The concept of a "sand battery" may seem unusual, but most recent experiments with cheap materials led to a super-simple (and cheap!) storage medium for excess heat harnessed from solar power.
In this article, we will explore the potential advantages and disadvantages of using sand as a battery material, as well as how to make a DIY sand battery - also known as the "climate battery".
Let's dive right in.
What you'll learn in this post
Advantages of Sand Batteries
1. Low cost: One of the main advantages of using sand as a battery material is its low cost. Sand is abundant and inexpensive, making it an attractive option for large-scale energy storage.
2. High energy density: Another advantage of sand batteries is their high energy density. By using advanced materials and techniques, scientists have been able to achieve energy storage densities that are comparable to those of traditional batteries.
3. Long lifespan: Sand batteries have a long lifespan, and have been shown to have a longer cycle life than traditional batteries due to the porous nature of the silicon in sand, which allows for charge/discharge cycles without loss of capacity.
4. Safe and non-toxic: Sand batteries are also considered to be safe and non-toxic, which is an important consideration when thinking about large-scale energy storage.
5. Low-temperature proof: Sand, unlike other medium such as water, will not freeze even under extremely low temperatures.
Disadvantages of Sand Batteries
Low power density: Another disadvantage of sand batteries is their low power density, compared to other battery technologies.
Complex manufacturing process: The process of creating sand batteries is still complex and researchers are working to simplify it and scale it up for commercial use.
How to Build DIY Sand Battery
Construction details of a sand battery can be found in the patent filed by inventor Vladan Petrović from Serbia. The inventor also calls it a "heat storage device for long-term heat storage of solar energy and other types of energy".
For those who prefer straightforward guides on how to build a sand battery, take a look at this video showing the "rocket stove" sand battery:
There are even more interesting videos on youtube explaining DIY sand heat storage:
Despite the current limitations, the potential of sand batteries as a low-cost and safe option for large-scale energy storage makes it an exciting alternative to all currently known systems capable for solar energy storage.