‘Sand battery’ could solve green energy’s big problem, suggests BBC

Finnish capital Oslo in winter

They admit so-called green energy has a big problem, namely intermittency. Getting rid of reliable electricity generation from power stations creates it, but that’s what the likes of the climate-obsessed BBC constantly advocate. The sand idea may have some uses, but it’s admitted that ‘The efficiency falls dramatically when the sand is used to just return power to the electricity grid’. No, the big problem will remain.
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Finnish researchers have installed the world’s first fully working “sand battery” which can store green power for months at a time, says BBC News.

The developers say this could solve the problem of year-round supply, a major issue for green energy.

Using low-grade sand, the device is charged up with heat made from cheap electricity from solar or wind.

The sand stores the heat at around 500C, which can then warm homes in winter when energy is more expensive.

Finland gets most of its gas from Russia, so the war in Ukraine has drawn the issue of green power into sharp focus.

It has the longest Russian border in the EU and Moscow has now halted gas and electricity supplies in the wake of the Finland’s decision to join NATO.

Concerns over sources of heat and light, especially with the long, cold Finnish winter on the horizon are preoccupying politicians and citizens alike.

But in a corner of small power plant in western Finland stands a new piece of technology that has the potential to ease some of these worries.

The key element in this device? Around 100 tonnes of builder’s sand, piled high inside a dull grey silo.

These rough and ready grains may well represent a simple, cost-effective way of storing power for when it’s needed most.

Because of climate change and now thanks to the rapidly rising price of fossil fuels, there’s a surge of investment in new renewable energy production.

But while new solar panels and wind turbines can be quickly added to national grids, these extra sources also presents huge challenges.

The toughest question is about intermittency – how do you keep the lights on when the sun doesn’t shine and the wind doesn’t blow?

Adding more renewables to the electricity grid also means you need to boost other energy sources to balance the network, as too much or too little power can cause it to collapse.

The most obvious answer to these problems is large scale batteries which can store and balance energy demands as the grid becomes greener.

Full article here.
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American version: NREL Options a Modular, Cost-Effective, Build-Anywhere Particle Thermal Energy Storage Technology (2021)

via Tallbloke’s Talkshop

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July 5, 2022 at 03:42AM

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