With worldwide energy grids containing an increasing amount of renewable energy sources, the need for sustainable and effective energy storage solutions is on the rise. By creating a system that allows energy to be released into the system when it is needed (load shifting), we no longer need large, base-load generators. The result is a more stable and effective system. Graphite plays an important part in such systems, including thermal storage systems in which graphite collects heat directly from the sun in order to heat storage mediums. It’s a more cost-effective way to store energy than battery storage, while also allowing systems to operate at higher temperatures than those fuelled by traditional batteries.
Meanwhile graphene (graphite broken down into layers that are one-atom thick) has also proven to be an excellent electricity conductor with a large surface area, which also makes it ideal for energy storage applications. When kept in gel form (through the addition of water between layers), the material has also shown incredible promise for many real-world applications.