Breakthrough Solar System Uses Recycled Aluminum to Store Energy—Without Batteries

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Discussion posted by: David McNamara

A new renewable energy startup company has come up with a low-cost, zero-emissions solution to the thorny issue surrounding what happens when the sun isn’t shining and the wind isn’t blowing. Paradoxically, the more the world embraces clean energy like solar and wind, the more it must embrace something markedly less-clean—diesel fuel or batteries. In a building cut-off from a reliable grid powered by fossil fuel, diesel generators might be used to cover the hours of darkness when solar panels cease providing electricity. An alternative to this is to store the energy generated from the sun during the day in batteries, but along with representing a serious recycling problem, batteries require rare-earth minerals that are obtained from environmentally-destructive mining operations.