With constant innovations hitting the frontiers of solar power research, two recent studies provide a glimpse of new opportunities in way we are harnessing this source of energy.
Latest Studies Open New Doors in Solar Power Utilization
Mike Lopez | MorGreen.org
While solar power has experienced an explosive growth in the past decade for being one of the most effective sustainable energy forms, there’s still a lot to discover. With constant innovations hitting the frontiers of solar power research, two recent studies provide a glimpse of new opportunities in way we are harnessing this source of energy.
Solar panels convert carbon dioxide into an alternative fuel
According to a study that was published on June 13 in the Journal of CO2 Utilization, Princeton University researchers have found a method to harness sunlight that would help to turn carbon dioxide and water into a potent renewable fuel called formic acid – all by the means of a commercial solar panel. As an effort to mitigate the threats of global warming triggered by the rising concentration of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere, this research is based on a two-pronged approach of storing greenhouse gases and reusing them for the purpose of generating clean energy. The research was conducted in the laboratory of Andrew Bocarsly, a professor of Chemistry at Princeton who partnered with New Jersey’s Liquid Light Inc. for finding ways to use carbon dioxide as a feedstock to produce alternative fuel.
New sponge-like structure generates steam from solar energy
Developed by researchers at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, a new sponge-like material structure has been found to produce steam by absorbing sunlight. This structure, made from a layer of graphite flake on top of carbon foam, is light, porous and insulating in nature which enables it to float on water. When the sun’s rays comes in contact with the surface of the structure, a hot-spot is created in the graphite which sucks up water through the pores of the material and evaporates it in the form of steam. The rate of steam formation increases with an increase in the intensity of light. Steam generation is a core a component of energy production and electricity generation specifically so this new structure may have wide-ranging implications for the utilization of solar energy.
Massachusetts Institute of Technology. "Steam energy from the sun: New spongelike structure converts solar energy into steam." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/07/140724213957.htm (accessed August 5, 2014).
The content & opinions in this article are the author’s and do not necessarily represent the views of AltEnergyMag
Post A Comment
You must be logged in before you can post a comment. Login now.