New, more efficient methods for storing renewable energy are key to easing the transition away from fossil fuels, as the world's governments rush to take action on climate change.
One company, Hungaria-based startup HeatVentors, is working on a space-saving storage technology using phase-changing materials, a report from Innovation Origins reveals. It believes its technology provides a cleaner solution, at the same time saving up to 90 percent of space.
A phase changing material-based storage system
Phase-changing materials either release or absorb a great amount of heat when they change their physical state, making them an ideal candidate for energy storage. HeatVentors' solution, called the HeatTank, is essentially a new type of thermal battery that uses these phase-changing materials to "store heat in a more concentrated form", according to co-founder and CEO Rita Andrássyné Farkas
The company is developing both heating and cooling systems. During the HeatTank's charge phase, the system stores either hot energy by melting the phase-changing material or cold energy by solidifying a variation on the same material. The reverse occurs for the discharging phase.
The company claims its patented technology allows it to produce storage devices that are 90 percent smaller than water-based storage technologies and that it can store more energy while producing fewer CO2 emissions. The system can be attached to smart homes, data centers, and could potentially also be used for larger grid-based energy storage.
Renewable energy storage
HeatVentors is far from being the only company pushing innovations in energy storage. Earlier this month, for example, Italian firm Energy Dome announced the close of an 11 million dollars Series A funding round. That company is developing a CO2-based storage system that it believes can cut the cost of energy storage in half.
All of this is, of course, necessary to help the world prevent the worst effects of climate change following the IPCC's dire report released earlier this year. In order to turn away from the fossil fuels that are damaging our planet, the world will have to turn to alternative forms of energy, such as renewables and nuclear fusion, which have the potential to supply us with limitless energy.