Swedish startup Sinonus offers an innovative energy storage solution that could turn giant turbine blades into batteries one day.

Not just turbine blades but anything made using carbon fibre could be turned into an energy storage unit thanks to Sinonus’ pioneering tech that was researched at the Chalmers University of Technology in Gothenburg.

As the world looks for cleaner ways to meet its energy demands through wind and solar power plants, large energy storage devices that can store excess energy for times when the sun isn’t shining, and the wind isn’t blowing are also needed. 

Most solutions in this domain are currently based on the lithium-ion battery, which is the best energy storage tech on the planet. Previous reports have written about lithium-free approaches to energy storage using more natural elements like sand and water. 

However, Sinonus’ innovative technology can deliver energy storage for nothing. 

Carbon fibre as an energy storage solution

Carbon fibre is a strong yet lightweight material used in the construction of a wide variety of modern structures. The material has even made it to Mars as part of Nasa’s famous Ingenuity mission, where the lightweight material was used to make the helicopter’s blades. 

While the material is known widely, researchers haven’t previously used its electrochemical properties to store energy. This was achieved by Chalmers University of Technology researchers in certain types of carbon fibre through years of research. 

Now, through its spin-off, the technology will also be made available to others. The company is focused on using turbine blades as stores of energy. 

A demonstrator battery cell built by the company. Image: Sinonus.

Turbine blades are made from carbon fibre, and adding the ability of energy storage to the setup can deliver a better return on investment for the sector. 

Where else can it work? 

To demonstrate the technology, Sinonus has begun replacing AAA batteries in low-power products with its carbon-fibre charging with successful results. While the energy storage capacity isn’t as good as lithium-ion, it is still beneficial since the material’s main function is load-bearing. 

A common complaint about lithium-ion batteries is the excessive weight they add to a device. The latest electric vehicles are at least 50% heavier than their fossil fuel counterparts because of the heavy battery packs. 

A research study at Chalmers University concluded that reducing the battery weight in electric vehicles could increase their range by a huge 70%. Moreover, the technology could also be used to power aircraft with electricity.