first rechargeable solar battery

A team of scientists from Ohio State University They invented what they say was the world’s first rechargeable solar battery. The team looked at issues with current methods of storing solar energy – specifically the loss of energy, which can be around 20% when transferring to a battery. They therefore developed a prototype that integrates the battery as one of the components of the solar panel, developing a single efficient and cost-effective device.

Related: A Nepalese teenager invents a solar panel with human hair.

The research team published their findings in the journal Nature communications. In addition to the loss of energy in current systems, there is also the economic issue so that communities en masse can opt for this source of green energy. While solar powered homes can sell their surplus to the grid and then buy back-up power when solar power is not available in sufficient quantities, off-grid homes sometimes need to invest in off-grid batteries. prohibitively expensive. Grid energy typically comes from the combustion of fossil fuels, which is a point of contention for those who want their grid to provide only renewable energy.

The OSU rechargeable solar battery uses sunlight to create electrons, but differs greatly from traditional solar panels in its design. The solar panel is made of a titanium mesh covered with titanium dioxide bars. The porous nature of the mesh allows air to flow through the battery, which is an important part of the recharging process. Instead of the four most common electrodes, the design uses only three: the titanium mesh, a thin layer of porous carbon, and a lithium plate. There are layers of electrolytes between the three electrodes.

Rechargeable solar battery

When light hits the mesh solar panel, it creates electrons. Inside the battery, electrons create energy by breaking down lithium peroxide into lithium ions and oxygen. The oxygen is released into the air, through the solar mesh panel, and the lithium ions are stored in the battery as energy for the future. As the solar panel and battery are one unit, energy loss is minimal. The team also claims that this battery-powered design is expected to reduce manufacturing costs for solar power systems by 25% and that the units are expected to last as long as those currently on the market. At the moment, the design is not sufficiently developed to power a typical home, but the team is confident that it is on the right track to make rapid progress towards this goal.

It would be a dream come true, your home being self-powered by your own solar energy installation, with a built-in rechargeable battery. In addition, with the new advancements taking place in solar generation in recent times, having a home that generates as much solar energy as it needs throughout the day is no longer a dream for be able to become a future not very far away. in a reality. If you don’t believe it, take a look at how any surface in the future could be a solar panel and how solar panels will colonize our windows.

Photos by Michael coghlan and Stephan ridge via Flickr.