The Massachusetts Technological Institute researchers have developed a unique concept of storing the energy of the sun and wind, which literally allows you to locate light and heat in white silicon tanks and, if necessary, convert radiation into electricity.
The new storage system, called TEGS-MPV, consists of two special graphite containers, with a diameter of 10 m. The first tank is «cold» silicon, the temperature of which is maintained at 1900 ° C. When applying excess electricity, it enters the heating elements that interact with pipes through which the substance begins to roll into the «hot» storage. Finding into the second tank, its temperature already exceeds 2350 ° C and it emits a bright white light.
If necessary (after sunset or in windless weather), red-hot silicon pumps through another set of tubes, where, with the help of multi-income photovoltaic elements, the radiation emanating from it is converted back to electricity that enters power. The cooled substance returns to the first container where it is up to the next cycle. To work with high temperatures, a special pump was developed, which is listed in the Guinea Book of Records.
This system is actually an effective battery and, according to developers, its use is much cheaper than the use of lithium-ion devices or hydroaccumulating drives. Despite the fact that inside the container is a hot substance, it has a room temperature outside. According to researchers, one such storage system is capable of maintaining a stable power supply from renewable sources in 100 thousand houses.
The image shows the storage system model.
The researchers feared that in extreme conditions, silicon would begin to join a chemical response with graphite from which the reservoir was made, gradually destroying it. During the test, it was found that as a result of this interaction, silicon carbide is truly formed, but after the formation of a thin layer, it begins to protect the walls from further corrosion.
The large size of the design does not allow the use of a solid piece of graphite, so to avoid leakage of the molten substance, the individual elements were combined with bolts from carbon fiber, and thermal graphite was used for sealing.
Swedish physicists have developed another equally interesting concept of storing solar energy. They