As costs go down, is becoming more popular across the globe. But because solar panels don’t store energy for later use, a home powered by the Sun is not totally free from the grid. However, researchers have created a device that could store and harvest solar energy, and they are hopeful it could eventually bring electricity to rural areas. This is a huge step in the right direction.

Resolving Energy Storage Issues

There is a known issue with energy storage, but it has led to numerous solutions that are quite creative, such as large batteries. Scientists have developed an integrated battery as they are attempting to improve , according to a publication in Chem. Essentially, it can work in a similar way to a typical solar cell by converting sunlight into electricity right away, as per Song Jin, study author and University of Wisconsin at Madison chemist. The battery could store solar energy or it could be charged just like a standard battery.

The benefits of this sort of are that it could harvest energy during the day and provide electricity at night when the sun goes down. This solar battery could be used when skies are gray and harsh weather conditions are occurring.

Technological Advances – Great Steps Toward Going Solar

We are looking at a combination of two different technologies. We are looking at a flow battery and solar cells. Lithium-ion, of course, are the most commonly utilized batteries, and they store energy in metals. On the other hand, flow batteries store energy in exterior liquid tanks. For bigger projects, they are simple to scale.

and his team have been the very first to combine the aforementioned features. This solar battery has been in development for years, and has finally reached just over 14 percent efficiency. According to Jin, this is a “round-trip efficiency” which basically means there is efficiency in taking the energy, storing the energy and discharging the energy. Jin is hopeful of getting to 20 percent efficiency, or even 25 percent.

Solar Opportunities

There are still areas which could be improved. Jin, for instance, wants to improve efficiency while also developing a design using less expensive materials. In less-developed areas lacking proper infrastructure and power grids, this invention could really make an impact. Having electricity is so important, and something many take for granted. If you’ve ever lost electricity after a major storm, you realize how frustrating it can be to be without. Even areas such as health care could be improved tremendously with electricity. This solar battery could allow for so many positive changes.

Regardless of location, a can be useful. One could have the ability to disconnect and have personalized energy, so to speak, so energy could be stored and utilized locally. A solar flow battery could allow us to become less dependent on other types of energy which are bad for the planet.

Having both a solar cell and a storage system is certainly a game-changer. Imagine how useful this combination would be on a cloudy day or during harsh weather. In terms of off-grid solar applications in isolated areas, this type of device might be the future. Even though the current solar battery is looking quite appealing, there is still work being done to improve its design. When it comes to solar growth, there is no end in sight. Stay in the loop by following solar news. Renewable energy is changing our world, and it is changing fast. It will be interesting to see the developments that will soon come to fruition.

Sources:

https://www.theverge.com/2018/9/27/17910390/solar-flower-battery-energy-storage-infrastructure-rural

https://www.arabianindustry.com/utilities/news/2018/sep/30/scientists-develop-solar-cell-with-storage-capabilities-5983926/

https://www.cell.com/chem/home

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