Less than a year ago, a team at the Ohio State University (OSU) in the United States lead by Professor Yiying Wu, presented a solar battery capable of capturing and storing energy. The device is a solar cell and a rechargeable battery, but has the potential to be better than the two combined.
The researchers’ calculations indicate that new solar battery shows energy savings of nearly 20 percent. While the typical battery had to be charged to 3.6 volts to discharge 3.3 volts, the solar flow battery was charged to only 2.9 volts to discharge the same 3.3 volts.
But the team will have to continue the research in order to reach 100 percent energy savings, which would make it a fully solar-chargeable battery.
“This solar flow battery design can potentially be applied for grid-scale solar energy conversion and storage, as well as producing ‘electrolyte fuels’ that might be used to power future electric vehicles,” one of the team, doctoral student Mingzhe Yu, said in the press release.