Liquid Solar Power?

A new approach to the whole paradigm of solar energy is now being researched. An MIT research team has done some initial studies that could lead to an entirely new method for capturing and storing sunlight. It has the potential to make this renewable energy indefinitely storable and transportable. The research is based on a molecule called fulvalene diruthenium. When a fulvalene diruthenium molecule absorbs sunlight, it changes shape into a semi-stable, but perfectly safe, formation. The molecule can stay in the new form indefinitely, without deterioration. When combined with a catalyst, the fulvalene diruthenium molecule snaps back into its original form, releasing the heat. When the energy is released, it can be used to heat a home or made to power appliances. The research team believes there are many ways that fulvalene diruthenium could work at a systems level. One idea is that of a reusable liquid fuel. It could be placed in deep vats out in the sun and stirred, exposing as much of the liquid to solar heat as possible. Once charged it can be pumped and delivered through pipes, or by other means, to the point of use. Since energy in the fluid does not deteriorate, the point of use could be nearby or distant. Once used, the liquid can be recharged by the sun and reused. The process can be repeated over and over again without deterioration or loss of efficiency.” w/ photos

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