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Using Hot Sand To Store Energy

The Department of Energy on CleanTechnica writes on their latest advancement in energy storage.

The C3 Take
  • The Department of Energy’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory is in the late stages of prototype testing sand to store energy.
  • Excess energy from wind or solar is used to heat silica sand which is then gravity fed into insulated concrete silos for thermal energy storage. When energy is needed the sand particles are gravity fed through a heat exchanger which heats and pressurizes a gas in the sand, turning turbines with clean energy.
  • While this technology is still in its infancy, this could prove to be a technological breakthrough for energy storage.

“ENDURING uses electricity from surplus solar or wind to heat a thermal storage material — silica sand. Particles are fed through an array of electric resistive heating elements to heat them to 1,200°C (imagine pouring sand through a giant toaster). The heated particles are then gravity-fed into insulated concrete silos for thermal energy storage. The baseline system is designed for economical storage of up to a staggering 26,000 MWh of thermal energy. With modular design, storage capacity can be scaled up or down with relative ease.”

Read the full article here.

The views and opinions expressed are those of the author’s and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of C3.

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