MIT researchers develop new material that may improve the solar energy space

January 13, 2016 0 By Tami Hood

New material can be used to store heat produced by solar energy systems and the sun itself

Researchers from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) have developed a new material that can store heat generate by solar energy systems. With solar power becoming more popular, researchers throughout the world have been working to find ways to make this form of energy more efficient and add value to solar power systems that will take form in the future. The new material could be used to ensure that heat generated by solar energy systems can be used later, when it is needed.

Material can also store electrical power

The new material is a solid substance, which can be charged when it is exposed to sunlight. As such, it can serve as an effective way to store electrical power. When exposed to heat, however, the material reverts back to its original chemical composition. This process allows the material to release significantly more heat than it had originally absorbed. The material could serve as a way to access heat when it is needed in a way similar to conventional heat packs.

MIT researchers will continue to work to improve the new material

Solar Energy ResearchAccording to MIT researchers, the material is quite thin, with a nearly film-like consistency. Researchers believe that this will allow the material to be used for a variety of purposes, such as defrosting a vehicle’s windshield. The material could also be used to dry clothing or provide heat for a residence. The problem, however, is that the material has a slightly yellow hue, making it less transparent than researchers would like. MIT researchers are currently looking for ways to make the material less yellow in order to resolve this problem.

Researchers throughout the world are finding ways to improve solar energy

As solar energy continues to expand, finding ways to improve this form of clean power is becoming more important. Over the past few years, photovoltaic technology has become significantly less expensive due to the advances made by researchers at organizations like MIT. Now, efforts have been turned to ways to harness the power of the sun for other purposes than simply energy production.