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Scientists Create Liquid Fuel That Can Store The Sun's Energy For Up to 18 Years

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posted on Jan, 28 2019 @ 10:28 AM
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Good news for renewable and clean energy.


Scientists in Sweden have developed a specialised fluid, called a solar thermal fuel, that can store energy from the sun for well over a decade.

"A solar thermal fuel is like a rechargeable battery, but instead of electricity, you put sunlight in and get heat out, triggered on demand," Jeffrey Grossman, an engineer works with these materials at MIT explained to NBC News.

Fjjsthat scientists from Chalmers University of Technology, Sweden have been working on improving for over a year.


The system works in a circular manner. Pumping through transparent tubes, the fluid is heated up by the sunlight, turning the molecule norbornadiene into its heat-trapping isomer, quadricyclane. The fluid is then stored at room temperature with minimal energy loss.

When the energy is needed, the fluid is filtered through a special catalyst that converts the molecules back to their original form, warming the liquid by 63 degrees Celsius (113 degrees Fahrenheit).




While this is primarily being focused on for heating purposes, it could still take a good chunk out of fossil fuel reliance.


After a series of rapid developments, the researchers claim their fluid can now hold 250 watt-hours of energy per kilogram, which is double the the energy capacity of Tesla's Powerwall batteries, according to the NBC.

But there's still plenty of room for improvement. With the right manipulations, the researchers think they can get even more heat out of this system, at least 110 degrees Celsius (230 degrees Fahrenheit) more.
linky
It looks to be very efficient compared to modern storage technologies as well.
edit on 28-1-2019 by CriticalStinker because: (no reason given)

edit on 28-1-2019 by CriticalStinker because: (no reason given)




posted on Jan, 28 2019 @ 10:31 AM
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Like some phase-changing salt or something? Because "the suns' energy" sounds like from some Superman comic.



posted on Jan, 28 2019 @ 10:36 AM
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originally posted by: ManFromEurope
Like some phase-changing salt or something? Because "the suns' energy" sounds like from some Superman comic.


I'd be lying if I said I truly understand it.

To keep it within T&C I only added the gist of the overall idea. The article goes into further depth on how it works.



posted on Jan, 28 2019 @ 10:43 AM
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a reply to: CriticalStinker

The value of this tech is all about the efficiency.
Renewable energy is not very helpful without a viable storage medium.



posted on Jan, 28 2019 @ 10:46 AM
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originally posted by: Bluntone22
a reply to: CriticalStinker

The value of this tech is all about the efficiency.
Renewable energy is not very helpful without a viable storage medium.


I'm sure someone from your neck of the woods could appreciate how having a system like this from your home could hypothetically save on heating in long winters....

It seems it could work all summer to harness the energy for winter.



posted on Jan, 28 2019 @ 10:54 AM
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a reply to: CriticalStinker

It would be nice.
But if it cost $10k a gallon and I need 100 gallons to heat my house it doesnt feel so good anymore.

Again it's all about efficiency and cost.

We can hope....



posted on Jan, 28 2019 @ 11:02 AM
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originally posted by: ManFromEurope
Like some phase-changing salt or something? Because "the suns' energy" sounds like from some Superman comic.


Superman is fake news. He get's his power from yellow suns.

But we all know our Sun is white.


On topic. Any new energy source, especially renewable is always good to see.

Alas too many dinosaurs used to the easy old money from fossil fuels to stubborn to change will probably buy up the patents or do something else to sabotage it as they are known to do.

Here's hoping that mentality vanishes one day and we can really move forward as a species.

I think the real problem with 'free energy' or anything that let's us average Joe's get off the grid is it reduces the control the powers that be have over us.

Then again you can build a fully self sufficient house completely off the grid these days rather easily, yet I'm amazed at how many people I see still building new houses that chain them to the system.



posted on Jan, 28 2019 @ 11:06 AM
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a reply to: Bluntone22

But why do things cost what they cost? Because someone says they do.

One of our biggest problems moving forward as a species, humans are too reliant on supply and demand.
So generally means new tech either takes a lot longer to get to market due to early adoption costs being expensive for the average person, or it dies trying.

We're a weird creature with how we go about things. Especially regarding things that could increase the quality of life for all.



posted on Jan, 28 2019 @ 11:09 AM
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While this is primarily being focused on for heating purposes, it could still take a good chunk out of fossil fuel reliance.


As long as the CLIMATE doesn't change.




posted on Jan, 28 2019 @ 11:13 AM
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originally posted by: Bluntone22
a reply to: CriticalStinker

It would be nice.
But if it cost $10k a gallon and I need 100 gallons to heat my house it doesnt feel so good anymore.

Again it's all about efficiency and cost.

We can hope....


I mean, hypothetically it would have to be cheaper than traditional heating methods to compete.

If it wanted to do well in the market installation, materials, and cost of maintenance would want to be lower to get more customers would be my guess.

But yes, we can only hope in the long run.... God knows we see promising articles like this all the time.
edit on 28-1-2019 by CriticalStinker because: (no reason given)



posted on Jan, 28 2019 @ 11:36 AM
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originally posted by: CriticalStinker
Good news for renewable and clean energy.

The system works in a circular manner. Pumping through transparent tubes, the fluid is heated up by the sunlight, turning the molecule norbornadiene into its heat-trapping isomer, quadricyclane. The fluid is then stored at room temperature with minimal energy loss.

