Once energy is captured from the Sun with the help of solar panels, the job is not yet done. The energy is probably not going to be all used instantly, so it has to be stored somewhere for use in the future. If flow batteries are being used, storage is sent to large vats of liquid. An international team led by scientists affiliated with the University of Wisconsin-Madison have put together a new version of the slow flow batteries. This is meant to be long-lasting and highly efficient.
How It Came to This
In order to put together this new machinery, the team of scientists has combined a number of different technologies. The solar cell is tandem on perovskite and silicon, being combined with a so-called redox flow battery. According to the team of researchers, this will enable people to harvest and to store renewable energy, all in one device. This is not just efficient – it is also incredibly cheap and simple to use, considering the complicated physics that are being used here.
The part of the equation that deals with the harvesting of the energy combine silicon, the material that has led the industry for a very long time, with perovskite, a promising new material that scientists believe has an incredible potential in the energy sector. These tandem solar cells seem to be better than either of these two materials by themselves since the two can capture light at different wavelengths.
How It Is Useful
Regarding storage, scientists have decided to use a flow battery. These devices contain a couple of liquids in older devices. These are stored in separate tanks that can be used as electrolytes. Electricity driven from the solar cell is usually used to charge one of the liquids, where it can stay basically forever. Whenever the system needs more power, the liquids interact in a chamber, thus creating a chemical reaction that can produce electricity.