Solar power is greener than conventional electric power and now almost as cheap. But sunshine isn’t reliable.
Thanks to an innovation from Sweden’s Chalmers Institute of Technology, it doesn’t need to be.
The researchers have created a novel molecule of carbon, hydrogen, and nitrogen. When sunlight hits the molecule, it rearranges its atoms in a way that locks in the sunlight’s energy. The new molecules can be stored as a liquid.
When the energy is needed, a catalyst dropped into the liquid pops the molecule back to its original form, causing it to release its stored energy as heat.
The heat can be gathered for use as is but the researchers also have used the released heat to generate electricity.
Even more impressive, the molecule can store solar energy for as long as 18 years, according to the developers’ calculations.
Now that the concept has been proven, the developers are focused on engineering the discovery so it can be harnessed and used by gadgets as well as the energy grid and also be produced at a competitive price.
TRENDPOST: Being able to store solar electricity in a simple liquid is a breakthrough that could improve power storage not only in homes and gadgets more simply than present-day batteries, but also in the electric grid. 
It likely will be the end of this decade before the “liquid battery” debuts as a commercial product. However, once it does, it could rapidly take a major market share.

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