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Posts: 128
Reply with quote  #1 
Even if you do want to do your part in reducing fossil fuel use, it’s hard not to turn up the thermostat on the heater when winter comes. A group from the EMPA (the Swiss Federal Laboratories for Materials Testing and Research) thinks they’ve come up with an instant, no-hassle alternative to stay warm. Their method stores heat during the summer and releases it in winter just with the press of a button. Even more, the stores of captured energy can be carried around wherever they’re needed.

Go Solar!


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Posts: 1,068
Reply with quote  #2 
Thanks for the link. Here's an excerpt explaining the basic concept:

"The technology uses a concentrated NaOH (sodium hydroxide) solution as a kind of thermal battery, and largely off the shelf components to recharge or discharge the stored heat."


"Can thermal solar energy be stored until wintertime? Yes, this is possible, using a cheap material like sodium lye. Within a European research consortium Empa scientists and their colleagues have spent four years studying this question by pitting three different techniques against each other."

Both temperature rise and airflow are integral to comparing hot air collectors

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Posts: 2,907
Reply with quote  #3 
Hmmmm, might actually work!

Solar is like the wind. It may be free, but putting it to work isn't!
Willie, Tampa Bay

Posts: 136
Reply with quote  #4 
OK! So....who is gonna be the first on to take their ZP box and paint the bottom screen with NaOH and hook up a sprayer with spiral heat extractors to run heat all night, too??? Just sayin'...

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Posts: 15
Reply with quote  #5 
This technology has been around for a long time.  It use to be, the materials would wear out after a while. That is, they would lose the ability to do the phase change efficiently.  I wonder what the stored energy density would be.  How many watts per pound of material and container.  How would they compare with an electric battery?
Old McDonald

Posts: 66
Reply with quote  #6 
My wife and I use caustic soda (NaOH) to combine with olive oil for making our own soap. There is a great deal of heat from putting it in water. You can try this at home - but be careful!

Here is an interesting link to the EMPA concept 

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