A major problem with renewable energy sources such as wind, solar and hydro is intermittency. That means they can’t be relied upon all the time because, for example, the sun might stop shining, or it might be a still, windless day. To fill the void, users typically rely on diesel generators or batteries. But diesel generators create emissions, and batteries last only a short time.clean tech startups eliminate said it has found a solution with its modular hydrogen production and storage technology.
The Australian startup announced today that it has raised A$11.8 million (approximately US$7.8 million). Participants in the round included new investors Queensland Investment Corporation (QIC), Melt Ventures and 77 Partners, who put in a combined A$7.5 million. The rest of the funding came from returning strategic investors Main Sequence, the deep tech fund set up by government science agency CSIRO, and Australia’s largest transport energy provider, Ampol.
Launched in 2021 by CEO and founder Paul Sernia, Endua uses self-contained modular hydrogen banks, each of which is said to be able to drive electrical loads of up to 100 kW. That’s enough power to power a water pump, a farmhouse, or a stand-alone telecommunications infrastructure. The amount of electricity used is scalable, as excess renewable energy is stored in the form of hydrogen and converted to electricity by fuel cells as needed.
Sernia told TechCrunch that storing excess renewable energy as hydrogen could overcome intermittency challenges because users can use the stored energy when needed or when renewable generation is insufficient. Endua serves a broad range of customers including regional communities, agriculture and farming, telecommunications infrastructure, energy distributors and remote infrastructure.
Endua designs and builds electrolyzers that use renewable energy sources such as solar or wind power to split water molecules into hydrogen and oxygen through electrolysis. The resulting hydrogen is then stored in its modular storage tanks, which are high-pressure tanks that preserve the integrity of the hydrogen for months. Once Endua’s customers are ready to convert the stored hydrogen into electricity, the power bank uses electrochemical technology, primarily through hydrogen fuel cells, and produces no carbon emissions.
Sernia said Endua’s power bank is designed to integrate with existing energy systems, including renewables such as solar panels and wind turbines, to capture excess energy. This helps ensure customers have a continuous supply of power.
Endua will use its new funding to expand its pilot system and recruit staff over the next 18 months. In addition to funding, Endua has received a total of $4.3 million in funding, including Entrepreneur Program Accelerated Commercialization Grants, Collaborative Research Center Programs and Advanced Manufacturing Growth Center grants. All of its products are manufactured in Australia and are currently establishing a manufacturing facility in Queensland.
Matthew Halliday, Ampol managing director, said in a statement about the funding: “Endua’s technology provides the foundation for off-grid and diesel energy users to meet their decarbonization commitments and become self-sustaining. We look forward to working with Collaborate with customers to further explore applications in our economy.”