Harnessing Renewable Energy with Sand

The Finnish company Polar Night Energy developed a ‘sand battery’ which is a high temperature thermal energy storage that uses sand or sand-like materials as its storage medium. Its main purpose is to work as a high-power and high-capacity reservoir for excess wind and solar energy. The sand battery helps to ambitiously upscale production of renewables by ensuring there’s always a way to benefit from clean energy, even if the surplus is massive.

This first commercial sand battery in the world is in a town called Kankaanpää, Western Finland. The battery is an insulated silo made of steel housing, filled with sand and heat transfer pipes. Additional equipment is required outside the storage. It is connected to a district heating network and heating residential and commercial buildings such as family homes and the municipal swimming pool. The district heating network is operated by an energy utility called Vatajankoski.



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