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Sand battery

  • IASbaba
  • December 29, 2022
  • 0
Environment & Ecology
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Context: Recently a Finland based company came up with sand-based battery to provide clean energy solution for Europe’s energy crisis. It is currently operational at town of Kankaanpaa in Finland.

About Sand Battery:

  • It is a type of energy storage device that uses sand or sand-like materials as the storage medium.
  • Sand is a very effective medium for storing heat and loses little over time.
  • The sand is charged with electricity and then discharged to produce power.
  • Its purpose is to work as a high-power and high-capacity reservoir for renewable energy.
  • Sand batteries can help to increase the use of renewable energy by allowing excess/surplus energy produced from renewable sources to be stored and used at a later time.

Key Features: The sand battery has three major interconnected components:

  • Steel silo: It contains 100 tonnes of sand where the heat is stored.
  • Electric air heater: Resistors are used in regular ovens and an air-to-water heat exchanger.
  • Heat Exchanger: It has a mechanical pipe and water.
  • Sand stores the heat at around 500 Celsius (the same process that makes electric fires work).
  • Sand is at the core and very far from the boundary so the heat stored in the core does not easily get lost
    • It can last days or weeks.
  • Reservoir is so well-insulated from the outer environment that it can retain temperatures up to 600 degrees Celsius and prevent heat losses over time.
  • It can store up to 8 megawatt-hours of energy as heat.

Working conditions:

  • It receives electricity from grid through cheaper renewable sources like solar and wind.
  • Electricity is converted to heat and transferred to sand.
  • Air is blown via a fan through the curricular pipe system inside the silo.
  • It will enter the electric air heater, where it becomes hot with the help of a resistor located inside.
  • Hot air will be circulated by air-to-water heat exchanger through metal structure (pipes).
  • There’s no direct contact between air and water.
  • Hot water is discharged into district heating system.
  • It circulates in close loop from the heat exchanger to the customer and back.
  • Energy is stored as heat which is used to heat homes or to provide hot stream and high temperature process heat to industries that are often fossil-fuel dependent.

Source:  DownToEarth

 

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