A substantial low-grade thermal energy (temperature <130°C) remains unexploited worldwide. Studies have found that approximately 50% of global energy input is lost in waste heat across five sectors (industrial, commercial, residential, transport, and electricity), being low-grade waste heat the most significant fraction. The thermally regenerative ammonia-based battery (TRAB) is an electrochemical and membrane-based system that effectively converts this low-grade thermal energy into electricity. The TRAB has a fourth level in the technology readiness level (TRL) framework, which involves finding process models, analyzing technical data, and making simulations and laboratory-scale applications. Hence, to scale up the TRAB technology and implement it in real-world conditions, this technology must follow a sustainable technology development.
This study performs a first-of-a-kind techno-economic analysis (TEA) of an all-aqueous copper thermally regenerative ammonia-based battery (Cuaq-TRAB). The TEA methodology is an effective tool to identify a process technical feasibility and cost; subsequently, it will evaluate the scalability and potential applications of a TRAB. The levelized cost of storage (LCOS) is assessed as the ultimate key economic indicator of the TEA. For a 20-year lifetime project of a Cuaq-TRAB using Br-(aq) as the primary ligand, 407 /MWh and 1887 /MWh for the power application (0.44 h) and energy application scenario (15h), respectively, were obtained. An alternative scenario using Cl-(aq) as a base ligand implies reducing the LCOS to 379 /MWh. TEA shows that the developed Cuaq-TRAB offers competitive LCOS for short and long-duration energy storage.