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Storing the Sun’s Energy in Liquid Could Change Solar Forever

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Researchers have just found two new ways to make solar power more efficient. Could this solve our energy crisis?

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The American Solar Industry Had a Historic Year

“America’s solar industry is booming, showing its biggest growth ever in 2016, and it appears set to break additional records in the years ahead, according to a new industry report. The solar sector nearly doubled the amount of solar power installed last year compared to 2015, GTM Research and the Solar Energy Industries Association said in their annual analysis of the US solar sector. Indeed, more solar power was added last year to the nation’s electricity grid than any other source of energy – a milestone for the burgeoning industry.”

Liquid storage of solar energy – more effective than ever before

“Many consider the sun the energy source of the future. But one challenge is that it is difficult to store solar energy and deliver the energy ‘on demand”. A research team from Chalmers University of Technology in Gothenburg, Sweden, has shown that it is possible to convert the solar energy directly into energy stored in the bonds of a chemical fluid – a so-called molecular solar thermal system. The liquid chemical makes it possible to store and transport the stored solar energy and release it on demand, with full recovery of the storage medium.”

Make perovskite solar cells stable

“The hunt is on to find a cheap and safe solar-cell technology. Crystalline silicon is the basis for 90% of commercial photovoltaic devices, which use semiconductors to convert light into electricity. But silicon photovoltaics are still expensive to process, their manufacture produces toxic by-products and they are cumbersome to install. Perovskites could be a game-changer.”

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Special thanks to Julian Huguet for hosting and writing this episode of Seeker!
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