Prototype of "lockers"Each is a separate thermal battery unit.

Heat accumulators can free up millions of homes of gas. Pilot tests of the revolutionary salt batteries are scheduled for this year in homes in France, the Netherlands and Poland.

A team of scientists from Eindhoven University of Technology He says the low-cost compact battery system is ready for real-world testing and has the potential to “change the rules of the game in the energy transition”. Scientists believe that Thanks to the invention of the heat complex May work on salt and water basis in the near future i Millions of homes “Degas” in Europe.

Heat accumulation is based on the ancient thermochemical principle Heat is generated when water is added to salt. The opposite is also possible – heat can be used to vaporize water, thus storing heat energy in the salt.

Storing heat in dry salt makes it The battery is completely lost, providing a highly efficient way to store energy for future use. This is particularly useful when energy comes from renewable sources, such as wind and sun, which tend to fluctuate greatly and therefore need to be supplemented with gas or other sources.

It took 12 years to develop and create a battery design that could actually operate on an industrial scale. Scientists say this is an important moment for European countries that want independence from Russian gas after the Russian invasion of Ukraine.

Heat source for salt storage There may be industrial by-productsSuch as “thermal waste” left in factories or excess heat from data centers. “If the waste heat generated by industry can be used to heat homes, we will have a win-win situation: Homes can become gas-independent – a more urgent need, given the dependence on Russian gas – a Carbon dioxide emissions will be reducedEindhoven Technical University said in a statement.

Heat collector can free homes from gas

The collector system consists of a heat exchanger, fan, evaporator / condenser and salt particle boiler. Despite its simplicity, this system was capable of Providing heating for an average family of four for two days. Engineers have upgraded it to a fully functional prototype, the size of a large shelf, that can be used in the real world. With a storage capacity of about 30 times more, the system can heat the house for up to two months.

Prototype of "lockers"Each is a separate thermal battery unit.
Image source: © Eindhoven University of Technology | Vincent van den Hougen

A prototype with “tanks”, each of which is a separate thermal battery unit.

“This is not the final product yet, but everything is ready for the first real-world tests,” said Professor Olaf Adan of Eindhoven University of Technology. “The potential is huge, but we’ve also seen a lot of great technologies that haven’t been brought in. So we’re going to keep our feet on the ground and do it step by step,” he added.

A pilot project is already underway, and will be implemented later this year Technology will be tested in homes in PolandFrance and the Netherlands. If the tests are successful, Professor Adan says, the method could be used to free millions of homes of gas in the near future.

Konrad Siwick, journalist at Gadgetomania

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