Sat. May 25th, 2024

TLDR:

  • Scientists in Australia have achieved a remarkable breakthrough in solar technology, which could transform renewable energy storage.
  • They used falling ceramic particles as a new means to power concentrated solar thermal (CST) technology, reaching temperatures of 803 degrees Celsius.
  • The ceramic particles can store energy for up to 15 hours and are predicted to be cheaper than current CST methods.

Scientists at CSIRO, Australia’s science agency, have made a significant breakthrough in solar technology that could revolutionize renewable energy storage. They have successfully used falling ceramic particles to power concentrated solar thermal (CST) technology, achieving a milestone temperature of 803 degrees Celsius. This breakthrough creates greater opportunities for renewable energy storage when combined with CSIRO’s patented heat exchanger.

In recent years, CST has become a popular concept for harnessing solar energy, but current methods using mirrors and molten salt have limitations. The U.S. Department of Energy’s 2018 report revealed that molten salt technology is limited to a temperature of 565 degrees Celsius. However, the fallen ceramic particles used by CSIRO can endure extreme heat of over 1,000 degrees Celsius and store energy for up to 15 hours, making them a game-changer for CST. Additionally, ceramic particle solar power is 50% cheaper than traditional battery storage and two-thirds less expensive than molten salt CST systems.

While still in its pilot stages, CSIRO’s breakthrough with ceramic particle CST could have a significant impact on Australia’s transition to net-zero emissions. Australia aims to close all its coal power stations by 2038 and is in need of increased renewable energy capacity. Once implemented, ceramic particle CST could help reduce greenhouse gas pollution in Australia and globally. The technology is also seen as a key solution for delivering low-cost renewable energy at scale for decarbonizing Australia’s heavy industry.

Overall, this breakthrough in solar technology has the potential to transform renewable energy storage and contribute to a greener future.

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