The world’s largest battery factory will be 2.5x the size of Tesla’s Gigafactory

California-based Rondo Energy and Thailand’s Siam Cement Group are going to operate the world’s largest battery factory in Thailand.

The world’s largest battery factory

The production capacity of Rondo Heat Battery storage at Siam Cement Group’s factory is going to be ramped up from 2.4 GWh to 90 GWh per year – that’s larger than any existing or planned battery manufacturing factory worldwide.

The existing 160,000 square meters (1.72 million square feet) factory is going to be expanded. A spokesperson told Electrek that the launch timeline is over the next few years, but the two companies have not yet committed to a set date.

The 90 GWh of planned capacity will result in 12 million tons of CO2 emissions savings annually, equivalent to removing over 4 million ICE vehicles from the road each year.

How the Rondo Heat Battery works

Siam Cement Group is the largest and oldest cement building material company in Southeast Asia. Its subsidiary SRIC produces refractory bricks. Also called fire bricks, refractory bricks are made of fireproof materials that can withstand high temperatures.

Each brick that Siam Cement Group makes for Rondo’s batteries (pictured above) is 500 kg and stores 100 kWh – as much as a Tesla Model X.

Rondo Energy, which is backed by Bill Gates-founded Breakthrough Energy Ventures and utility-backed Energy Impact Partners, launched its first commercial operating unit at an ethanol plant in Pixley, California, in March.

The Rondo Heat Battery captures intermittent electricity from solar and wind, stores the energy from that electricity as high-temperature heat in brick materials, and delivers the stored energy on demand as high-temperature heat and/or electricity:

The battery is made only of brick and iron. It charges in as little as four hours and stores heat energy at temperatures up to 1500° C for hours or days, delivering zero-carbon heat for such processes as steel, cement, and chemical manufacturing.

Rondo has designed its battery for such industries as steel, cement, grid energy storage, power plant conversion, and mining.

Here’s how Rondo says its batteries can reduce emissions in different sectors:

Raymond James energy analyst Pavel Molchanov said in a statement:

Electric thermal energy storage can play a useful role in addressing the needs of the industrial sector, which has been slow to decarbonize.

And, from an energy security standpoint, it is worth noting that this technology avoids the use of scarce and expensive materials.

Industry uses more energy than any other sector in the world, and most industrial energy is used as heat. Industrial heat consumes a quarter of total world energy and today releases a quarter of the world’s carbon dioxide emissions.

You can check out the Rondo Heat Battery’s specs here.

Read more: This solar + storage system is made up of 1,300 second-life EV batteries

Photos: SCG and Rondo Energy

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