Rechargeable cement-based battery: a groundbreaking Swedish research

Researchers from Chalmers University of Technology have developed a pioneer prototype for a rechargeable cement based battery. This group of scientists, led by doctor Emma Chang and proffesor Luping Tang, have come up with a revolutionary idea: a “giant battery” that could serve as a power source for entire structures.

Are rechargable buildings the future of sustainability?

The prototype

The breakthrough has been delivered through the incorporation of carbon fibres and a metal mesh into a cement-based mix. These small amounts of carbon fibres allow the material to increase its contuctivity and flexural strength.

Some other studies have dealt with the issue of concrete batteries before, but none of them has found a way for these power sources to achieve high performances. The Chalmers scientists’s prepared concrete, on the contrary, rates at 8 Wh/LD. This “energy per unit volume” isn’t very big, but if we use enough cement, the small energy amount will quickly add up. And that’s the idea!

Great prospects

But the most important thing about this prototype, and what makes it different from other studies around cement-based power sources, is the fact that it is rechargeable. If researchers keep working on this concept, this battery could replace common construction materials, and cause huge impact on the energy scene.

In the longer term, it is absolutely conceivable that electric cars, electric planes and satellites will be designed with and powered by structural batteries“, said Leif Asp, professor at Chalmers University.

This is a scientific model with undoubtedly great prospects despite being in its early stages. Researchers still have to adress some issues before this energy storage technique can become part of our reality, but it definitely opens the doors to a new field of research on how to build structures in a sustainable, more funtional way.

Some of this structural battery’s applications could be:

  • Powering LEDs
  • Providing 4G connections
  • Providing cathodic protection against corrosion

Rechargable cement-based power sources represent a new hope (and also a new challege) for the fields of engineering, architecture, and technology in general. In Keyplan, we believe that innovation and research are both essential for a better world. Do you agree?