Capturing Solar Energy and Converting It to Electricity When Needed – Up to 18 Years Later


Researchers have taken a step ahead in growing an vitality system that makes it doable to seize photo voltaic vitality, retailer it for up to 18 years, and launch it when and the place it’s wanted. They’ve now succeeded in getting the system to produce electrical energy by connecting it to a thermoelectric generator, after beforehand demonstrating how the vitality will be retrieved as warmth. Credit score: Chalmers College of Know-how | Daniel Spacek, neuroncollective.com

The researchers behind an vitality system that makes it doable to seize photo voltaic vitality, retailer it for up to eighteen years, and launch it when and the place it’s wanted have now taken the system a step additional. After beforehand demonstrating how the vitality will be extracted as warmth, they’ve now succeeded in getting the system to produce electrical energy, by connecting it to a thermoelectric generator. Ultimately, the analysis – developed at Chalmers College of Know-how, Sweden – could lead on to self-charging digital devices that use saved photo voltaic vitality on demand.

“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,” says analysis chief Kasper Moth-Poulsen, Professor on the Division of Chemistry and Chemical Engineering at Chalmers.


The researchers behind the photo voltaic vitality system MOST, which makes it doable to seize photo voltaic vitality, retailer it for up to 18 years, and launch it when and the place it’s wanted, have now taken the system a step additional. After beforehand demonstrating how the vitality will be extracted as warmth, they’ve now succeeded in getting the system to produce electrical energy, by connecting it to a compact thermoelectric generator. The analysis, which was carried out at Chalmers College of Know-how in Sweden, may ultimately lead to self-charging devices which might be powered on-demand by saved photo voltaic vitality. Credit score: Chalmers College of Know-how

The brand new know-how relies on the photo voltaic vitality system MOST – Molecular Solar Thermal Energy Storage Methods, developed at Chalmers College of Know-how. Very merely, the know-how relies on a specifically designed molecule that adjustments form when it comes into contact with daylight. The analysis has already attracted nice curiosity worldwide when it has been offered at earlier phases.

The brand new examine, printed in Cell Experiences Bodily Science in March 2022 and carried out in collaboration with researchers in Shanghai, takes the photo voltaic vitality system a step additional, detailing how it may be mixed with a compact thermoelectric generator to convert photo voltaic vitality into electrical energy.

Energy Stored in Liquid Form

Molecular Solar Thermal Energy Storage Methods, Most, is a closed vitality system based mostly on a specifically designed molecule of carbon, hydrogen, and nitrogen, which when hit by daylight adjustments form into an energy-rich isomer – a molecule made up of the identical atoms however organized collectively differently. The isomer can then be saved in liquid kind for up to 18 years for later use when wanted, reminiscent of at evening or in winter. Credit score: Chalmers College of Know-how, Per Erséus, Språng kommunikation

Extremely-thin chip converts warmth into electrical energy

The Swedish researchers despatched their specifically designed molecule, loaded with photo voltaic vitality, to colleagues Tao Li and Zhiyu Hu at Shanghai Jiao Tong College, the place the vitality was launched and transformed into electrical energy utilizing the generator they developed there. Basically, Swedish sunshine was despatched to the opposite aspect of the world and transformed into electrical energy in China.

(*18*) says researcher Zhihang Wang from Chalmers College of Know-how.

Most Energy System

Together with a micrometer-thin thermoelectric generator, the Most vitality system can even generate electrical energy to order. Credit score: Chalmers College of Know-how | Per Erséus, Språng kommunikation

Fossil free, emissions free

The analysis has nice potential for renewable and emissions-free vitality manufacturing. However a variety of analysis and improvement stays earlier than we shall be ready to cost our technical devices or warmth our houses with the system’s saved photo voltaic vitality.

“Together with the various research groups included in the project, we are now working to streamline the system. The amount of electricity or heat it can extract needs to be increased. Even if the energy system is based on simple basic materials, it needs to be adapted to be sufficiently cost-effective to produce, and thus possible to launch more broadly,” says Kasper Moth-Poulsen.

Kasper Moth Poulsens Lab

Researchers Maria Quant and Zhihang Wang working within the lab at Chalmers College of Know-how, Sweden. Credit score: Chalmers College of Know-how, Per Erséus, Språng kommunikation

Extra concerning the Most know-how

Molecular Solar Thermal Energy Storage Methods, Most, is a closed vitality system based mostly on a specifically designed molecule of carbon, hydrogen and nitrogen, which when hit by daylight adjustments form into an energy-rich isomer – a molecule made up of the identical atoms however organized collectively differently. The isomer can then be saved in liquid kind for later use when wanted, reminiscent of at evening or in winter. The researchers have refined the system to the purpose that it’s now doable to retailer the vitality for up to 18 years. A specifically designed catalyst releases the saved vitality as warmth whereas returning the molecule to its unique form, so it could actually then be reused within the heating system. Now, together with a micrometer-thin thermoelectric generator, the vitality system can even generate electrical energy to order.

Zhihang Wang

Submit Doc Zhihang Wang , Division of Chemistry and Chemical Engineering, Chalmers College of Know-how, Sweden. Credit score: Chalmers College of Know-how, Sandra Nayeri

Reference: “Chip-scale solar thermal electrical power generation” by Zhihang Wang, Zhenhua Wu, Zhiyu Hu, Jessica Orrego-Hernández, Erzhen Mu, Zhao-Yang Zhang, Martyn Jevric, Yang Liu, Xuecheng Fu, Fengdan Wang, Tao Li and Kasper Moth-Poulsen, 2 March 2022, Cell Experiences Bodily Science.
DOI: 10.1016/j.xcrp.2022.100789

Kasper Moth Poulsen

Professor Kasper Moth-Poulsen, Division of Chemistry and Chemical Engineering, Chalmers College of Know-how, Sweden. Credit score: Chalmers College of Know-how, Oscar Mattsson

Extra concerning the analysis and the scientific article

The examine Chip-scale photo voltaic thermal electrical energy era is printed in Cell Experiences Bodily Science. The article is written by Zhihang Wang, Zhenhua Wu, Zhiyu Hu, Jessica Orrego-Hernández, Erzhen Mu, Zhao-Yang Zhang, Martyn Jevric, Yang Liu, Xuecheng Fu, Fengdan Wang, Tao Li and Kasper Moth-Poulsen. The researchers are lively at Chalmers College of Know-how in Sweden, Shanghai Jiao Tong College, and Henan Polytechnic College in China, in addition to on the Institute of Supplies Science in Barcelona and the Catalan Division of Analysis and Superior Research, ICREA, in Spain.

The analysis has been funded by the Knut and Alice Wallenberg Basis, the Swedish Basis for Strategic Analysis, the Swedish Analysis Council Formas, the Swedish Energy Company, the European Analysis Council (ERC) underneath grant settlement CoG, PHOTHERM – 101002131, the Catalan Institute of Superior Research (ICREA), and the European Union’s Horizon 2020 Framework Programme underneath grant settlement no. 951801.





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