The Swedish Strategic Research Foundation (SSF) has decided to support our molecular solar thermal work through a 10 M SEK "future research leader" grant.
Utilization of solar energy in either photovoltaic or solar thermal power generation is limited by the inherent challenge of intermittency and load leveling. In these power generation systems, development of large scale electrical and thermal energy storage technologies that would mitigate these constraints has been challenging. In conventional oil- and coal-based power generation, energy that has been stored over geological time scales in the form of chemical bonds is released by combustion ‘‘on demand’’. A great deal of current scientific research effort is devoted to mimicking these processes on a shorter time scale by the creation of solar fuels via the splitting of water to form H2 and O2, or similar schemes to produce alcohols and other fuels from CO2. In this context, a closed cycle that reversibly stores energy upon exposure to sunlight (a photochemical reaction), followed by a second, on demand reaction, that generates heat and regenerates the original reactant, is very attractive as a renewable storage media for solar energy.
The aim of this project is to explore such molecular systems that allow for direct conversion of solar energy into storable chemical energy in a molecular based material, so-called molecular solar thermal (MOST).
The MOST energy storage process is reversible with full
reuse of the materials in a closed cycle, meaning that it is 100% emission free
and pollution free, once the materials has been manufactured and the devices
the news about the funding has be featured in the local Swedish newspapers: