Innovation That Matters

The batteries are made by combining a cement mixture with carbon fibre that makes them conductive | Photo source Yen Strandqvist

'World's first' rechargeable cement-based batteries

Property & Construction

The battery is a mixture of cement, carbon fibre and electrodes and could help to advance sustainable infrastructure

Spotted: Researchers at the Chalmers University of Technology in Switzerland have created a rechargeable cement battery that could in theory turn buildings into self-sufficient energy capturers, similar to solar panels.  

According to the research, which was published in the journal Buildings, the batteries can capture energy from the sun and store it in a structure’s walls and roof. After this, the energy could be used to power LEDs, provide 4G in remote areas, work as self-sufficient infrastructure monitoring systems and help protect against corrosion in concrete.

“The concept of using structures and buildings in this way could be revolutionary, because it would offer an alternative solution to the energy crisis, by providing a large volume of energy storage,” said Emma Zhang, a researcher in the department of architecture and civil engineering Chalmers. 

The batteries are made by combining a cement mixture with carbon fibre that makes them conductive and with electrodes composed of metal-coated carbon fibre mesh with an iron and nickel-coated mesh.  

The average energy density is 7 Watthours per square metre.  Whilst the batteries’ capacity is lower than commercial ones, it could be capable of performing around 10 times better than earlier concrete batteries.  

Written By: Katrina Lane

Explore more: Property & Construction Innovations | Architecture & Design Innovations

Email: emma.zhang@chalmers.se

Website: mdpi.com

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