When the energy is needed, the fluid is filtered through a special catalyst that converts the molecules back to their original form, warming the liquid by 63 degrees Celsius (113 degrees Fahrenheit).



This is just a reversible chemical reaction. The compound being used is about $400/quart, at present, but larger quantities would reduce that price, significantly. To use this for large-scale storage would require significant re-tooling of the petrochemical industry so it would take a while for costs to come down. As a rough guestimate $50-100/gallon might be achievable. It would be helpful if the users were chemists or chemical engineers. There are probably better reactions to use but the conversion of norbornadiene into quadricyclane has been studied for a while and many dissertations on selection rules for such have been written.
It would be cheaper to use geothermal water storage. Water, contained in a sufficiently sized water plus rock reservoir dependent on usage requirements, is used as a AC heat sink during hot months and heat is extracted during winter months which then chills the water for the next summer. It requires only a heat pump and water circulation equipment. That can be a swimming pool pump and plastic pipe; the cost is in building the reservoir. This is existing technology.
edit on 1/28/2019 by pteridine because: (no reason given)



posted on Jan, 28 2019 @ 11:53 AM
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originally posted by: AtomicKangaroo
a reply to: Bluntone22

But why do things cost what they cost? Because someone says they do.

One of our biggest problems moving forward as a species, humans are too reliant on supply and demand.
So generally means new tech either takes a lot longer to get to market due to early adoption costs being expensive for the average person, or it dies trying.

We're a weird creature with how we go about things. Especially regarding things that could increase the quality of life for all.



Well if you spend million to develop a technology you are going to want to reap the benefits.
What are you willing to sacrifice to improve the quality of man?



posted on Jan, 28 2019 @ 12:32 PM
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if it's hot enough to heat a home then all that has to be done is pass it through a thermoelectric generator, right? i don't get why they're focusing on using it just for heating homes instead.



posted on Jan, 28 2019 @ 01:09 PM
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originally posted by: AtomicKangaroo
a reply to: Bluntone22

But why do things cost what they cost? Because someone says they do.

One of our biggest problems moving forward as a species, humans are too reliant on supply and demand.
So generally means new tech either takes a lot longer to get to market due to early adoption costs being expensive for the average person, or it dies trying.

We're a weird creature with how we go about things. Especially regarding things that could increase the quality of life for all.


I guess you work for whatever and who for free. With no need to provide for you and your family. You could just graze like a cow, and use a coat in the winter. Cows seem pretty happy with their quality of life with minimal impact on resources?

Making new technology takes skilled workers to develop the technology, and labor to gather and transform raw material. Often taxing available resources.



posted on Jan, 28 2019 @ 01:14 PM
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I wonder what the magical catalyst is? Is it renewable? Sustainable?



posted on Jan, 28 2019 @ 01:45 PM
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originally posted by: neutronflux
I wonder what the magical catalyst is? Is it renewable? Sustainable?


Plutonium



posted on Jan, 28 2019 @ 02:27 PM
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a reply to: namehere

Costs.

It wouldn't scale to laptop or phone batteries well.

However, having some specifically for small electronic recharging use might not be too bad of an idea... It would only be hobby level usage, as there are much cheaper alternatives for regular usage...

If this liquid can store energy for extreme amounts of time, may also change the equation a bit.

If you had a cabin you only visit every 6 months or something, maybe it would be useful in those situations.

As is, 18650's are cheap as hell, and superfluous.
To overtake them, a storage tech would need to be pennies on the dollar and able to scale to global economy size.



Edit:
"A single 18650 cell is 10 watt hours."
I just saw a pack of 20 for $60.

If this stuff is close to water weight, and it takes a kilogram for 250 watt hours... That's not a great competitor, at $400 a quart.(A quart of water is just shy of 1 kilogram)


Tldr
18650 - $60~ - 200 Watt Hour
Liquid Stuff - $400~ - 250 Watt Hour





edit on 28-1-2019 by Archivalist because: Info

edit on 28-1-2019 by Archivalist because: Informational comparison



posted on Jan, 28 2019 @ 02:31 PM
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originally posted by: AtomicKangaroo

originally posted by: ManFromEurope
Like some phase-changing salt or something? Because "the suns' energy" sounds like from some Superman comic.


Superman is fake news. He get's his power from yellow suns.

But we all know our Sun is white.


On topic. Any new energy source, especially renewable is always good to see.

Alas too many dinosaurs used to the easy old money from fossil fuels to stubborn to change will probably buy up the patents or do something else to sabotage it as they are known to do.

Here's hoping that mentality vanishes one day and we can really move forward as a species.

I think the real problem with 'free energy' or anything that let's us average Joe's get off the grid is it reduces the control the powers that be have over us.

Then again you can build a fully self sufficient house completely off the grid these days rather easily, yet I'm amazed at how many people I see still building new houses that chain them to the system.



Our sun is white at this time,but I can remember not really that long ago when I was young that the sun was yellow and not quite as intense as the white sun is today.



posted on Jan, 28 2019 @ 03:16 PM
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Do remember reading about a similar solar powered system that heated up sodium to a liquid state and stored it, to be used to generate power at will but it wasn't practical....



posted on Jan, 28 2019 @ 04:09 PM
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Why not use your solar and wind energy to create hydrogen? Off peak times could be used to fill hydrogen tanks while at peak times the hydrogen could be burned for electricity. Excess Hydrogen could be sold for various uses including energy generation.

Or maybe move water to the top of storage towers and then drain them at peak times through a generator setup.




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