Researchers develop ‘concrete batteries’
Researchers from Chalmers University of Technology, Sweden have developed rechargeable batteries made of cement which could allow concrete buildings to store energy.
The batteries are made of layers of cement-based mixture with short carbon fibres added to increase conductivity. A metal-coated carbon fibre mesh is embedded in the layers to act as a cathode and anode, enabling the flow of electricity.
Researcher Emma Zhang said the technology could be revolutionary because of its energy storage possibilities.
She said to Construction Enquirer: “We have a vision that in the future this technology could allow for whole sections of multi-storey buildings made of functional concrete. Considering that any concrete surface could have a layer of this electrode embedded, we are talking about enormous volumes of functional concrete.
“It could also be coupled with solar cell panels for example, to provide electricity and become the energy source for monitoring systems in highways or bridges, where sensors operated by a concrete battery could detect cracking or corrosion.”