Is This The Real Future Of Solar Energy?
Solar power has been an absolutely critical part of a lot of people’s plans to go off grid, as well as being a promising source of energy for entire nations now and in the future.
Of course, solar panels only provide energy when the sun is up – but a team of scientists is currently working to improve its efficiency in that regard with a process called “hydricity.”
Theoretically, this hybrid power source will improve how efficiently the suns energy is both captured and stored, opening the way for even more possibilities in the future.
Sound interesting? Read below the break for more details!
An international team of scientists has come up with a new type of energy system they’re calling ‘hydricity’, which combines the power of sunlight with hydrogen fuel.
By combining solar thermal power plants with hydrogen fuel production facilities, the researchers say, efficiencies in both types of power can be improved. An integrated system would produce both steam for generating electricity immediately, and hydrogen for storing it for later use.
The team, from Purdue University and Switzerland’s Federal Polytechnic School of Lausanne, says it can produce hydrogen at an efficiency of 50 percent and electricity at an unprecedented 46 percent efficiency, thanks to the way the high-pressure turbines can be used to run in succession of the lower-pressure ones.
The hydrogen fuel produced alongside the electricity is important: not only could it find uses in transportation, chemical production and other industries, it doesn’t discharge when stored or degrade with repeated use. When the Sun goes down, the stored hydrogen power could kick in, and that means turbines don’t need to be stopped or restarted.
So far, the scientists have only produced simulated models of the process – the next step is real-world experiments.
Source: Science Alert
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