While solar arrays provide renewable energy at a low cost, one major drawback associated with many common systems is their inability to store energy, meaning they’re only capable of producing and supplying power when the sun is out. To remedy this issue, researchers at the University of Texas at Arlington have developed a photo-electrochemical flow cell made of vanadium that allows a large amount of solar energy to be stored at night or when the sky is cloudy.
In addition to storing energy in the dark, the researchers note that their design could be used to expand the scale of solar systems by allowing a larger amount of power to be stored in a smaller unit than typical solar cells. The researchers are currently working to develop a larger prototype to develop the scalability and utility of the new system.
“As renewable energy becomes more prevalent, the ability to store solar energy and use it as a renewable alternative provides a sustainable solution to the problem of energy storage.,” says Fuqiang Liu, head of the research team.
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