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Tuesday, December 5, 2023

Chinese Researchers Develop Eco-Friendly “Heat Battery” to Reduce Energy Loss and Combat Climate Change

ChinaChinese Researchers Develop Eco-Friendly "Heat Battery" to Reduce Energy Loss and Combat Climate Change

A team of Chinese researchers has come up with a new battery concept that could potentially help reduce energy loss caused by heat during energy conversion. The researchers designed a “heat battery” that can extract thermal energy from low-temperature waste heat sources and reuse it by controlling the pressure. This new development could be a game-changer in the field of clean energy, as it offers an eco-friendly and profitable solution to reduce energy loss.

According to the researchers, around 70 percent of the world’s primary energy consumption is lost in the form of heat during the conversion process. Harvesting and reusing this lost energy can have significant environmental and economic benefits. The team of scientists, led by researchers from the Institute of Metal Research under the Chinese Academy of Sciences, recognized the need for a sustainable solution to energy loss and developed a technology that can store heat directly, unlike conventional batteries.

The heat battery developed by the Chinese researchers uses ammonium thiocyanate, which has the unique property of being able to store heat directly, without needing to transfer it to other forms like chemical energy. By controlling the pressure, the heat stored in the battery can be reused on demand. This means that the battery can be charged by the low-temperature waste heat and used to power various applications, making it an efficient and eco-friendly solution to reduce energy loss.

The heat battery concept has the potential to revolutionize the way we use and store energy, as it can be used to power different applications, from vehicles to electronic devices. Additionally, the technology is affordable and could help reduce the dependence on non-renewable sources of energy. The researchers hope that their work can inspire further research in the field of energy storage and lead to the development of more sustainable solutions.

They have also discovered a new way of absorbing and releasing heat through a unique phenomenon called the “inverse barocaloric effect”. Unlike the typical barocaloric effect, which releases heat with pressure and absorbs heat with pressure relief, this new effect absorbs heat with pressure and releases heat with pressure relief. This discovery was made possible through the use of a barocaloric thermal battery cycle consisting of three steps: thermal charging upon pressurization, storage with pressure, and thermal discharging upon depressurization.

The corresponding author of the study published in the journal Science Advances, Li Bing, explains that this new process allows for stable long-duration storage through pressure-restrained heat-carrying phases. This is a significant finding because it enables the development of more efficient thermal storage technologies for various applications.

Furthermore, the study notes that the amount of heat released during depressurization is 11 times greater than the input mechanical energy. This means that the system can provide a significant amount of energy output compared to the input energy, making it a highly efficient technology for thermal storage.

Overall, this new discovery is a major breakthrough in thermal storage technology. The utilization of the inverse barocaloric effect, coupled with the barocaloric thermal battery cycle, provides a highly efficient and stable method of storing and releasing heat. This technology has significant potential for use in various applications, from energy storage to refrigeration and air conditioning.

Also, a promising new technology known as the thermal battery is expected to have a range of applications beyond storing waste heat in thermal power plants. According to researchers, this technology has potential uses in solid-state refrigeration, smart grids, and house heat management. These diverse applications are expected to contribute significantly to China’s efforts to combat climate change, with the country aiming to peak carbon dioxide emissions by 2030 and achieve carbon neutrality by 2060.

One of the primary benefits of the thermal battery is its ability to store waste heat. This can be especially useful in thermal power plants, where large amounts of heat are generated as a byproduct of energy production. However, researchers believe that the thermal battery can be used in other areas as well. For example, solid-state refrigeration systems could benefit from this technology, as it could help regulate the temperature of the refrigeration system more efficiently. In addition, smart grids and house heat management systems could also use the thermal battery to help store excess heat and redistribute it as needed.

The researchers emphasize that the thermal battery has the potential to make significant contributions to China’s ambitious climate change goals. By peaking carbon dioxide emissions by 2030 and achieving carbon neutrality by 2060, China hopes to significantly reduce its carbon footprint and become a global leader in the fight against climate change. With its versatility and potential for a range of applications, the thermal battery is one technology that is likely to play a crucial role in helping China achieve these goals.

In conclusion, the heat battery developed by Chinese researchers is a promising technology that could help reduce energy loss caused by heat during the conversion process. The battery’s unique ability to store heat directly, along with its affordability and eco-friendliness, makes it an attractive solution for energy storage. With further research and development, this technology could pave the way for a more sustainable and cleaner energy future.

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