Experts have long been studying other energy sources that could accommodate humanity's needs. From burning fossil fuels, we have come up with using renewable energy sources instead. Renewable energy is derived from Earth's natural resources that are infinite, such as solar and wind energies. It is an alternative to prevent us from relying on fossil fuels, and it is lesser harmful to the environment.
Recently, a breakthrough in storing energy without using batteries was discovered by a startup company that specializes in renewable energy. They have discovered something with a low-cost, zero-emissions solution to the issue of how when either sun or wind is not present could affect lives because there is no enough energy that is stored.
Ironically, using solar and wind power is less clean than using fossil fuels. When solar or wind energy is not present, people end up using diesel fueled-generators, instead of greener alternatives like solar powered generators. An alternative would be is to store solar energy in a battery during the day so that it can be used at night, however, batteries require minerals that are obtained from environmentally-destructive mining procedures.
Batteries are expensive to store power for 24 hours but you can store them in the most cost-efficient way which is through the thermal energy. Jonas Eklind, CEO of Azelio, has used rare and expensive minerals and recycled aluminum. Recycled aluminum emit nothing, are cheaper than lithium, and lasts for 62,000 years.
Jonas was a former CEO of a battery company and then, later on, became the CEO of Azelio when he started this remarkable energy storage project in 2016. He called this device as the Stirling Generator, they have used other things before to store energy, but he was able to determine that aluminum was the best choice
The solar panels will absorb photons from the sun which will enter into the system where an aluminum alloy is heated and moves from a solid to a liquid state. With this method, it allows the storage of a very dense amount of energy in the material that will be sent as heat to the Stirling Generator. From there, it turns into electricity with zero emissions and at a lower cost.
Azelio's technology proves to be an ideal solution to power shortage among those parts of the world where grid reliability is low, like South Africa who only have access to a stable power grid by 45%. The technology's storage would allow people to implement solar into a community, an industry, or inside their homes to counter failing or unreliable grids.
Jonas said that the system they have developed would decentralized power based on solar and wind so that a local micro-grid can be built to provide the people with almost everything that they need for the whole day.
Azelio's system, in theory, is also scalable from 100 kilowatts per hour up to 100 megawatts per hour and more. It can also work easily and in the same way for tidal or hydropower, wind, and biofuels.
Town or city grids are mostly divided into multiple components that feed off of support and borrow from one another to remain stable. Azelio's system utilizes energy from the sun and sells the excess into the grid and buys it back during the night. Its thermal storage fits into the baseload power of a modern established grid whether it is 10% or 90% of total power needs depending on the required amount.