Renewable Energy Storage system using molten salt.

1) Sustainability problem: Battery storage capacity. Area: Energy

  • Existing electrical grids struggle with renewable energy, a vexing problem that’s driving demand for new storage methods.
  • Solar panels and wind farms churn out energy around midday and at night when demand lulls.
  • This forces utilities to discard it in favor of more predictable oil and coal plants and more controllable natural gas “peaker” plants.

2)  Technology

  •  Alphabet Inc.’s project named Malta, is working on a molten salt storage system. The system consists of two tanks that are filled with salt, and two are filled with antifreeze or a hydrocarbon liquid. The system takes in energy in the form of electricity and turns it into separate streams of hot and cold air.
  • The hot air heats up the salt, while the cold air cools the antifreeze.  By the flip of a switch the process can be reversed and hot and cold air rush toward each other, creating powerful gusts that spin a turbine and spit out electricity when the grid needs it.
  • Salt maintains its temperature well, so the system can store energy for many hours, and even days, depending on how insulated the tanks are.

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3) Stakeholders

  • Governments and electric utilities.
  • Renewable energy generators.
  • Corporations and other private entities with onsite power generation facilities.

4) Deployment 

  • Achieving proof of concept and demonstrating scalability.
  • Securing capital to build out infrastructure.
  • Partner with public and private institutions.

 UNI – jv2610



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