The Science of Bottling Solar Energy
Imagine converting solar energy into a liquid that can circulate in a closed system to create heat for homes and factories. And I’m not talking about heating up water with solar heaters and storing it for later use.
Swedish researchers have now created a breakthrough liquid that can store solar energy for months and even years.
The liquid is kind of like a rechargeable battery, with the main difference being that it stores solar energy rather than electricity.
NBC News has a report that highlights how this liquid could become a significant revolution for circular energy systems.
“A solar thermal fuel could be stored in uninsulated tanks inside houses or factories — or perhaps piped or trucked between solar farms and cities. Very little of the fuel or the catalyst is damaged by the reactions, so the system can operate in a closed loop, picking up solar energy and dropping off heat again and again.”
What’s incredible about this new research is that the fluid is stable and not toxic while storing the energy in a safe way. It’s not like any liquid fossil fuel that is highly flammable.
The first uses will likely be for heating systems, but it will be interesting to see how it might find a home in transportation.
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