ''curious, patient, precise”, studied mechanical and electrical engineering at South Australian School of Mines and Industries (1912-15). Always intrigued by radio, he obtained an amateur operator's licence and built his first pedal transmitter-receiver. He was contacted by flying doctor service founder John Flynn to assist in experiments to give remote outback families radio access to medical treatment. Flynn and Traeger carried out wireless experiments in outback areas, and transmitted Australia's first radio telegram. But copper oxide Edison batteries they used proved unsuitable for remote homes. Traeger developed a pedal generator to power a Morse cord wireless set. He added a typewriter keyboard enabling unskilled operators to type a message in plain language and have it transmitted in Morse. In 1939, Traeger's set dispensed with pedals and adopted a vibrator unit. Traeger also suggested the outback school of the air, later started by Adelaide’s Adelaide Meithke. With his brother and father, he founded Traeger Transceivers and exported his radios. In 1962, pedal sets went to Nigeria; in 1970, he provided an educational radio network for Canada. Traeger continued inventing. He designed a gas-turbine-driven car and used solar power to convert salt water to fresh water.

Miethke's school of the air – and flying doctor – powered by Alfred Traeger's technology

Adelaide Meithke formed and drove the setting up the world’s first school of the air for outback children in 1950. Miethke, a friend of John Flynn, was the (Royal) Flying Doctor Service’s South Australian branch’s first woman president in 1941 and edited Air Doctor. This pedal technology for the radios used by both the flying doctor and the school of the air was developed by another South Australian of German heritage: Alfred Traeger.


South Australian car plant at Tonsley now an award-winning new technology precinct

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Adelaide's pedal prix becomes the biggest human-powered vehicle race in the world

The Adelaide-grown Australian International Pedal Prix has become the world's biggest human-powered vehicle (HPV) race. The 24-hour event at Sturt Reserve, Murray Bridge, attracts teams from around Australia. The first event in 1985, in the car park of the then Underdale campus of The University of South Australia, had 15-20 teams racing in clunky vehicles. As the event grew, it has moved to bigger venues including the former road safety centre at Oaklands Park and Adelaide International Raceway at Virginia, and in 1997 to Murray Bridge, where for the first time, public roads were shut specially for the event. Ninety teams were in the first Murray Bridge event, growing to a record 228 in 2009. During the year, the HPV Super Series of six-hour races is conducted in several states at venues including Victoria Park in Adelaide’s parklands.Technology has evolved to produce aero-efficient slick machines that are capable of speeds up to 70 km/h.


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