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Molten Silicon anyone?

 
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BritDownUnder



Joined: 21 Sep 2011
Posts: 532
Location: Hunter Valley, NSW, Australia

PostPosted: Mon Dec 10, 2018 9:30 am    Post subject: Molten Silicon anyone? Reply with quote

I know that the Brexit question is no doubt upon your minds but this Australian based website mentioned this.

City-Scale Energy Storage with Molten Siicon. Silicon is a very abundant element and while purifying it may be complicated it is a well known process.

Supposedly the energy from the 'latent heat' (or energy released during the transition from a liquid to a solid) is used and the temperature is 1414C so very hot. Whether steam at this temperature can be used for anything other than burning through turbine blades is anyone's guess but there you go. Something to get your minds off Brexit for a while.
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adam2
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Joined: 02 Jul 2007
Posts: 7129
Location: North Somerset

PostPosted: Mon Dec 10, 2018 3:08 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I am very doubtful.
In order to release the latent heat, the material has to solidify to give up the heat, and be re-liquefied to "fill" the energy store.
Pumping from one tank to another sounds problematic.

They propose to extract the stored energy via solar cells, the temperatures are rather low to produce much light or near infra red. And solar cells are not very efficient, this matters not when the input is free sunlight, but when the energy has been expensively stored ?

Other alternatives sound more likely.
Hydro power, restrict output when wind or sun are plentiful, and increase output when needed.
Pumped storage.
Shift a lot of demand to those hours when renewables are ample, bulk heating and cooling, domestic laundry, water heating, charging of EVs.
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kenneal - lagger
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Joined: 20 Sep 2006
Posts: 11065
Location: Newbury, Berkshire

PostPosted: Mon Dec 10, 2018 7:04 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

There has also been a lot of talk of using molten salt as a heat store for concentrated solar systems to supply electricity.
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