Researchers finally harness solar energy during day for use at night
A team of researchers has built a system that can be used to harness sun's energy during day- when its rays are strongest- for use at night.
The researchers led by Tom Meyer at the Energy Frontier Research Center at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill have built a system that converts the sun's energy not into electricity but hydrogen fuel and stores it for later use, allowing us to power our devices long after the sun goes down.
Meyer said that the system offers a solution to how to store energy for nighttime use by taking a cue from natural photosynthesis.
"Our new findings may provide a last major piece of a puzzle for a new way to store the sun's energy - it could be a tipping point for a solar energy future," the researcher said.
In one hour, the sun puts out enough energy to power every vehicle, factory and device on the planet for an entire year. Solar panels can harness that energy to generate electricity during the day.
The new system, known as a dye-sensitized photoelectrosynthesis cell, or DSPEC, generates hydrogen fuel by using the sun's energy to split water into its component parts. After the split, hydrogen is sequestered and stored, while the byproduct, oxygen, is released into the air.
(Posted on 15-01-2014)