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The new battery created by researchers at Curtin University in Australia is based on concentrating solar energy storage systems. It could revolutionize the landscape of renewable energy production around the world.

A group of engineers from Curtin University in Western Australia are working on the new generation of thermal batteries for storing solar energy. The team’s goal is to make the production of solar systems more flexible so that they can provide a viable alternative to fossil fuels in commercial and heavy industry sectors globally. To achieve their goal, scientists decided combine proven technologies with the use of new materials to design an innovative, efficient and flexible solution.

More specifically, the project, led by Professor Craig Buckley, is based on the storage system developed by United Sun Systems for its Dish Stirling concentrating solar systems, systems composed of a circular parabolic concentrator and a Stirling engine. With the collaboration of United Sun Systems and ITP Thermal, scientists have been able to improve the design and operation of thermal batteries.

The new device uses a high temperature metal hydride as a heat storage medium and a low temperature gas tank to store hydrogen or carbon dioxide. The formation of a metal hydride under certain conditions is a reversible reaction: it means that through a source of heat it can dissociate into metal and hydrogen (storing thermal energy in the form of chemical energy) and, conversely , release heat during its formation for from metal alloys and hydrogen.

At night or when the sky is cloudy, hydrogen or carbon dioxide is released from the gas storage tank and absorbed by inorganic metals in the system to form a heat-producing metal hydride, which is used to generate heat. electricity.

Chris Moran.

The objective of the initiative is to develop a solar power system that produces electricity 24 hours a day, seven days a week, which makes it commercially viable for the industry.

As with the lithium battery systems that Curtin University is also developing, installing a low-cost energy storage system using thermal batteries will revolutionize the renewable production landscape around the world by enabling the clean energy to really compete with fossil fuels. Research will continue to work on the development of new technologies to integrate thermochemical energy storage through thermal batteries in a Stirling system.

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