Researchers at Ohio State University (OSU) have just applied for a patent on a device that combines a solar cell + rechargeable battery into the world’s first solar battery.
The new device is described in a paper published in the Journal of Nature Communications. In short, light from the sun shines on a mesh solar panel creating electrons. The electrons are converted into energy, enabling the chemical decomposition of lithium peroxide, producing lithium ions stored in the battery and oxygen released into the air.
Cutting Costs Of Solar Cell & Panel Installation
Yiying Wu, a professor of Chemistry and Biochemistry at OSU and co-inventor of the solar battery, says that the device will cut costs of solar panel installations for homeowners and businesses by 25%. According to Wu, “the key to the new device is the ‘mesh solar panel,’ which allows air to enter the battery helping it to ‘breathe’ as the rods of titanium dioxide capture light.”
Electrons are then transferred between the solar panel and the battery electrode more efficiently than previous techniques through a patent pending process that keeps electrons from being lost.
“We’ve found a way to make the interaction much more efficient, and we hope these findings will lead to a new kind of battery that can pump out energy for years” said Wu.
The following video is an overview of Wu’s Research Lab at Ohio State University.
A paper describing the new technology in more detail can be found at Journal of Nature Communications and Phys.org: “A solar cell that stores its own power: World’s first’solar battery’ runs on light and air.”
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