A solar cell that stores its own power: World's first 'solar battery' runs on light and air

Is it a solar cell? Or a rechargeable battery? Actually, the patent-pending device invented at The Ohio State University is both: the world's first solar battery.
 
In the October 3, 2014 issue of the journal Nature Communications, the researchers report that they've succeeded in combining a battery and a solar cell into one hybrid device.
 
Key to the innovation is a mesh solar panel, which allows air to enter the battery, and a special process for transferring electrons between the solar panel and the battery electrode. Inside the device, light and oxygen enable different parts of the chemical reactions that charge the battery.
 
The university will license the solar battery to industry, where Yiying Wu, professor of chemistry and biochemistry at Ohio State, says it will help tame the costs of renewable energy.
 
"The state of the art is to use a solar panel to capture the light, and then use a cheap battery to store the energy," Wu said. "We've integrated both functions into one device. Any time you can do that, you reduce cost."
 
He and his students believe that their device brings down costs by 25 percent.
 

 

Comments (0)

This post does not have any comments. Be the first to leave a comment below.


Post A Comment

You must be logged in before you can post a comment. Login now.

Featured Product

MORNINGSTAR - TriStar MPPT 600V

MORNINGSTAR - TriStar MPPT 600V

Morningstar's TriStar MPPT 600V charge controller leverages Morningstar's innovative TrakStar™ MPPT technology and our 20+ years of power electronics engineering excellence, to enable the widest input operating voltage range available from a solar array, wind turbine or hydro input. This controller's standard and DB versions are for off-grid applications, and the TR versions were developed to enable retrofitting grid-tied systems with battery backup.