Till today people knew that solar energy can be stored in the presence of sunlight but scientists have found a way to generate solar power in the dark. Researchers from MIT and Harvard used nanotubes to absorb heat from the sun and store solar energy for later use.

First solar cell was discovered in 1883 by Charles Fritts who showed us the way to store solar energy using solar panel. When sunlight falls on solar panel, electrons are emitted out from the panel’s surface and by using this phenomenon Fritts was able to store solar energy.

Team from MIT and Harvard have found a solution to this. They successfully created molecules known as photoswitches that absorb energy and switch from one form to another, these switches remain stable in this new form for a longer period of time.

“For solar cooking, one would leave the device out in the sun during the day,” says Kucharski. “One design we have for such an application is purely gravity driven – the material flows from one tank to another. The flow rate is restricted so that it’s exposed to the sun long enough that it gets fully charged. Then, when it’s time to cook dinner, after the sun is down, the flow direction is reversed, again driven by gravity, and the opposite side of the setup is used as the cooking surface.”

“As the material flows back to the first tank, it passes by an immobilized catalyst which triggers the energy-releasing process, heating the cooking surface up,” he adds.

Kucharski said “the MIT and Harvard team is now investigating other photoswitching molecules and substrates, with the aim of designing a system that absorbs more of the sun’s energy and also can be more practically scaled up.”

This breakthrough could help in solving one of the major problem of  electric power generation. This new technique will produce sufficient energy for cooking, heating and some industrial processes.

About The Author

Abby is fun loving yet serious professional, born and raised in Sioux Falls, SD. She has a great passion for journalism, her family includes her husband, two kids, two dogs and herself. She has pursued her Mass Communication graduation degree from the Augustana College. She is currently employed at TheWestsideStory.net, an online news media company located in Sioux Falls, SD.

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6 Responses

  1. doomedby2020

    Sheesh , by the time solar is an effective power source we will have nuke fusion already….

    • loneappdev

      We don’t even need to go that far – building 3g or 4g reactors would give us all the energy we need and all the past nuclear ‘waste’ would be the fuel.

  2. David H

    Cody Gash needs to go back to school; a fourth grader could have written a better article. So much for editing. Anyone can become a news source on the Internet these days. They don’t need to edit or vet the stories printed, as long as they sell enough advertising on each page. What a joke!!!

  3. Anonymoused

    Did a middle school child write this article? It’s filled with grammatical mistakes.

  4. Phil Blank

    Solar panels DO NOT store energy!
    They DO convert sunlight to electricity.
    Please go back and correct your article and republish it again.

  5. Tom Ward

    “Now we can store solar energy in day as well as in night.”
    Well, that was already possible I think the question is how efficient is it? How much energy is lost during the transfer to storage, storage, and transfer away from storage?


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