Saving the summer sun’s energy for the winter

October 08, 2018 // By Christoph Hammerschmidt
A research group from Chalmers University of Technology, Sweden, has made great, rapid strides towards the development of a specially designed molecule which can store solar energy for later use. These advances have been presented in four scientific articles this year, with the most recent being published in the highly ranked journal Energy & Environmental Science. 

Solar energy is available in almost inexhaustible quantities - but not at all times. The switchover to renewable energy sources would have been much more advanced if it were possible to store these energies in larger quantities and over a longer period of time. Researchers from Sweden have now taken a big step towards such storage technologies.

A research group from Chalmers University of Technology, Sweden, has made great, rapid strides towards the development of a specially designed molecule which can store solar energy for later use. Around a year ago, the team presented a molecule that was capable of storing solar energy. The molecule, made from carbon, hydrogen and nitrogen, has the unique property that when it is hit by sunlight, it is transformed into an energy-rich isomer – a molecule which consists of the same atoms, but bound together in a different way. This isomer – the researchers named it MOST (Molecular Solar Thermal Energy Storage) - can then be stored for use even after longer periods- for example, at night or in winter. In the meantime, the research group achieved further progress.


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