In this thread we can keep track of all the battery developments, a crucial technology to facilitate localization and make the most out of renewables.
A water battery capable of storing electricity equivalent to 400,000 electric car batteries will begin operating in Switzerland next week.
It can store excess electricity by pumping water from the lower pool up to the higher pool, effectively “charging” the battery. When electricity is needed, the direction of the water is reversed. The flow of water rotates a turbine which generates hydroelectric power.
The plant has six pump turbines and a total power output of 900 MW, enough to power as many as 900,000 homes.
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.
Naturally, the next question to be asked is if this technology is scalable, and through the establishment of their company, Polar Night Energy, the researchers have attempted to answer that as well.
Hopefully they start producing them soon, because the current evaporitic extraction of lithium will create new deserts in Argentina, Chile and Bolivia.
Interesting, read. I have not heard anything about this.
Having renewable energy is just one side of the story. Storing that energy is also very important, because the sun doesn’t always shine, the wind doesn’t always blow, etc. If batteries are not sustainable, then the problem would just be moved. This development of long lasting batteries could change that. Also check another development of fast charging batteries. And also this development of massless energy storage.
Not just for electric cars, batteries in general may be used to store solar and wind power for later use. Boosting the efficiency of renewables.