• 55 mins India Exempts State Oil Firms Mergers From Competition Approval
  • 3 hours Turkey Targets $5B Investment In Wind Energy By End-2017
  • 5 hours Weatherford Looks To Sell Assets To Ease Some Of $8B Debt
  • 6 hours OPEC Set To Move Fast On Cut Extension Decision
  • 8 hours Nigeria Makes First Step Away From Oil
  • 20 hours Russia Approves Profit-Based Oil Tax For 2019
  • 24 hours French Strike Disrupts Exxon And Total’s Oil Product Shipments
  • 1 day Kurdistan’s Oil Exports Still Below Pre-Conflict Levels
  • 1 day Oil Production Cuts Taking A Toll On Russia’s Economy
  • 1 day Aramco In Talks With Chinese Petrochemical Producers
  • 1 day Federal Judge Grants Go-Ahead On Keystone XL Lawsuit
  • 1 day Maduro Names Chavez’ Cousin As Citgo Boss
  • 2 days Bidding Action Heats Up In UK’s Continental Shelf
  • 2 days Keystone Pipeline Restart Still Unknown
  • 2 days UK Offers North Sea Oil Producers Tax Relief To Boost Investment
  • 2 days Iraq Wants To Build Gas Pipeline To Kuwait In Blow To Shell
  • 2 days Trader Trafigura Raises Share Of Oil Purchases From State Firms
  • 2 days German Energy Group Uniper Rejects $9B Finnish Takeover Bid
  • 2 days Total Could Lose Big If It Pulls Out Of South Pars Deal
  • 2 days Dakota Watchdog Warns It Could Revoke Keystone XL Approval
  • 3 days Oil Prices Rise After API Reports Major Crude Draw
  • 3 days Citgo President And 5 VPs Arrested On Embezzlement Charges
  • 3 days Gazprom Speaks Out Against OPEC Production Cut Extension
  • 3 days Statoil Looks To Lighter Oil To Boost Profitability
  • 3 days Oil Billionaire Becomes Wind Energy’s Top Influencer
  • 3 days Transneft Warns Urals Oil Quality Reaching Critical Levels
  • 3 days Whitefish Energy Suspends Work In Puerto Rico
  • 3 days U.S. Authorities Arrest Two On Major Energy Corruption Scheme
  • 4 days Thanksgiving Gas Prices At 3-Year High
  • 4 days Iraq’s Giant Majnoon Oilfield Attracts Attention Of Supermajors
  • 4 days South Iraq Oil Exports Close To Record High To Offset Kirkuk Drop
  • 4 days Iraqi Forces Find Mass Graves In Oil Wells Near Kirkuk
  • 4 days Chevron Joint Venture Signs $1.7B Oil, Gas Deal In Nigeria
  • 4 days Iraq Steps In To Offset Falling Venezuela Oil Production
  • 4 days ConocoPhillips Sets Price Ceiling For New Projects
  • 7 days Shell Oil Trading Head Steps Down After 29 Years
  • 7 days Higher Oil Prices Reduce North American Oil Bankruptcies
  • 7 days Statoil To Boost Exploration Drilling Offshore Norway In 2018
  • 7 days $1.6 Billion Canadian-US Hydropower Project Approved
  • 7 days Venezuela Officially In Default
Can Australia Surpass Qatar As World’s Top LNG Supplier?

Can Australia Surpass Qatar As World’s Top LNG Supplier?

Australia, the second largest exporter…

The Latest Hybrid: A Solar Cell That’s Also A Battery

The Latest Hybrid: A Solar Cell That’s Also A Battery

There’s a lot to like about solar power: It’s clean, it’s getting less expensive, and it’s probably the most sustainable form of energy available. But conventional solar cells have their drawbacks, and one is that up to 20 percent of the Sun’s energy they capture is lost when the electrons move from the solar panel to its storage battery.

Now a team of researchers at Ohio State University (OSU) working under Yiying Wu, a professor of chemistry and biochemistry, has devised a hybrid solar battery that not only can capture solar energy but store virtually all the energy it collects.

At the heart of the solution is a solar panel in mesh form, which permits a free flow of air, and a new technique for transferring electrons from the solar panel to the battery’s electrode. In the device, oxygen and light work to enable the multiple chemical reactions necessary to charge the battery.

Related: Could Solar Provide 27% Of World’s Energy By 2050?

“The state of the art is to use a solar panel to capture the light, and then use a cheap [lithium-ion] battery to store the energy,” Wu said in an interview with the OSU Newsroom. “We’ve integrated both functions into one device. Any time you can do that, you reduce cost.”

By how much? By one-fourth, Wu says.

The OSU technology, described in detail in the Oct. 3 issue of the journal Nature Communications, works this way: The solar panel allows sunlight captured by the solar cell to be converted into electrons inside the battery, a process that wastes virtually none of the electrons. These electrons are produced from sunlight that shines onto the mesh of the solar panel.

The built-in battery, meanwhile, contains lithium peroxide, which decomposes into lithium ions and oxygen. The oxygen is released into the air that flows through the mesh, while the lithium ions are transformed into lithium metal and stored safely in the battery.

The current design is based, at least in part, on a high-efficiency, air-powered battery developed previously by Wu and a doctoral student, Xiaodi Ren. That battery feeds power through a chemical reaction between oxygen and potassium.

Related: How A Mistake May Lead To More Efficient Solar Power

“Basically, it’s a breathing battery,” Wu explained. “It breathes in air when it discharges, and breathes out when it charges.”

That design was awarded the $100,000 clean energy prize from the U.S. Department of Energy in 2014, allowing Wu to form KAir Energy Systems LLC to develop the new technology. And that development was to combine the KAir battery with a solar panel.

Conventional solar cells, however, are made of solid panels, which keep air away from the battery. So another of Wu’s doctoral students, Mingzhe Yu, developed the mesh for the hybrid, made from titanium gauze on which he managed to grow vertical rods of titanium dioxide as if they were blades of grass on a lawn. Air flows through the gauze while the rods capture the sunlight.

By Andy Tully of Oilprice.com

More Top Reads From Oilprice.com:



Join the discussion | Back to homepage

Leave a comment
  • Ayesha on October 13 2014 said:
    Is there are such compounds, whose solution when kept in sunlight, produce current..
  • Gregory A Major on October 08 2014 said:
    Great work very interesting thanks

Leave a comment

Oilprice - The No. 1 Source for Oil & Energy News