Ancient Firebrick Technology Could Offer Economic Way Of Storing The Energy

Researchers from MIT are working on a project that could introduce a low-tech, low-cost way to store excess renewable energy. Nowadays, the excess electricity produced from renewables is either lost or stored using popular methods like batteries or pumped hydro systems. These methods can be expensive, thus the scientists are looking into “the ancient technology of firebricks” as a possible inexpensive solution to the energy storage challenge.

Their concept is published in The Electricity Journal and the system is called “Firebrick Resistance-heated Energy Storage, or FIRES”. The excess electricity will be used to heat firebricks which then will be covered with an insulated casing so that they can provide energy later when it is needed.

Firebricks are not only less expensive than batteries and pumped hydro, but they can be made from various materials with varying degree of thermal conductivity.

According to MIT “The technology itself is old, but its potential usefulness is a new phenomenon, brought about by the rapid rise of intermittent renewable energy sources, and the peculiarities of the way electricity prices are set…” To see whether their system could work on a large-scale basis, researchers intent to build a real-world prototype. If successful, this could contribute to the widespread adoption of renewables.

Read the original article

Image Credit: Ted Hood / Public Domain

If you want to know more about this and other topics directly from end users of energy storage technologies join us at one of these annual events: The Energy Storage World Forum (Grid Scale Applications), or The Residential Energy Storage Forum, or one of our Training Courses.


Product Development: Embracing product safety and compliance

PRODUCT DEVELOPMENT: EMBRACING PRODUCT SAFETY AND COMPLIANCE Recent safety incidents on storage plants have raised concerns about the fire safety of battery storage systems. Such events are extremely rare compared to the cumulated global deployments of energy storage systems, which have reached more than 27 GWh by end of 2020 (Wood Mackenzie 2021). However, for…

Read More

Future energy predictions: Growth of flexibility and grid forming

  It is well known that COVID-19 has caused low energy demand and the growth of renewable energy across Europe. Now, Andrew Tang, Vice President for Energy Storage at Wärtsilä, predicts this will result in swift action to build better grid resiliency. The share of renewable power across Europe has skyrocketed over the last six…

Read More


“Probably the most interactive and well organized storage event on the calendar.”


Sales Director, S&C

“Great topics, competent speakers, good networking: keep it like that.”



“High scientific content, well targeted, perfect organization.”


Expert Technical & Governance, Elia

Excellent networking event. The sponsorship was well worth it.”


Manager, ATL

View More