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 developed 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 sunlight and kept in the structure. 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.

“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,” Emma Zhang, a researcher in the department of architecture and civil engineering Chalmers, said in a release.

The batteries are made by combining a cement mixture with carbon fibre. This makes them conductive. Electrodes made out of of metal-coated carbon fibre are also added.  

The average energy density is 7 Watthours per square metre.  Whilst the batteries’ capacity is inferior to that of commercial ones, it could perform a ten fold better than earlier concrete batteries.  

Written By: Katrina Lane

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