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A New Energy Storage System- ‘MOST’ can store Solar Power for up to 20 Years

The system was created with specially developed carbon, hydrogen, and nitrogen molecules. When the molecules are exposed to sunlight, the atoms within them are rearranged, resulting in an energy-rich isomer that can be stored in liquid form.

Shivam Dwivedi
Solar Panels with Energy Storage System
Solar Panels with Energy Storage System

According to a press release from Chalmers University of Technology in Sweden, researchers developed an energy system that can store solar energy in liquid form for up to 18 years. The Chalmers team has tested its device, called the Molecular Solar Thermal system (MOST), by connecting it to a thermoelectric generator, proving that it can produce electricity on-demand with the help of scientists from Shanghai Jiao Tong University in China.

The Chalmers team has been developing its technology for over a decade and believes it will soon be a viable option for charging low-power electronics devices.

The system was created with specially developed carbon, hydrogen, and nitrogen molecules. When the molecules are exposed to sunlight, the atoms within them are rearranged, resulting in an energy-rich isomer that can be stored in liquid form.

The researchers claim that their system can store solar energy in liquid form for up to 18 years. The stored energy is then released as heat using a special catalyst that returns the molecules to their original shape.

No Carbon Emissions

The Chalmers researchers worked with scientists from Shanghai Jiao Tong University in China, who contributed a thermoelectric generator to the project. They were able to generate a small amount of electricity as a result of this, though the collaborators believe that future models could improve this.

"The generator is an ultra-thin chip that could be integrated into electronics like headphones, smartwatches, and phones," said Chalmers University of Technology researcher Zhihang Wang. "We've only generated small amounts of electricity so far, but the new findings show that the concept is viable. It appears to be very promising."

The MOST system, according to research leader Kasper Moth-Poulsen, Professor at Chalmers' Department of Chemistry and Chemical Engineering, "This means that we can generate electricity from solar energy regardless of the weather, time of day, season, or geographic location. It's a closed system that can run without releasing carbon dioxide into the atmosphere."

The current output of the proof of concept is only 0.1 NW, but the researchers say their system could be used to address the issue of intermittent solar energy by storing energy for months at a time and deploying it only when it's needed. When complete, the model could be used to power small electronic devices. The Chalmers team is now working on improving the performance of their system as well as developing a more affordable commercial version that could be used in homes.

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