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Photovoltaic solar energy works at night

Scientists are always thinking of extending the frontiers of the generation of electricity by means of solar panels, making them work at night is the same as saying that one wants to take advantage of photovoltaic solar energy even when the sun is not there. But Photovoltaic solar energy works at night

The new battery created by researchers at the University of Curtin, Australia, is based on concentrating solar energy storage systems.

Photovoltaic solar energy works at night

It could revolutionize the landscape of renewable energy production throughout the world .

A group of engineers from the University of Curtin, in Western Australia, is working on the  next generation of thermal batteries for the storage of solar energy .

The objective of the team is to make the production of solar systems more flexible so that they can offer a viable alternative to fossil fuels in the commercial and heavy industry sectors worldwide. To achieve their goal, scientists have decided to  combine proven technologies with the use of new materials  to design an innovative, efficient and flexible solution.

In particular, the project, led by Professor Craig Buckley, is based on the storage system developed by United Sun Systems for its solar Stirling concentration systems, systems composed of a circular parabolic concentrator and a stirling motor.

With the collaboration of United Sun Systems and the ITP Thermal company, the scientists were able to improve the design and operation of thermal batteries.

The new device uses a high temperature metal hydride as a heat storage medium and a low temperature gas tank to store hydrogen or carbon dioxide. The formation of a metal hydride under certain conditions is a reversible reaction: this means that through a heat source it can dissociate into metal and hydrogen (storing thermal energy in the form of chemical energy) and, vice versa, release heat during its formation to from metal alloys and hydrogen.

At night or when the sky is cloudy, hydrogen or carbon dioxide are released from the gas storage tank and absorbed by the inorganic metals of the system to form a hydride metal producing heat, which is used to generate electricity.

The objective of the initiative is to develop a  solar energy system that produces electricity 24 hours a day, seven days a week , making it commercially viable for the industry.

As with the lithium battery systems that Curtin University is also developing, the installation of a low-cost energy storage system that uses thermal batteries will revolutionize the landscape of renewable production throughout the world by allowing the Clean energy really compete with fossil fuels.

The research will continue working on the development of new technologies to integrate the storage of thermochemical energy through thermal batteries in a Stirling system.

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