Will electricity prices go down?  A giant sand battery will solve the crisis

Will electricity prices go down? A giant sand battery will solve the crisis

“Green” energy sources are not only water and wind. Finland is focusing on sand and is currently planning to build another silo.

More and more higher energy prices are a problem almost all over Europe. This has not been the case in Poland yet, as last year measures were taken to freeze prices, which were additionally extended until the middle of this year. However, with the beginning of July electricity prices could skyrocket, and experts’ estimates are not optimistic. Finland wants to gain more control over energy prices by building a kind of “sand warehouses”.

A giant sand battery will be built in Finland

Sand warehouses are no longer new in Finland, because the first such facility was built in 2022. Sand batteries were designed by Polar Night Energy and are based on the extraordinary thermal properties of sand, which is able to retain heat for a very long time. Sand is heated when energy is cheap, then recovered when the price of electricity goes up.

In this way, energy can be stored for many months with little losses. In theory, it is also possible to obtain electricity from thermal energy again, but this would involve greater losses. Therefore, the manufacturer claims that it is most effectively used in the form of heat.

The batteries themselves take the form of hermetically sealed, giant silos filled with sand. Inside there are pipes filled with liquid. When energy is cheap, it is turned on generator heating the liquid in the pipes. The heat is transferred to the sand, which is able to store energy for a very long time. Then, when the price of energy goes up, cold water is injected into the pipes and heated by the hot sand.

There will be a new battery up to 10 times larger than the original one. The silo will be 13 meters high and 15 meters wide. The manufacturer calculated that this will allow for an output power of 1 MW and a capacity of up to 100 MWh, which will allow for meeting the weekly energy demand of Finnish Pornainen in winter or monthly in summer. The original 4 × 7 m silo had a rated power of 100 kW and a capacity of 8 MWh.

Polar Night Energy says construction and testing of the new sand battery will be completed in approximately 13 months.

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