Thermal Battery

Thermal battery

  • Thermal battery use thermal energy to operate i.e. energy created by temperature differences.
  • The energy transfer in this battery helps to store heat when heat travels from one part of battery setup to other.
  • For this transmission, thermal battery consists of two parts viz. cool zone (sink) and hot source (source.)
  • Both these sides consist of compounds known as phase-changing materials (PCMs), which can change their state of matter on basis of physical and chemical reaction.
  • When sink of thermal battery receives heat, it transforms physically or chemically, thereby storing energy, while source cools down.
  • During operation, sink is cooled down, so it releases stored energy, while source heats up.
  • Depending on nature of battery, system can derive heat from any source, which makes thermal battery very versatile.
  • For power transmission, thermal batteries can function as long as there is heat source.

thermal-battery-system-copy

 

 

How it is different from Conventional battery technology?

  • Conventional battery technology work on basis of electrical energy and is based on system of charging and discharging cycles that are driven by electricity.
  • For example Lithium-ion (Lion) battery, staple of many electronic devices, consists of electric charges being transferred from electrodes.
  • Energy is derived from this battery, when lithium atoms turn into lithium ions (Li+), and get stored when this reaction reverses.

 

Benefits

  • Thermal battery is hailed as perfect alternative to non-renewable energy sources.
  • It is considered to be even better than solar energy.
  • It will be energy source for power telecommunications services, electrical grids, electric vehicles (electric buses, on a single charge expected to run for up to 800kms).
  • It has lesser heat sensitivity, and low carbon footprint these are better than Li-ion batteries and outperform solar panels, which have expensive maintenance, and high weather-dependent operation.
  • Solar batteries cannot be charged or utilised to their optimum potential after sunset or even when the skies are densely clouded.
  • Though thermal batteries are priced at par with widely used Lithium-ion batteries, but they have low carbon footprint and also last longer.

 

Why in news?

The world’s first-ever thermal battery plant was inaugurated in Amravati, Andhra Pradesh.