Careful preparation is needed before melting metal alloys at 1700ºC. It is at this extreme heat that scientists want to find out if it is possible to produce electricity from thermal energy.
"We started with the materials that have the higher difference in energy between the liquid and solid states. And that is kind of the main effect that we are looking for. And the reason why this is so important is because we can store a lot of energy in very short volumes," says Merete Tangstad, from the Norwegian University of Science and Technology, a partner in the FET-Open project AMADEUS.
Creating a safe, reliable process
Ultra-high temperatures shift the heat transfer process from convection to radiation. But this process has to be as efficient, reliable, stable and as safe as possible in order to avoid both accidents, technical failures and energy waste. For that reason, real-time monitoring is crucial.
Materials scientist Natalia Sobczak from the Polish Foundry Research Institute explains: "At high temperatures, everything reacts with everything. And each of these reactions can cause huge changes in the container´s properties, even resulting in its cracking. Ideally we are looking for the right conditions to guarantee controlled chemical reactions during the melting process."