APPLICATIONS OF TECHNOLOGY:
- Solar-thermal energy generation
- Enables transportation of stored energy over long distances
- Potentially less expensive than current solar collection systems
Researchers at Berkeley Lab have developed a system for converting solar energy to chemical energy and, subsequently, to thermal energy. The system includes a light-harvesting station, a storage station, and a thermal energy release station. Additional stations may be included to convert the released thermal energy to other energy forms such as electrical energy and mechanical work.
At the light harvesting station, a photochemically active first organometallic compound is exposed to light and is photochemically converted to a second, higher energy organometallic compound, which is then transported to a storage station where it is stored for a desired time and/or is transported to a desired location for thermal energy release. At the thermal energy release station, the high energy organometallic compound is catalytically converted back to the photochemically active organometallic compound by an exothermic process, while the released thermal energy is captured for subsequent use.
STATUS: Issued US Patent 8950392 available at www.uspto.gov. Available for licensing or collaborative research.
SEE THESE OTHER BERKELEY LAB TECHNOLOGIES IN THIS FIELD:
Direct Conversion of Light into Work, IB-2706
REFERENCE NUMBER: IB-2603