Sustainable energy solutions work best if they are combined with a method for energy storage, because solar or wind power generation is not constant. The Delft company AquaBattery is currently developing a system called the Blue Battery, which stores energy using water and salt. It is being tested in The Green Village, TU Delft’s testing platform. Technolution is helping AquaBattery to develop this system.
Peaks and troughs
Windmills and solar panels generate power in peaks and troughs. These fluctuations can be absorbed by storing the superfluous energy produced during the peaks. During the troughs, this stored energy can then be used to compensate for the lower production. The Blue Battery offers an eco-friendly way of storing energy.
Chargeable battery systems such as the Tesla Powerwall normally use chemical substances such as lithium to store energy. These batteries produce residual heat, lose energy if they are not used, and become less efficient over time. The Blue Battery uses water and salt and is therefore very eco-friendly. Almost no energy is lost in the form of heat, and the water and salt it requires can essentially be reused indefinitely. All this makes the Blue Battery eminently suitable for lossless long-term energy storage.
The Blue Battery uses osmosis to store and supply energy. Brackish water is pumped through a stack of membranes (using solar or wind energy for instance), and is separated into fresh and salt water. As soon as the battery has to generate power, the procedure is reversed, causing ionization, the production of brackish water, and the generation of power. This process can be repeated indefinitely as long as it is controlled properly. Technolution is assisting AquaBattery with expertise and consultancy in the field of sensors and operation.
The Green Village
The technology behind Blue Battery has been proven and is ready for testing in practice. A pilot with a test set-up of the Blue Battery will begin soon in The Green Village, the TU Delft’s testing platform. The Green Village is a facility where innovative solutions can be tested in real-life situations.
- Winifred Roggekamp
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