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EGEB: A solar system that delivers electricity at night, solar panels in Fortnite, and more

In today’s EGEB:

  • A thermal battery is being developed that could be used in a solar power system for overnight electricity.
  • One developer pulls out of the running for a Long Island-area offshore wind farm.
  • The first solar project in Anchorage, Alaska comes online.
  • Solar panels in the popular video game Fortnite.

Electrek Green Energy Brief: A daily technical, financial, and political review/analysis of important green energy news.

Researchers at Australia’s Curtin University are calling their new thermal battery a “renewable energy game-changer,” as it will be able to store energy and release it directly from a solar system at any time, including overnight. As Professor Craig Buckley explained,

“Storage has long been a stumbling point for renewable energy but our prototype thermal battery is able to store and, as required, release solar energy without reliance on sunlight at all times.

“The battery uses a high-temperature metal hydride or metal carbonate as the heat storage medium and a low temperature gas storage vessel for storing the hydrogen or carbon dioxide.

“At night, and in times of cloud cover, hydrogen or carbon dioxide is released from the gas storage vessel and absorbed by the higher temperature metal to form a metal hydride/metal carbonate, which produces heat used to generate electricity.”

Another researcher, Chris Moran, said:

“While a lithium battery stores electrical energy that can be used to provide electricity when the sun is not shining, this thermal battery stores heat from concentrated solar thermal, which can be used when the sun is not shining to run a turbine to produce electricity.”

It’s another form of energy storage — check out the largest concentrated solar thermal farm in the world — and the system itself would technically be providing the electricity. But a “game-changer?”

Wind Moves

East Wind LLC is pulling its wind farm plan out of the running for a proposed Long Island shore location, “primarily related to concerns about impacts on fishing,” Newsday reports.

The company, a subsidiary of Germany’s EnBW Energie Baden-Württemberg AG, isn’t completely uninterested in offshore wind development in the area — it just thinks the other nearby sites being considered are better.

This particular site has drawn plenty of local opposition, especially from the fishing industry. We’ve noted the scallop industry’s pull in regards to these offshore developments in the past.

Alaskan Solar

The first solar project in Anchorage, Alaska actually isn’t the first in the state, but it is the largest rooftop array. KTVA has the report on the 216-panel array which will cover about 9% of a downtown convention center’s annual electricity needs.

The $200,000 system should pay for itself in a little more than seven years, according to Anchorage Mayor Ethan Berkowitz. Anchorage recently passed its own Climate Action Plan, and this project fits right in.

Fortnite Solar

From night solar at the start of EGEB, to Fortnite solar at the end. The immensely popular online video game added three solar arrays to its map for a recent challenge.

It’s a video game, but it’s a game with about 250 million registered players. And hey, if it gets a few kids — or adults — to give more than a passing thought to solar power, all the better.

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