Dutch scientists have developed a new heat battery that stores renewable energy in an inexpensive and loseless manner.
The scientists from Eindhoven University of Technology (TU/e) and Dutch research organization TNO have acknowledged a $7.6 million grant from the EU Horizon program to develop their novel thermochemical battery.
The HEAT-INSYDE consortium led by both institutions will use the grant to accelerate the development of the battery into a compact and user-ready device.
According to the scientists, the new battery uses thermochemical material to store renewable energy in an inexpensive and lossless way.
This helps bridge longer periods, especially during winter months, when there is less or no energy from sun, wind or other sustainable sources.
The thermochemical battery uses two basic ingredients: water vapor and salt.
When these components are brought together, the water binds to the salt, creating new salt crystals. This process is what releases the heat.
According to the scientists, this process is reversible. By bringing heat back into the system, water and salt are separated.
As long as water and salt are separate, energy is stored without loss. Once you bring the two back together again, the stored heat will be again released.
The scientists note that the heat battery is stable, works without loss of energy and will last at least 20 years if used correctly.
Project leader Olaf Adan, who works for TU/e and TNO, says the system is both ingenious and simple:
“This simplicity makes it possible to keep the heat battery affordable, also for blocks of houses or even for individual homes.”
“The European grant will enable us to speed up the development of the heat battery into a commercial product that fully answers to end user demands.”
“The cost price will be below that of state of the art electric storage systems, with better performance. With a refrigerator-sized battery, a typical modern family can take a hot shower for two weeks,” contends Adan.
The consortium is planning to develop the heat battery into a compact form so as to ensure seamless connectivity with various energy systems, such as electricity grids, heat pumps and solar panels.
Image and content: Eindhoven University of Technology (TU/e)