Saving Solar Energy for 18 Years
Solar energy is, without a doubt, a very promising technology, and, moreover, also environmentally friendly. But there is one problem: energy storage. If it is not used immediately, the losses will be very significant. Of course, you can use lithium-ion batteries or more interesting developments, but it would be better to create such a technology that would save the sun’s energy for a long time.
And it seems that a group of researchers from Sweden succeeded. According to experts, thanks to the new development, energy can be saved up to 18 years!
Responsible for the development of scientists from the Technical University of Chalmers. A year ago, they were able to create a molecule based on carbon, hydrogen and nitrogen. When exposed to sunlight, the molecule changes the spatial arrangement of atoms. That is, while maintaining the molecular structure, it changes to another form, called the isomer.The most interesting thing is that during this process the molecule becomes a “carrier” of energy and if it is returned to its original state, the energy will be released. It remains to find the use of this technology and the search for a solution took 1 year. As a result, we have the project MOST (Molecular Solar Thermal Energy Storage) - Molecular storage of solar thermal energy.
Schematic MOST device
“The energy in this isomer can now be stored for up to 18 years. And when we want to extract energy and use it, we get more heat than expected, ”said the professor of the department of chemistry and chemical engineering at Chalmers Technical University, head of the research group, Casper mole-Poulsen.
To collect energy, a special reflector with a pipe in the center is used. It tracks the movement of the Sun across the sky and works as a satellite dish, following the star. Once collected, the molecules dissolve in the liquid substance and are stored in this state until it is necessary to release the energy back. In order to get energy from an isomer molecule, it must pass through a catalyst in liquid form. As a result, after changing the spatial structure, the temperature of the liquid rises by 63 degrees Celsius.Scientists believe that the MOST can be installed on the roofs of houses in order to absorb the sunlight during the warm period, and the resulting energy can be used to heat the dwelling in the cold.
“There is still a lot to do. We just launched a prototype of a running system.