World's first commercial 'sand battery' can store green energy for months at a time

The technology could help generate year-round supply



Polar Night Energy official website
Polar Night Energy official website

By Web Desk

Published: Tue 5 Jul 2022, 5:38 PM

A team of young engineers in Finland may have created the ultimate heat storage solution - out of sand.

The 'sand battery' is essentially a large silo full of grains. When energy, or heat, is passed into the grains, it gets stored between the sand particles.

The sand is very effective at storing heat, and can reach a temperature of 500°C just by passing some low-cost electricity through it. Sand particles can undergo reflective heating - a heating method that results in high temperatures with minimal input.

The founders of the company that made this 'sand battery' have installed it in the town of Kankaanpää in Finland. It is being used to warm water for the district, and is pumped to homes, offices, and swimming pools, according to BBC.

Significance for green energy

One of the biggest problems green energy faces is that it is hard to store energy made by a renewable resource.

The sand battery is a potential solution that not only effectively stores energy for several months at a time, but can also be used without any harmful chemicals or pollutants being produced. Most batteries in the world currently are made of lithium, which is both potentially dangerous and expensive.

Storing energy in sand is also reduces costs. Running generators to produce heat during the cold north European winter months is very expensive, but a sand battery or two could be an cost-efficient way to provide heat.

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