A group of scientists from the Technological University of Chalmers in Sweden have created a liquid that can absorb solar energy and store it for a long time.
A group of scientists from the Technological University of Chalmers in Sweden has published a series of four articles in which they describe their liquid. Its molecules consist of atoms of carbon, hydrogen and nitrogen. The irradiation of liquid sunlight, these molecules behave in an unusual way: the bonds between atoms change, and the molecule is transformed into its isomer, storing energy in its new form.
This energy is due to new strong bonds between the atoms of the molecule is retained for a long time, even when the liquid has cooled to room temperature.
When this energy is required – for example, at night or in the winter, the fluid is pumped through a special catalyst, which returns the molecule to its original state, thus releasing energy in the form of heat.
“The energy of this isomer can be stored for many years, to 18 years,” says one of the researchers, a specialist in nanomaterials Casper ILO-Poulsen from the University of Chalmers.
The prototype of the new system placed on the roof of the University, has shown excellent results by converting solar energy into heat. It resembles the device of the usual solar panels, but instead used heat carrier liquid of the polymer molecules of norbornadiene, which under the influence of the concentrated sunlight is converted into isomer quadricyclane. Then isomeric liquid is stored at room temperature with minimal loss of energy. Upon contact with a metal catalyst transformirovalsya this liquid back into the polymer, while heating to a temperature of 63 degrees Celsius.
The researchers reproduced this cycle over 125 times and have not noticed a significant reduction in the efficiency of the molecules.
Scientists claim that their system is now able to accumulate 250 watt-hours per kilogram of fluid, double the capacity of known batteries of the Tesla type Powerwall. The researchers believe that in the future will be able to raise the temperature of the heating liquid to 110 degrees Celsius.
According to them, these systems, which already now attract the attention of investors, reach the stage of commercial use in the next 10 years.
Previously Electrovette wrote that by 2050 solar energy will take 70% of the world energy market.