Tuesday, 22 August 2017

Alphabet Wants to Store Renewable Energy Using Salt in an Attempt to Save Power


Resources for Storing Renewable Energy – Salt/Antifreeze

Google’s parent company has turned to two unexpected resources of salt and antifreeze in order to endeavour in storing renewable energy. Alphabet which is owned by Google has been working on a project known as `Malta’ in storing renewable energy which would else be wasted.

 If the same tends to be effective, the system would be placed almost everywhere thereby saving millions of megawatts of energy which tend to be present lost all over the world annually. According to a report in Bloomberg, the mysterious X division of Alphabet has been operating on the `moonshot’ project Malta.

 The system has the capabilities of lasting longer than lithium-ion batteries and can compete with the other clean energy storage systems according to X executives and researchers. Obi Felton, director at X while speaking to Bloomberg had mentioned that if the moonshot factory gives up on a big important issue like climate change, then probably it would never get resolved.

He added that if they do begin resolving the issue there would be trillions and trillions of dollars in market opportunity. According to Ms Felton, the team of 10 researchers are now on the lookout for partners, in order to build and operate a prototype to the grid, though Malta has not yet been an official X project.

Insufficient Means of Storing Energy

Huge amount of energy seems to get wasted every year since there is insufficient means of storing the same. For instance, California had wasted 300,000 megawats of energy in the first half of this year that had been produced by solar panels and wind farms, while Chine threw out over 17% of its produced energy as per Bloomberg New Energy Finance.

The Malta system seems like a small power plant having four tanks that has been linked to a heat pump. X states that the system tends to come in several sizes ranging from the same size as a garage to a full-scale traditional power plant based on requirements. Julian Green, the product manager for Malta describing the system to Bloomberg had stated `to consider it at a very simple level as a fridge and a jet’.

Two of the cylindrical tanks are said to be filled with salt while the second two seemed to be filled with antifreeze. The energy is said to be taken in the system by way of electricity which is thereafter revolved into separate streams of hot and cold air.

Potential of Storing Energy for Days

The hot air is said to heat up the salt and the cold air tends to cool the antifreeze. In order to re-generate the energy, the procedure is inverted in order the hot and cold air rush towards each other thereby developing powerful winds which spin a turbine and produce the energy that is utilised.

The system has the potential of storing the energy for days based on the amount of insulation. Mr Green had commented that the thermodynamic physics seem to be quite popular to all who had studied adequately at college level.

The project has now the support of Robert Laughlin, a Nobel prize-winning physicist whose research is said to be the foundation for the system. Laughlin had commented that `a blessing came out of the sky. X came in and took a giant bite out of this problem’. It is not known when the system would be ready for set-up.

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