Skipping Conventions Engineers Make World’s First Sand Battery That Stores Green Power for Months
First of its kind, fully functional sand battery has been developed to store green power for months by Polar Night Energy, a Finnish company.First of its kind, fully functional sand battery has been developed to store green power for months by Polar Night Energy, a Finnish company.
Engineers from Polar Night Energy had installed the new sand battery in July 2022 and have seen promising results since then.
The sand battery opens up a valuable solution to one of green power’s most critical challenges, i.e. providing energy year-round.
Green energy sources are often readily available only during certain times of the year, but storing that energy for colder months has been a long-running issue and concern.
The sand can be stored in a simple silo, and the sand battery could provide a helpful path forward for cleaner, cheaper energy which can be an accessible and sustainable part of everyday life.
Existing solar panels and wind turbines can continue generating electricity using natural and available sources.
Some of that electricity could be used immediately, but the remaining, unused energy could be stored as heat in a sand battery.
Sand is believed to be very effective at retaining heat, and with the right conditions, it could hold that warmth for months at a time.
The stored heat could be later used to provide hot water heating in order to warm up buildings year-round.
The pilot test sand battery is situated in the Vatajankoski power plant and will be tested this winter by the residents of nearby Kankaanpää, a small town in western Finland.
Need for renewable energy sources is rising due to the rising prices of unhealthy energy sources like fossil fuel and cold winter months just ahead.
Intermittency remains a concern with energy sources that ebb and flow, such as solar energy’s dependence on sunlight.
Sand batteries may provide a reliable and available source of year-round heat, helping combat climate change.
The next question will be whether sand batteries can be scaled for broader use and more impactful applications, such as providing electricity as well as a heat source for hot water.