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Energy crisis: New ‘radical’ solar tech to store power as liquid may be lifeline for bills | Science | News

As the world looks for renewable alternatives to get out of the current energy crisis, scientists at Sweden’s Chalmers University of Technology designed a radical new technology that could make it easier to store renewable energy, particularly solar power. This breakthrough is significant as the Sun, as a massive ball of heat energy from outer space, has the potential to provide enough energy to power the entire world.

First developed in 2017, the energy system makes it possible to capture solar energy, store it for up to eighteen years and release it when and where it is needed.

Now the researchers have the system a step closer to reality, by successfully producing electricity from the liquid by connecting it to a thermoelectric generator.

Eventually, the scientists believe, the technology they have created will lead to self-charging electronics using stored solar energy on demand.

Named the MOlecular Solar Thermal (MOST) system, this technology is based on a specially-designed molecule of carbon, hydrogen and nitrogen, which when hit by sunlight changes shape into an energy-rich isomer- another type of molecule.

Research leader Kasper Moth-Poulsen, Professor at the Department of Chemistry and Chemical Engineering at Chalmers said: “This is a radically new way of generating electricity from solar energy.

“It means that we can use solar energy to produce electricity regardless of weather, time of day, season, or geographical location.

“It is a closed system that can operate without causing carbon dioxide emissions”.

In a new study published in Cell Reports Physical Science, the researchers in Sweden were able to send their specially designed molecule, loaded with solar energy, to colleagues Tao Li and Zhiyu Hu at Shanghai Jiao Tong University, where the energy was released and converted into electricity using the generator they developed there.

READ MORE: UK lays out new green roadmap to ‘get energy independence back’

This technology has the potential to replace batteries and solar cells, making the way we harness, capture and store solar energy vastly more efficient.

To highlight the immense potential of solar energy, experts have previously calculated that by installing solar panels on 0.2 million square kilometres —an area almost the size of the UK, the world could generate enough energy every year to satisfy global consumption.

Read More: Energy crisis: New ‘radical’ solar tech to store power as liquid may be lifeline for bills | Science | News

2022-04-13 06:00:30

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