The first commercial sand-based thermal energy storage system in the world has started operating in Finland, developed by Polar Night Energy.
Polar Night Energy’s system, based on its patented technology, has gone online on the site of a power plant operated by utility Vatajankoski.
The 4×7 metre steel container contains hundreds of tonnes of sand which can be heated to a temperature of 500-600 degrees Celsius. The sand is heated with renewable electricity and stored for use in the local district heating system.
It has a particularly strong use case in Finland which sees long and very cold winters, and was recently cut off from Russian gas supplies over a payments dispute. The storage system’s developers say it is cheap and easy to build.
The system can discharge a maximum of 100kW of heat power and has a total energy capacity of 8MWh, equating to up to 80 hours’ storage duration, but now authorities want to scale the system to one a thousand times bigger, or 8GWh, according to a report from UK broadcaster BBC.
Source: energy-storage.news, Photo: Polar Night Energy