Boot camps have emerged as a quick and popular way to acquire the technological skills that companies are looking for. They are perfect for innovation, and Enel frequently organises them very often across our network of Innovation Hubs. We see them as an opportunity to meet new startups. Indeed, that is how we got to know Brenmiller, at our Enel Innovation Hub in Israel.
“Energy when you need it”. This is the claim of Brenmiller, an energy storage company which has the aim of answering a real need: the dramatic paradigm shift in the power production over the last decade. According to Brenmiller, the energy generated by centralised power plants has been progressively integrated with, and even replaced by, power generation from different renewable sources. This energy transition represents a new challenge for the whole energy sector. And the main question remains: how to store energy in a cost-effective way?
The Brenmiller company was founded in 2012 by Avi Brenmiller, former CEO of Siemens CSP and Solel, and a team of experts in the field of renewable energy. “Based on its unique storage technology, the company provides sustainable energy solutions to the Distributed Generation market,” Brenmiller says.
"Innovation for me is a state of mind. I believe that innovative people are driven by the desire to set a goal and achieve it"
Avi Brenmiller, Chairman & CEO of Brenmiller
Storing high temperature energy
Lower costs, total flexibility, multiple energy sources, environmentally friendly and able to resist temperatures of up to 750º. This is the bGen™super system, which Brenmiller has developed. “The main patented technology is for a high temperature energy storage based on crushed rocks. This combines three elements: a heat exchanger, thermal storage and a steam generator. The unit has low costs, minimal maintenance and no augmentation for 30 years, therefore driving the record low prices,” Brenmiller adds.
It is considered a ‘green engineering’ unit, as he explains: “No hazardous substances and no chemicals are used in the storage media. Accordingly, there are zero emissions when using the bGen™. It also lowers the Co2 emissions by reducing fuel consumption”. The unit can receive heat or electricity from various sources in order to charge the storage unit, and can produce steam in various conditions using its inherent steam generator for multiple hours while maintaining a steady output in terms of temperature and pressure.
This technology can be used for a broad range of applications and markets. Specifically, “in the thermal world the bGen™ could be used in large and small thermal power plants to increase their flexibility and efficiency, recover waste heat, decouple electrical and thermal supply and electrify heat” Brenmiller explains. Their target clients would be utilities, developers and Consumer and Industrial clients.
A genuine, shared belief in innovation
“Together with Enel’s Global Power Generation Innovation team, we have worked very closely for the last two years to explore the benefits that the technology can bring to the market”. Together, we have conducted a feasibility study where we analysed all technical and economic elements of Brenmiller’s technology. “The close work with and continuous feedback from Enel, and their 360º view of the market, have brought us to perfect our offering to the market and increase our value proposition” Brenmiller says. “This close perspective enables Enel to point us in the right direction”.
Brenmiller adds that the personal approach and the open mind towards innovation is something “very unique we see in our joint work with Enel”. He believes that “Many large organisations speak about the need for innovation. But when it comes to investing time and resources, they usually don’t take many risks. Enel is different, they continuously look around for innovative technologies and support best products up to the scale up on the market”.