The innovations consist of three parts: An energy-trapping molecule, a storage system, and an energy-storing laminate coating that can be applied on different materials — the coating collects solar energy and releases heat
New Delhi: Solar energy can now be stored and released on demand in the form of heat even decades after capturing it, according to scientists at Chalmers University of Technology in Gothenburg, Sweden.
According to a recent Bloomberg report, the researchers said that this power could then be used in heating everything from homes to vehicles.
How does it work?
A liquid molecule — made up of carbon, hydrogen, and nitrogen — when hit by sunlight, draws in the sun’s energy and holds it until a catalyst triggers its release as heat. The researchers have created a specialised storage unit, which has the stability to outlast the lifespan of a typical lithium-ion battery.
The most advanced potential commercial use the team has developed is a transparent coating that can be applied to home windows, a moving vehicle, or even clothing.
According to Energy Reporters, the method avoids costly silicon, which is commonly used in solar panels, and requires no electricity to distribute heat once energy is captured.
Though, it is still unknown whether the system can produce electricity, researchers are now looking to convert the sun’s rays into electricity rather than just heat.
For now, the team of researchers face the uphill task of finding investors to take the technology to market.