The innovative ‘Sun in a box’ concept would store wind and solar energy for the grid as white-hot, liquid silicon.
Inspired by the use of molten salt batteries for energy storage, the MIT design relies on heating liquid silicon to as high as 4,000° F using the excess heat generated by wind and solar power. To tap into that stored energy, the glowing hot silicon is transferred through pipes, emitting a light that can then be captured by specialized solar cells and converted to electricity.
According to the MIT team, the TEGS-MPV system (Thermal Energy Grid Storage-Multi-Junction Photovoltaics) as it is officially called, could store enough energy to power a small city while costing much less than conventional pumped hydro systems.
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