New Technology Can Store Summer Heat For Winter Time
As we begin to tackle the problem of climate change, there are a few areas which we need to look into. First, there’s electricity, powered mostly by coal and which we want to replace with alternative sources like solar, wind and geothermal; for the most part. Then there’s the transportation sector, which in its new form will be made out of electric cars. But when it comes to heating; we’re kinda behind. Electricity too can make up for this, but we need to look into other ways as well since electricity has a lot on its plate as it is.
A solution could come in the form of this new swiss technology which is able to store heat during the summer and then release it in winter. The Swiss Federal Laboratories for Materials Testing and Research has come up with a new way to reduce our carbon footprint, a method that is easy to use just by the press of a button.
The way it works is that it makes use of sodium hydroxide (NaOH) in a highly concentrated solution capable of storing summer heat. It is kind of a thermal battery if you will. This solution is quite good at absorbing humidity from the air. When this happens, a chemical reaction takes place which itself is able to release a lot of energy.
The way the team went about it was to use about half of this viscous solution and letting it trickle down a spiral pipe. Here, it soaks up water vapour and instead releases energy in the form of heat. By the time the NaOH solution reaches the bottom of the spiral, it will be about 30% concentration instead of 50%. The water, on the other hand, will be at a temperature of about 50° C (122° F), which is enough to warm up your house.
In order for the NaOH solution to store energy, however, you just need to let it stay in the sun and gather all that summer heat. The whole process uses both the water and solution in an endless loop of recycling. However, the whole thing is still in its testing phases and it might take a while before it becomes commercially viable. But they are looking into ways as to make it as easy to use as possible and that it should be implemented to any regular-sized house.