Heating homes in the Czech Republic with sand? The future of energy
Heat pumps, solar panels and wind farms are some of the ways Czechs are trying to save money on energy. But now domestic inventors have come up with a revolutionary alternative to conventional batteries and traditional home energy systems. Their invention consists of accumulating heat in sand, making it possible to create a heating and energy system for family homes and large industrial plants with almost zero operating costs.
This innovative heating and energy system was recently unveiled at an international engineering fair with the premise that people can buy the storage system and not have to pay any more costs over its estimated 50-year lifetime. The system, called Watt sand+, uses photovoltaics or electricity from the grid at times when electricity market prices are low or even negative. This means that people can benefit for free from photovoltaics or electricity when it is most affordable.
The innovation, which has been developed by several Czech companies, including Watt plus, uses sand as a heat and energy store. This sand is heated to a temperature of 400 °C for homes and 480 °C for industrial applications, allowing for long-term and stable energy storage. The system can recover up to ten MWh of heat from 100 cubic metres of sand, enough to heat a house during the winter. As only 5-10% of the heat is lost from the sand over seven months, it is a cost-effective and environmentally friendly solution.
The entire system is also mobile, meaning that sand containers can be easily moved to where power is needed, which could be useful in the event of a power outage or blackout. The system is currently in the certification process and is already taking pre-orders.
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