Sunday, July 31, 2011

New Battery Material: New way to store sun’s heat indefinitely

Modified carbon nanotubes can store solar energy indefinitely, then be recharged by exposure to the sun. A novel application of carbon nanotubes, developed by MIT researchers, shows promise as an innovative approach to storing solar energy for use whenever it’s needed.

Storing the sun’s heat in chemical form — rather than converting it to electricity or storing the heat itself in a heavily insulated container — has significant advantages, since in principle the chemical material can be stored for long periods of time without losing any of its stored energy. The problem with that approach has been that until now the chemicals needed to perform this conversion and storage either degraded within a few cycles, or included the element ruthenium, which is rare and expensive.


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