MASDAR Institute Storing Thermal Energy in Sand

Posted in Clean Electric, Uncategorized

The MASDAR Institute of Science and Technology (MIST), based out of Abu Dhabi, UAE, is at the forefront of environmental engineering and sustainable design. The City of Masdar and MIST we founded upon the desire to create an epicenter of international environmentalism. The city showcases some of the latest technology mixed with ancient architectural practices native to the region to create a synergistic approach to eco-friendly urban development.

MIST, which currently is accessible solely to graduate students from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, is quickly earning a reputation for the green technology powerhouse of the world. One research project that has captured our interest in the use of sand for thermal storage. Most conventional solar thermal systems utilize salt, oil or some other type of high boiling point, low environmental-friendliness agent to store thermal energy. Using sand could prove to be just as effective and environmentally sound if MIST’s new tech turns out to be viable.

Reducing our carbon footprint is essential to the wellbeing of our planet, but it is not just as simple as devising new energy generation systems which do not pollute while producing electricity. We must constantly strive to create clean energy technology which can also be manufactured with the least amount of environmental impact. Using lithium ion batteries is one of the current standards for energy storage, but comes at a high price in terms of environmental externalities. Utilizing sand, which is readily abundant, requires no refining, and can be used without creating less-than-ideal byproducts, could very well play an important part in the future’s clean energy mix. Keep your eyes peeled for any tech coming out of Masdar and MIST, as it is sure to be on the cutting edge of eco-friendly.


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