Solar Heating Project in Progress, Says MIT
Even though the solar technology is not new, per se, a recent discovery can change the way energy has been used and stored so far. The difference lies in the way the energy is stored before it releases. According to Dispatch Tribunal, scientists at MIT created a material that can be used as a polymer film and is transparent. Researchers say that this material identifies ways to store this solar energy in chemical form and then later release this energy as heat. Ted Sargent, professor at University of Toronto, while not a part of the research, has expressed his interest in developing this new found approach to solar energy.
"The approach is innovative and distinctive," said Sargent to Controlled Environments. "This work presents an exciting avenue for simultaneous energy harvesting and storage within a single material."
According to the researchers at MIT, this energy can be stored and then released in a two-step process. The first step is to allow sunlight to enter the new material in a charged form and when the energy is needed, it resumes its original state. This process creates a shot of heat energy in the process. There are many ways to put this energy to use such as in the electric cars. In electric cars, large portion of energy is dedicated to heating and de-icing that can cause as much as 30% drop in the driving capability during cold weathers. Jeffrey Grossman, MIT Professor and also the lead developer of the project said that the new method can help in reducing the energy drain significantly. "The team is continuing to work on improving the film's properties," said Grossman. Further developments are something that Ted Sargent is looking forward to. "The research is a major advance towards the practical application of solid-state energy-storage/heat-release materials from both a scientific and engineering point of view," said Sargent, reports News Quench