Engineers have created a system that stores solar energy for up to 18 years

The science team has already been able to extract energy in the form of heat, and now scientists have forced the system to produce

electricity by connecting it to a thermoelectric generator. According to the developers, this is the first step towards creating self-charging electronics that use stored solar energy on demand.

“This is a fundamentally new way to getelectricity from solar energy. We will be able to use solar energy to generate electricity regardless of the weather, time of day, season or geographic location. We have created a closed system that can operate without causing carbon emissions.”

Casper Moth-Poulsen, Professor of Chemistry and Chemical Engineering at Chalmers

The new technology is based on a solarenergy MOST - Molecular Solar Thermal Energy Storage Systems, developed at the Chalmers University of Technology. This is a specially designed molecule that changes shape upon contact with sunlight. The study has already aroused great interest around the world.

Swedish researchers sent their speciallydeveloped a molecule charged with solar energy to colleagues Tao Li and Zhiyu Hu of Shanghai University, where the energy was released and converted into electricity using a generator they developed. In essence, the Swedish "sun" was sent to the other side of the world and converted into electricity in China.

“The generator is an ultra-thin chip,which can be integrated into electronic devices such as headphones, smart watches and phones. So far, we have only produced a small amount of electricity, but the new results show that the concept really works. It looks very promising,” says researcher Zhihan Wang of Chalmers University of Technology.

The study has great potential forproduction of renewable energy without emissions. But there is still a lot of research and development to do before we can charge our tech gadgets or heat our homes with the solar energy stored in the system.

“Together with various research groups,included in the project, we are currently working on optimizing the system. It is necessary to increase the amount of electricity or heat that it can extract. Even if an energy system is based on simple base materials, it needs to be adapted to be cost-effective enough to produce,” says Kasper Mot-Poulsen.

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