Around-the-Clock Solar Power?
Big news for both energy consumers and vodka drinkers: University of Houston researchers have announced a new device that can both efficiently capture solar energy and store it until it is needed, offering promise for applications ranging from power generation to distillation and desalination.
As the university explains, this breakthrough is significantly different from solar panels, which rely on photovoltaic technology for direct generation of electricity. Instead, this new hybrid device captures solar heat and stores it as thermal energy. This could remove a longstanding barrier to wider use of solar power; namely, what do you do when the sun isn’t shining?
“The work, described in a paper published Wednesday in Joule, combines molecular energy storage and latent heat storage to produce an integrated harvesting and storage device for potential 24/7 operation,” the University of Houston announced. “The researchers report a harvesting efficiency of 73 percent at small-scale operation and as high as 90 percent at large-scale operation.”
To learn more, go to https://bit.ly/2KCPgpo.