Gustavo Bernal Torres
The World's First Operational 'Sand Battery' Can Store Energy For Months
It's the first sand battery on a commercial scale.
A team of researchers from Finland has set up the world's first commercial-scale 'sand battery' that be used to store power generated from renewable sources for months at a time to solve the problem of year-round supply.
Just like conventional energy storage systems, when excess power is generated through renewable sources than is required, it is directed towards the sand battery. Instead of trying to move electrons from one electrode to the other or power pumps to send water to a higher reservoir, a sand battery uses resistive heating to increase the temperature of the air, which is then transferred to sand through a heat exchanger. With the melting temperature of the sand in hundreds of degrees Celsius, a tower of sand has a high potential to store energy. More importantly, sand store this energy for many months together, making it a viable long-term storage solution.