Molten Silicon anyone?

Hydro-electricity? Fusion? Thermal Depolarization? Do we have any other real alternatives? Including utility scale energy storage.

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Molten Silicon anyone?

Post by BritDownUnder »

I know that the Brexit question is no doubt upon your minds but this Australian based website mentioned this.

City-Scale Energy Storage with Molten Siicon. Silicon is a very abundant element and while purifying it may be complicated it is a well known process.

Supposedly the energy from the 'latent heat' (or energy released during the transition from a liquid to a solid) is used and the temperature is 1414C so very hot. Whether steam at this temperature can be used for anything other than burning through turbine blades is anyone's guess but there you go. Something to get your minds off Brexit for a while.
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Post by adam2 »

I am very doubtful.
In order to release the latent heat, the material has to solidify to give up the heat, and be re-liquefied to "fill" the energy store.
Pumping from one tank to another sounds problematic.

They propose to extract the stored energy via solar cells, the temperatures are rather low to produce much light or near infra red. And solar cells are not very efficient, this matters not when the input is free sunlight, but when the energy has been expensively stored ?

Other alternatives sound more likely.
Hydro power, restrict output when wind or sun are plentiful, and increase output when needed.
Pumped storage.
Shift a lot of demand to those hours when renewables are ample, bulk heating and cooling, domestic laundry, water heating, charging of EVs.
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Post by kenneal - lagger »

There has also been a lot of talk of using molten salt as a heat store for concentrated solar systems to supply electricity.
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Post by fuzzy »

Surely plenty of substances in a more useful thermal range. Solder, lead, bismuth, sodium, sulphur etc. Why silicon?
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