Researchers at the University of Houston have come up with a new device. The new device is likely to feature capture and storing of solar energy as long needed. This new device offers promise for a wide variety of applications that ranges from desalination to distillation to power generation.
Unlike solar cells and solar panels that depend on photovoltaic technology for the production of electricity, this hybrid device catches solar energy and stores it in the form of thermal energy. The new device is likely to address difficulties of large-scale adoption of solar power. It would lead to opening up of avenues for utilizing solar energy at any point of time. Solar energy would be available then irrespective of restricted availability of sunlight, cloudy days, and various other constraints.
The Device Can Convert and Store the Surplus Sunlight in the Form of Molecular Energy
This new research work published in Joule – a journal covering medical, social, physical, and life sciences. The device mixes latent heat storage and molecular energy storage to create an integrated storage and harvesting device that would be operational all the time. Furthermore, it is said to aid 73% of harvesting efficiency for small-scale operation and around 90% efficiency for large-scale operation.
The device helps recover nearly 80% stored energy at night and even more during daytime. The authors of this study comprise Bill D. Cook, Hadi Ghasemi, and a corresponding author. Bill D. Cook is an associate professor, mechanical engineering, University of Houston. The researchers opine that such high efficiency of harvest is owing to the device’s ability to catch the full spectrum of sunlight and then harvesting the same for immediate use. It is also capable of converting the surplus sunlight into storage of molecular energy