REVEAL, the European research project funded by the Horizon Europe programme and starting in July 2022, is working on the goal of storing renewable energy in aluminium during the summer in order to obtain electricity, hydrogen or heat when needed.
The researchers have given themselves four years to develop a new storage solution based on ‘Power-to-Al’, from electricity to aluminium. The concept relies on the conversion of aluminium oxide to aluminium via electrolysis, repurposing the technique to create a continuous energy storage cycle.
Aluminium production uses an enormous amount of electricity and this is usually seen as a disadvantage from an ecological point of view. REVEAL, on the other hand, would use only renewable electricity for this process, without losing it, but storing it chemically in the aluminium produced, with the possibility of being released much later and in a different place.
The REVEAL project has a specific aim: to demonstrate the feasibility of the Power-to-Al storage cycle and the advantages over other storage technologies in terms of cost and impact. Storing energy in aluminium should, according to initial estimates, guarantee a storage volume density of more than 15 MWh/m3, without losses and with a lower environmental impact than other solutions.
“This revolutionary high-density storage solution will allow energy needs to be met with flexibility even in small units and off-grid situations and, above all, in seasons when demand is much higher than local renewable production could possibly cover”, the project website states.
Sources: renewables.co.uk, reveal-storage.eu