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“The Knowledge Library”

Knowledge for All, without Barriers…

An Initiative by: Kausik Chakraborty.
03/06/2023 9:11 AM

“The Knowledge Library”

Knowledge for All, without Barriers……….
An Initiative by: Kausik Chakraborty.

The Knowledge Library

Sand Battery

What is the Sand Battery System?

  • The battery is a massive steel silo, 7 m tall and 4 m wide with 100 tonnes of sand, and was installed in Finland’s Kankaanpaa town in June 2022.
  • It is connected to the town’s centralised heating network that keeps buildings and public water systems warm.
  • The storage system has three main components:
  1. Sand silo,
  2. Electrical air heater, and
  3. Air-to-water heat exchanger

Working principle

  • For charging the sand silo, air is heated to 600°C in the electrical air heater.
  • The hot air is then circulated inside the silo using a heat-exchange pipe and blowers to raise the temperature of the sand at the silo’s core to 600°C.
  • When the storage enters the discharging stage, the blowers are used to pump air into the pipe inside the sand silo.
  • Once the air reaches 200°C, it is transferred to the air-to-water heat exchanger, where it is used to boil water.
  • It is then sent to the heating network.

Electricity Requirements and Capacity of the Battery

  • The storage system requires electricity at all times to charge the battery, monitor the temperature during standby, and run the blowers when the battery is used.
  • The installed battery can store 8 megawatt-hours (MWh) of energy and release heat at 0.1 MW, which is enough to provide heating and hot water for about 100 homes and a public swimming pool.

Advantages of Sand as a Heat Storage Material

  • The Finnish researchers replaced water with sand in the battery system because of its advantages.
  • Sand can be heated up to 600 degrees Celsius (°C), whereas water starts to boil at 100°C.
  • It also has low heat conductivity, which reduces energy loss.

Importance of Heat Energy

  • Heat accounts for half of the world’s energy use, followed by transport (30 per cent) and electricity (20 per cent), as per the International Energy Agency (IEA).
  • Currently, 80 per cent of the world’s energy comes from dirty fossil fuels.


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