California-based Terrajoule has raised $11.5 million in venture capital to develop its parabolic trough-based energy storage technology. Investors include New Enterprise Associates, Air Liquide Investments and a number of individuals.
Terrajoule's energy storage technology uses trough collectors to heat pressurized saltwater. Energy conversion is via reciprocating steam-piston engines. The company says the system can respond rapidly to changes in load, functioning much like the diesel generators it aims to replace.
Terrajoule says it is targeting a number of applications in the industrial and agricultural sectors, including distributed electricity production – especially in locations with electrical grids that are inadequate to support economic growth – and waste heat recovery.