March 31, 2024 at 9:39 am

The World’s Biggest Sand Battery Could Change A Town’s Dependency On Oil. Is The World Next?

by Trisha Leigh

Source: YouTube

The whole world has been looking for alternatives to the whole clean energy crisis.

We’ve heard about sand possibly being an option here and there, but this huge sand battery seems to be proof that it could actually work.

At least, they’re going to try it out in this small municipality in Finland.

Polar Night Energy designed a battery that stores thermal energy in sand. They hope if could increase the storage of renewable energy to meet year-round heating demands and cut carbon emissions.

The trial will take place in Pornainen, Finland, where Polar Night Energy hopes to prove that their battery will reduce carbon dioxide emissions by 70% in a year.

Most of these savings will come from not having to use oil.

The people who live in Pornainen will get their heat from a silo that stands 43-feet high and 15-meters wide. Inside will be crushed soapstone, which conducts heat better than conventional sand, to heat transfer pipes. When excess electricity is produced from wind and solar sources, the sand battery uses a process called resistive heating to convert that energy into thermal energy. This heats the air as it circulates through the silo, warming up the surrounding soapstone sand. The hot air will then be discharged into the district’s heating system.

This will be Polar Night Energy’s second such battery and experiment, but is by far the largest, with a heating power of 1 megawatt and the capability to store up to 100 megawatt hours of thermal energy. This should be enough energy to heat the town’s winter heat demands, and some of their summer ones, too.

Polar Night is hoping that sand batteries will prove to be less expensive option with a lower environmental impact to boot.

It’s not without its challenges, though.

“The thermal energy it stores could be converted back to electricity, but this has inherent losses, thus complicating the economical side,” according to Polar Night.

Only time will tell whether this will become a viable alternative energy source.

For now, or at least in the near future, all eyes will be on Finland.

If you think that’s impressive, check out this story about a “goldmine” of lithium that was found in the U.S. that could completely change the EV battery game.