Rare metal stores solar heat, makes ‘rechargeable solar battery’ possible
Posted by keelynet on December 7, 2010
The remarkable material is known as fulvalene diruthenium. When a molecule of the substance absorbs sunlight it changes shape into a semi-stable, but perfectly safe, state. It can stay like this indefinitely until combined with a catalyst when it will snap back to its original form releasing a huge amount of heat.
This heat could then be used to heat a home. Most solar power device used today convert energy from the sun into electricity or heat but do not store the energy that is not used. When the heat is released, fuel made from fulvalene diruthenium is capable of becoming as hot as 200C.
‘You can use it where you want, on demand. You could put the fuel in the sun, charge it up, then use the heat, and place the same fuel back in the sun to recharge.’ The main obstacle to the new technology is the relative rarity of fulvalene diruthenium, making it extremely expensive to use. Fulvalene diruthenium comes from ruthenium, which is a rare, expensive hard white metal element of the platinum group.
Only about twelve tons of ruthenium are mined each year. It is also a byproduct of nuclear fission but the process to create it is extremely expensive. However scientists believe that now they understand how it works, other cheaper materials with similar properties will be found. – Full Article Source
Sorry, the comment form is closed at this time.