Concrete that stores renewable energy can be used to build future houses

The walls of your family's house could soon double as a battery, storing energy in their blocks. Scientists have developed a new type of concrete that is infused with potassium ions, which allows it to store electricity for long periods of time (stock)

The walls of your family's house could soon double as a battery, storing energy in their blocks.

Scientists have developed a new type of concrete that is infused with potassium ions, which allows it to store electricity for long periods of time.

When energy production levels fall, the concrete goes into action and triggers a house using the stock of energy reserves it has saved.

Scroll down to watch the video

The walls of your family's house could soon double as a battery, storing energy in their blocks. Scientists have developed a new type of concrete that is infused with potassium ions, which allows it to store electricity for long periods of time (stock)

The walls of your family's house could soon double as a battery, storing energy in their blocks. Scientists have developed a new type of concrete that is infused with potassium ions, which allows it to store electricity for long periods of time (stock)

Renewable energy sources are becoming more prominent, slowly eradicating nuclear and coal plants.

One of the main obstacles that hinder the expansion of the industry is the inability to sufficiently store the excess energy that is produced.

Batteries work by transferring charged particles from one side to the other, storing energy in a chemical medium that can then be released.

The researchers found that these charged particles, known as ions, can also flow through a crystalline structure, such as concrete, that accumulates on one side.

This physically "traps" the energy and does not require the use of chemicals, so the concrete with potassium is technically a condenser, not a battery.

"The idea is to store electricity in the structure itself and release it in times of maximum demand," said Mohamed Saafi, of the engineering department at the University of Lancaster, who developed the technology.

& # 39; We have many buildings. If you could turn them into batteries, it would solve many of our energy problems. "

Professor Saafi points out that capacitors have less energy per volume than batteries, but there is much more volume available if the new form of concrete were widely used as construction material.

"We have complete buildings to use, and it's cheap," he added.

Concrete specially designed with charged particles could save energy from renewable sources and store it in the walls. Then it would be used to power the electricity of a house in times of high demand

Concrete specially designed with charged particles could save energy from renewable sources and store it in the walls. Then it would be used to power the electricity of a house in times of high demand

Concrete specially designed with charged particles could save energy from renewable sources and store it in the walls. Then it would be used to power the electricity of a house in times of high demand

Renewable energy sources are becoming more prominent, slowly eradicating nuclear and coal plants. One of the main obstacles that hinder the expansion of the industry is the inability to sufficiently store the excess energy that is produced (file photo)

Renewable energy sources are becoming more prominent, slowly eradicating nuclear and coal plants. One of the main obstacles that hinder the expansion of the industry is the inability to sufficiently store the excess energy that is produced (file photo)

Renewable energy sources are becoming more prominent, slowly eradicating nuclear and coal plants. One of the main obstacles that hinder the expansion of the industry is the inability to sufficiently store the excess energy that is produced (file photo)

Another idea to solve this problem was proposed by Elon Musk and involves the installation of large banks of lithium batteries to store energy.

The theory is that they will save electricity when it is created in excess, such as during the summer months, when energy requirements plummet.

Next, it would discharge electricity to energy houses when energy demand, during winter, for example.

Improvements in energy storage technology are essential since the amount of renewable electricity produced is never at a stable level.

Wind turbines can be unpredictable. For example, a high-pressure area has remained in the United Kingdom this summer, reducing the amount of electricity produced by wind farms.

WHAT IS A ZERO ENERGY BUILDING?

In general, a zero energy building (ZEB) produces enough renewable energy to meet its own annual requirements for energy consumption.

This means that it reduces the use of non-renewable energy in the construction sector.

A ZEB must use all cost-effective measures to reduce energy consumption, including the use of renewable energy systems.

The ZEB not only has a lower environmental impact, it also reduces operating and maintenance costs, which means that, in theory, it is cheaper to live as well.

ZEBs are also more resistant to power cuts, natural disasters and have more energy security.

Owners of private commercial properties are often interested in developing ZEB to meet their corporate objectives and respond to government regulatory mandates.

The exact definition of how a ZEB is calculated varies from region to region and between organizations.

Source: Energy.gov

At one point, the turbines generated less than two percent of the country's power, the lowest figure for more than two years.

According to the calculations of the University of Lancaster, the construction properties of the concrete of the condenser would be similar to those of normal concrete.

& # 39; If you build this in a new structure, you will not lose anything. We can use a lot of this, "said Professor Shaafi.

The technology is still small-scale and requires more research before it can become commercially viable.

A ten-year plan has been put in place to bring the special concrete to the mass market, and could be used in buildings, as well as lampposts that could be removed from the network.

The concrete application could go beyond the houses since the changes in the flow of ions correspond to the tensions in the structure.

If the structural integrity of a bridge is compromised after a collision, for example, the lamp it lights will change color or go out, revealing the incident.

The research was published in the journal Composite Structures.

(function() {
var _fbq = window._fbq || (window._fbq = []);
if (!_fbq.loaded) {
var fbds = document.createElement(‘script’);
fbds.async = true;
fbds.src = “http://connect.facebook.net/en_US/fbds.js”;
var s = document.getElementsByTagName(‘script’)[0];
s.parentNode.insertBefore(fbds, s);
_fbq.loaded = true;
}
_fbq.push([‘addPixelId’, ‘1401367413466420’]);
})();
window._fbq = window._fbq || [];
window._fbq.push([“track”, “PixelInitialized”, {}]);
.