World’s first ‘sand battery’ installed

The “sand battery’ is seen to address the problem of year-round supply, an issue for green energy.

Researchers have installed the world’s first “sand battery” in the town of Kankaanpää, Finland.

The battery is made from sand that the Finnish engineers believe can solve the storage problem of green energy in a low-cost, low impact way.

“Whenever there’s like this high surge of available green electricity, we want to be able to get it into the storage really quickly,” said Markku Ylönen, one of the two developers of the product.

The device, installed in the Vatajankoski power plant, runs the heating system of the district. Cheap electricity from wind or solar then heats the sand up to 500C by resistive heating.

The battery discharges hot air which then warms the water for the district heating system. This is then pumped around homes, offices and even the local swimming pool.

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