Türkiye'de Mostbet çok saygın ve popüler: en yüksek oranlarla spor bahisleri yapmayı, evden çıkmadan online casinoları oynamayı ve yüksek bonuslar almayı mümkün kılıyor.
Search for:
Polskie casino Mostbet to setki gier, zakłady sportowe z wysokimi kursami, gwarancja wygranej, wysokie bonusy dla każdego.
  • Home/
  • Technology/
  • Within Europe’s high-tech battle for better energy storage

Within Europe’s high-tech battle for better energy storage

A “metal sock” in the ground filled with hydrogen. Baking with burning sand. Huge weights move very, very slowly up and down old mine shafts. Is this the future of energy?

This menagerie of strange machines and heat-trapping craft is about to emerge across Europe as the continent looks for ways to store the excess energy produced by renewables. The UK, for example half a billion pounds of wind energy wasted in 2021 because it had nowhere to store it. Without such storage, electricity must be used the moment it is generated.

As wind energy continues to be lost across Europe, the EU is spending record amounts – billions of euros – on gas imports, as it becomes less dependent on fossil fuels from Russia.

Buy your tickets for TNW Valencia in March!

The heart of technology comes to the heart of the Mediterranean

“We are at a turning point,” said Dominic Walters, chief corporate affairs officer at Highview Power, a UK-based company working on a way to store energy in the form of liquid air. “Everything needs to be accelerated everywhere,” he adds, referring to the colorful array of energy storage projects currently in early stage development in Europe.

Proponents of alternative energy storage technologies argue that lithium-ion batteries will only get us so far. Their production depends on mining, they don’t have a very long life span and arguably they do not ideal for storing energy for more than a few hours.

“If we don’t find out soon how to stabilize Europe’s electricity grids, we will regret it,” says Jacopo Tosoni, head of policy at the European Association for Storage and Energy (EASE): “You are generally at risk power outage in 2030.”

There is now a battle to put in the necessary storage media so that energy can be kept ready and waiting for the times when it is needed.

The heating is on

In an industrial corner of Kankaanpää, Finland, a town of about 12,000 inhabitants, there is a seven meter high, dark gray silo full of sand. Sand that can store energy in the form of heat.

“Our year-round efficiency is about 90% for the system, so 10% loss, which is obviously pretty good,” said Tommi Eronen, CEO and co-founder of Polar Night Energy, an eight-person start-up that is established €1.25 million to date. Eronen described how the sand, heated to 600˚C using excess electricity, stays warm for months thanks to the insulation along the walls of the steel container. Tubes filled with hot air run through the sand to transfer heat in or out.

This sand battery is connected to a heat exchanger, says Eronen, so operators can transfer thermal energy to district heating systems or, in possible future versions of the technology, turbines for electricity generation.

Eronen explains that early versions of the company’s sand battery are relatively small-scale. The Kankaanpää unit offers 100 kW of heating capacity, or a capacity of 8 MWh, but Polar Night Energy is planning units of 100 MW and above, which could yield several GWh of juice in a day. Such units would be about eight meters high and 44 meters in diameter, says a spokesperson for Polar Night Energy.

Expect news about the delivery of a 2MW version as early as this spring, Eronen adds.

Polar Night Energy heat storage unit