Lian Blijlevens, a researcher at Radboud University, conducted a study on using salt for heat storage, with the aim of preserving summer heat for winter use.
While solar panels on roofs convert sunlight into electricity, the heat generated by these panels is often lost. The goal is to find a way to store and utilize this excess heat, particularly in winter when less solar heat is generated.
The research suggests using a type of salt, such as strontium chloride, in salt batteries for heat storage.
These batteries contain salt hydrates, and the process involves recharging the battery by heating the salt, causing water to leave the crystals. When heat is needed, water vapor is added, releasing the stored heat.
Blijlevens and colleagues from Eindhoven University of Technology evaluated hundreds of salts based on factors like availability, safety, compactness, and recyclability.
Thermal analysis was employed in the testing process, where salts were placed on heated scales, and changes in weight were observed as water evaporated and was later absorbed when water vapor was reintroduced.
Strontium chloride emerged as a promising candidate due to its reasonable cost, efficient heating, and stability without side effects.
Comparisons were made with potassium carbonate, another salt used in batteries, which was found to react to CO2, potentially reducing long-term effectiveness.
Blijlevens believes that salt batteries hold promise for heating houses without relying on natural gas.