The first ever fully operational “sand battery” in the world was built by researchers in Finland, and it has the capacity to store renewable energy for several months.

The first fully operational sand battery has recently been installed in Finland. Because this technology can retain heat produced sustainably for long periods of time, it might be utilized to keep households warm throughout the winter. It works by using electricity generated by solar or wind power to heat 100 tons of sand.

The battery was made by Polar Night Energy, a business that describes itself as a “innovator of seasonal heat storage.”

According to the company, you can use solar or wind energy to meet 100% of your electrical and heating needs with this system. Our revolutionary large-scale, high-temperature heat storage is the foundation of our system.

The company explained how they “convert electricity to heat, and store it for later use” in order to accomplish this energy storage. Sand is what we use for storage, which promotes safe functioning and a natural equilibrium in the cycle of storage. Furthermore, sand is an inexpensive, plentiful substance that may be burned to temperatures of 1000 degrees Celsius or greater.”

“Inside the sand, we build our heat transfer system that enables effective energy transportation to and from the storage.” “Proper insulation between the storage and the environment allows for months of storage with minimal heat loss.”

The company claims that Vatajankoski, an electric utility located in western Finland, is the site of its first commercially constructed sand-based heat storage facility. It will supply heat to Kankaanpaa, Finland’s Vatajankoski district heating network. The store has a capacity of 8 MWh and a heating power of 100 kW. The storage will be used on a large basis starting in 2022.

According to Ville Kivioja, the main scientist of Polar Night Energy, even if we wait for days or weeks, the heat stored in the core does not easily escape since the sand at the core is quite far from the border.

Looking at the sand in the steel silo, we can see that part of it is located relatively close to the boundary structure—let’s say, less than 0.5 meters away. This component of the sand will transfer heat to the boundary structure fairly well, so over time, some of the heat is lost,” Kivioja added.

About Sand Battery

A “sand battery” is a high-temperature thermal energy storage device that uses sand or materials that resemble sand as the store medium. Sand retains heat and releases energy. Its main purpose is to store excess solar and wind energy as a high-capacity, high-power energy storage device. Heat is produced from the energy and can be used for a variety of purposes, including heating buildings.

Functioning of Sand Battery.

During the charging process, extra thermal energy is used to heat the sand bed. Operators can divert excess heat to other processes or applications as the sand bed gradually fills up to its maximum storage capacity, making effective use of renewable energy sources possible. The discharging phase begins when stored thermal energy is required. The heat contained in the sand bed is transferred to a heat-transfer fluid—such as air or water—which then transports the heat to its intended location. This energy can be used for a number of things, such as heating water, producing electricity, or running industrial processes.


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