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Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Since the last century, chemists have come to study about how to store the solar energy inside the molecules that will change their working states when coming across the light. Up till now, they think Light-sensitive molecules are the optimal among all, which have advantages in transmission, low production cost and recyclability.

Although they have proved their suspecting in theory, there’s little progress in practical work.

Nowadays, Alexie Kolpak and Jeffrey Grossman, the researchers of MIT(Massachusetts Institute of Technology) have found a new type of solar hot fuel, composed by azobenzene. Compared to lithium-ion battery, this new material is more economic, stable and green with higher energy density.

According to their circuit design, the new solar fuel has get together with organic photovoltaic molecular, azobenzene, and carbon nanotubes.

Such a PV molecular will update into a higher energy state in the internal structure when it has absorbed the sunlight. In the high-level state, battery has become to be metastable and voltage, heat, light and other elements will change with it, then return back to the original state.

But the problem is that the high energy state will be unstable if difference between two working states is not large enough. In laboratory, Kolpak and Grossman have successfully found the balance point when observing the structure of azobenzene carbon nanotubes. They have calculated that both of the states will produce stable molecular if putting the azobenzene upon carbon nanotubes. With better activation radioactivation, the material lifespan is also extended.

From the energy storage point of view, such a solar hot fuel has already surpassed lithium-ion battery while there will be almost 690 Watt coming from the new material per pint. Comparatively, lithium-ion batteries have only 200 to 600 Watt.

In reality, this research is still in the process of theory without any physical evidences. Furthermore, such a new system of azobenzene and carbon nanotubes will release only thermal energy instead of electrical energy. Obviously, manufacturers have to cost a lot in transformation.

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by: USB Phone World