In recent years there have been steep advances in electronics, and with it all, an equally strong public interest that has led many to utilize various forms of technology in everyday life. However, with all of the new gadgets, there also comes the hassle of keeping everything in order. A person can quickly become overwhelmed by the responsibility of maintaining a growing collection of electronic items. Luckily, there are many ways to streamline the growing complications. (more…)
Cars aren’t the only thing making the switch from gas to electricity. From lawnmowers to entire power plants, the gas engine is being replaced by batteries for a more efficient way of powering items.
Let’s examine why some items run better with batteries before looking at the numerous items being redesigned to work on electricity.
Batteries and the use of electricity represents a better solution for many things over combustion engines. Electrical items provide the same mobility as traditional tools, but they’re quieter, produce less heat and tend to be more efficient in their usage of energy than their fossil fuel-burning counterparts. (more…)
Many people believe that using renewable energy is not effective because not enough energy can be generated to meet the needs of a community. However, this is not necessarily the case. Renewable energy creates so much energy that we do not have large enough storage systems to sustain it. As a result, a great deal of the energy produced is lost. Luckily, a startup in Emeryville, California has potentially created a way to store huge quantities of energy much more efficiently.
According to MIT Technology Review, a one megawatt plant will be created specifically designed for molten salt energy storage. This is a technique that was previously utilized in some plants that specialized in making solar energy. Using molten salts as a form of energy storage is said to cost only half as much as regular battery energy storage costs. In order to use molten salts for storage, the salts need to be melted down and then stored in containers that have a high R-value. When the energy that is stored is needed, the molten salts are then pumped, causing a release of energy from the heat exchange.
Molten salts are not nearly as efficient as regular battery energy storage, since only 70% of energy that is used to heat the salts to a temperature that is considered to be molten will become electricity again. In comparison, 90% of the energy put into traditional batteries is able to be recovered. The only reason why using molten salts is so cheap is because the materials are exceedingly easier to find, thanks to the high-throughput screening system that has been developed.
The main reason why molten salt is an excellent option for renewable resources is because of the large quantity of room for energy storage. The storage space is also extremely flexible with regards to where resources are stored. This is important because power from renewable resources tends to come in spurts, rather than in steady increments. In order to handle the ebb and flow of energy, a high level of flexibility and storage space is required.
Currently, Halotechnics is developing a system that will infuse the molten salt solutions with properties that will allow them to take in any sort of energy and store it as electricity. An automated system is being created that will be able to mix different substances of molten salts so that they have properties that are needed for the task at hand.
Molten salts are going to be used specifically for solar energy storage by allowing energy to be stored at 1,200°C. This would allow the number of solar mirrors that are needed to generate solar energy to be diminished, saving the companies that generate such energy a great deal of money and maintenance time. This application is currently one of the most viable on the market for solar energy storage.