用沙子製成的電池是綠色能源的未來嗎?

2個月前
用沙子製成的電池是綠色能源的未來嗎?

芬蘭的研究人員已經安裝了世界上第一個完全工作的 "沙子電池",它可以一次儲存幾個月的綠色電力。

該電池用廉價電力產生的熱量進行充電,如來自太陽的太陽能或風力發電。

開發人員說,這種電池可以全年提供能源,將熱量儲存在500攝氏度左右,然後可以在冬季為水和房屋供暖,因為此時家庭保暖的成本更高。

芬蘭是一個北歐國家,那裡的冬天漫長而又非常寒冷,氣溫經常在幾個月內降至零度左右或以下。

這項新技術是在芬蘭西部Kankaanpää鎮的Vatajankoski發電廠開發的,涉及到100噸建築用沙子堆積在一個被稱為筒倉的高大存儲容器內。

負責沙子電池的研究人員希望,它將為綠色或可再生能源提供更可靠的替代方案。

雖然讓太陽能電池板和風力渦輪機啟動並運行以產生電力相對容易,但 "當太陽不照耀和風不吹時,你如何保持燈光?"BBC的環境記者Matt McGrath說。

馬特說:"這些問題最明顯的答案是大規模的電池,它可以儲存和平衡能源需求,因為電網變得更加綠色。"他解釋說,電池可以儲存已經產生的綠色能源--所以當太陽不照耀或風力渦輪機不轉動時,就沒有問題了。

沙子在儲存熱量方面非常有效,而且隨着時間的推移損失很小。開發者說,他們的設備可以將沙子保持在500攝氏度,持續幾個月。

"極夜能源公司的兩位創始人之一Markku Ylönen說:"每當有這樣高漲的可用綠色電力時,我們希望能夠非常迅速地將其納入存儲。

因此,當家庭保暖的成本較高時,電池可以放出熱空氣,使水變暖,然後用泵將水送到附近地區的家庭、辦公室甚至當地的游泳池。

"Vatajankoski電廠的總經理Pekka Passi說:"這真的很簡單,但我們喜歡嘗試新事物的想法,成為世界上第一個做這樣的事情。

"如果你願意的話,這有點瘋狂,但我認為它將會是一個成功。"

該電池的開發正值芬蘭和世界上許多國家因氣候變化而尋求減少溫室氣體和化石燃料的使用之時。

這也正值芬蘭因烏克蘭戰爭而不得不減少對俄羅斯供應的天然氣的依賴之時。

芬蘭是歐盟國家,與俄羅斯的陸地邊界是所有歐盟國家中最大的,並且還申請加入NATO,這是一個匯集各國軍隊的組織。

因此,俄羅斯已經停止了對芬蘭的天然氣和電力供應。

現在,"巨大的挑戰之一是[沙子電池]技術能否擴大規模,真正發揮作用。"BBC的馬特-麥克格拉斯說。


Researchers in Finland have installed the world's first fully working "sand battery" which can store green power for months at a time.

The battery is charged up with heat made from cheap electricity, like solar energy from the sun or wind power.

Developers say the battery could provide energy all year round, storing heat at around 500C, which can then heat water and houses in winter when it costs more to keep homes warm.

Finland is a northern European country where winter is long and very cold and temperatures often drop to around, or below, freezing for several months.

The new technology, developed at Vatajankoski power plant in the town of Kankaanpää in western Finland, involves 100 tonnes of builder's sand piled high inside a tall storage container known as a silo.

The researchers responsible for the sand battery hope that it will provide a more reliable alternative to green or renewable energy.

While it is relatively easy to get solar panels and wind turbines up and running to generate electricity, but "how do you keep the lights on when the sun doesn't shine and the wind doesn't blow?" says Matt McGrath, the BBC's environment correspondent.

"The most obvious answer to these problems is large scale batteries which can store and balance energy demands as the grid becomes greener," says Matt, explaining how the batteries can store the green energy that has already been generated - so there isn't a problem when the sun isn't shining or the wind turbines aren't turning.

Sand is very effective at storing heat and loses little over time. The developers say that their device could keep sand at 500C for several months.

"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 founders of Polar Night Energy who have developed the product.

So when the cost of keeping homes warm is higher, the battery can give off hot air which warms water which is then pumped around homes, offices and even the local swimming pool in the nearby area.

"It's really simple, but we liked the idea of trying something new, to be the first in the world to do something like this," said Pekka Passi, the managing director of the Vatajankoski power plant.

"It's a bit crazy, if you wish, but I think it's going to be a success."

Development of the battery comes at a time when Finland and many countries around the world are looking to reduce the use of greenhouse gases and fossil fuels because of climate change.

It also comes at a time when Finland is having to reduce its reliance on gas supplied by Russia because of the war in Ukraine.

Finland, which is in the European Union, has the largest land border with Russia of any EU country and has also applied to join Nato, an organisation that brings together the armies of various countries.

As a result, Russia has stopped supplies of gas and electricity going into Finland.

Now, "one of the big challenges is whether the [sand battery] technology can be scaled up to really make a difference." says the BBC's Matt McGrath.

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