The National Technology Initiative (NTI) Project Support Fund has invested 496 million roubles in the Topaz project for developing new energy sources, RIA Novosti was told by the press service of Russian Venture Company (NTI project office).
The project of the InEnergy group of companies was approved as part of the NTI EnergyNet roadmap (creation and development of the smart energy market in Russia). It aims to develop new energy sources, the characteristics of which will exceed the batteries. Within the framework of the project, it is planned to create power plants of various capacities — from small portable devices with power up to 30 W for individual use to installations for robotics, transport, and industrial energy sources of distributed use with power up to 1,000 W.
Topaz solutions are fuel cell-based. These are devices that convert the chemical energy of fuel into electrical energy using electrochemical reactions in one stage, without intermediate conversions. This is their difference from thermal generation, where at first, the chemical energy of the fuel is converted into heat. The thermal energy is converted into the mechanical strength of rotation of the turbine, and only then converted into electrical power using a generator. Each stage is accompanied by energy loss. The absence of these losses makes fuel cell generators efficient and reliable.
A feature of the Topaz technology is that the gas used in domestic burners is used as fuel, and the generator is “recharged” by replacing the fuel cartridge. Thus, the generator does not “age” in standby mode, unlike batteries, and its specific energy consumption is an order of magnitude higher than lithium-ion storage devices.