Renewable energy storage for buildings

Paper Advancement
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Researchers from the Digital Cellulose Center have developed a paper supercapacitor that can store renewable energy on a large scale. In the future, the energy storage device could be used in the construction of buildings to store energy on-site sustainably as well as insulate it.

– The energy demand will only increase, and we need new technologies to store renewable energy sustainably, says Dr. Jesper Edberg Scientific Leader at the Digital Cellulose Center and Researcher at RISE. We aim to create sustainable, renewable, and re-usable electronics and this is a prime example of how we in a near future can create green storage for green energy.

The future of renewable energy depends on our advances in energy storage technologies. One of the biggest challenges of storing energy on a large scale is to fully utilize the energy that is produced. Today we lack efficient methods for storing renewable energy but researchers at the Digital Cellulose Center are making strides towards new sustainable solutions.

In a new study, researchers from the Center have further developed its printed supercapacitor by replacing the plastic substrates with paper, making it more sustainable.

On-site energy storage of renewable energy

The papers are coated with aluminum, they function both as the current collector for the device, as well as a barrier for moisture and oxygen.

– In the future businesses and society will need to store energy on-site, says Dr. Robert Brooke Researcher at RISE Research Institutes of Sweden. These energy storage devices could for instance be built into the walls of buildings to store energy locally from solar cells on the roof, while at the same time function as insulation for the building.


Renewable energy will need renewable storage

– We need to find alternative methods of storing energy, Dr. Jesper Edberg continues. Therefore, phasing out batteries and energy storage solutions that are dependent on fossil materials, critical materials, and rare earth minerals is an important step in creating a renewable energy ecosystem.

The paper energy storage device has a new “on-demand” design. After the device has been screen printed, it can be cut and connected in specific ways to power applications. The manuscript, published in the Journal of Energy Storage, shows three different orientations to increase the capacitance and the voltage.

– If you have a small electronic device that needs minimal power then you can use an individual sheet of the energy storage device, says Dr. Robert Brooke. But if you are looking to power something that needs more power then you can connect a series of devices, or sheets, to increase the voltage or the capacitance.

Source: Digital Cellulose Center