The first commercial arena battery is already in operation

Energy storage systems are essential to be able to make the most of the clean sources that provide electricity or photovoltaics, of an intermittent character and that generate energy when it is needed, or when it is available. These types of solutions make it easier to retain them to use later.

Now, a group of Finnish researchers has invented a commercial solution that allows storing energy for months using one of the cheapest and available materials that exist: sand.

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Since Polar Night Energy, responsible for the catfish, explain that the first commercial battery of the arena is already in operation, at the facilities of the Vatajankoski company, a few hours away from Helsinki. Its batteries that serve as resistive heating to increase the air temperature, are transferred to the sand using a heat exchanger.

The dimensions of the sand battery are colossal: as and as detailed from New Atlasthis thermal energy storage system is built around a large steel tank of insulated steel 4 meters above sea level and 7 meters high, filled with old sand.

Energy is stored thanks to about 100 tons of sand at 500 ° C

When needed, the energy is fresh in the form of heat in the same way.

How is this company taking advantage of the stored heat? Combined with the excess heat from their own data servers, Vatajankowski uses that energy to power the local district’s heating system, which uses running water to transmit it through the area. Serves for lighting buildings, swimming pools or industrial processes, among other applications.

“It’s really easy to convert electricity into heat, but turning the heat into electricity requires more complex actions. While we use heat as heat, it will continue to be very simple,” said Markku Ylönen, CTO of Polar Night in a video interview. awarded to Disruptive Investing.

Since the project revealed that its energy storage system with arena has an efficiency of up to 99%with a minimal loss over months and a useful life of decades.

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Never before has no special arena is missing, but it serves any arena that is dry and free of fuel leaks. Its acquisition is very simple and its price, very economical: the installation cost is less than 10 euros per kilovatt-hour, and works completely automatically, non -consumables, also at a minimal cost.

The company has in mind more installations and designs, such as a 20 gigavatios-hour of energy storage that generates hundreds of megavatios of nominal potential, and heats the arena up to 1000 ° C. Another possible way is the subterranean storage of granite from mines to desusowhich does not require high pressure containers, only assumes the cost of the pipe.

The sand battery will have one impact especially relevant during the cold winter, when Finland does not receive direct sun for weeks. Thanks to long -term storage, it will be possible to have economically and cleanly lit buildings in this winter period.

This report has calculated that with the Polar Night energy storage system to its full potential it will be able to replenish enough heat sources that any carbon to reduce a year the equivalent of emissions of between 57 and 283 megatones of CO by 2030.

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