Finnish Firm to Construct 100MWh ‘Sand Battery’ Utilizing Crushed Soapstone

By: | March 17th, 2024

A Breakthrough in Energy Storage

Finland has unveiled a groundbreaking ‘sand battery’ designed for industrial use, ideal for sustaining operations during the harsh winter months in polar regions. It’s ten times bigger than the pilot plant from 2022.

Reducing Carbon Footprint with Sand Battery Technology

This substantial sand battery is poised to significantly reduce the carbon footprint of a Finnish municipality. Located in Pornainen, southern Finland, this industrial-scale storage facility is slated to become the world’s largest sand battery within the next twelve months. With a capacity to store 100 MWh of thermal energy derived from solar and wind sources, it will empower locals to phase out oil from their district heating infrastructure, resulting in a remarkable reduction of emissions by nearly 70 percent.

Innovative Design and Sustainable Solutions

The sand battery, created by Polar Night Energy, embodies a brilliant concept. A steel silo filled with sand is heated by a buried heat exchanger using surplus electricity from renewable sources. The sand battery not only stores energy efficiently, but it can also be used for months without significant loss.

Crushed Soapstone: The Key to Efficient Energy Storage

The unique aspect lies in the battery’s utilization of crushed soapstone as the primary storage material. Partnering with a district heating company in Finland, Polar Night Energy identified this readily available byproduct from a local fireplace manufacturer as a sustainable and cost-effective option. While initial explorations involved conventional sand, the focus shifted to crushed soapstone due to its superior heat retention properties.

This strategic decision aligns perfectly with the company’s commitment to both environmental responsibility and utilizing local resources efficiently. This project holds significant promise. A successful implementation of this large-scale “sand battery” paves the way for broader adoption, potentially revolutionizing the way we store energy derived from renewable sources like wind and solar powe

Nidhi Goyal

Nidhi is a gold medalist Post Graduate in Atmospheric and Oceanic Sciences.

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