Renewable thermal solution provides green alternative for gas-hungry industries

A novel blend of old and new technology is helping South Australian researchers combine renewable energy and low-cost thermal storage to deliver heat for industrial processes. Developed at the University of South Australia, the method involves using low cost renewable energy such as wind or solar PV to power electrical elements that heat rocks in a similar way to a sauna. The element and rocks are packed inside a stainless steel tank and heat air pushed through the tank with an ambient fan. The temperature of the exiting air can be simply adjusted between 200C and 700C by changing the fan speed.

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