New Way Of Storing Solar Energy Discovered

Illustration for article titled New Way Of Storing Solar Energy Discovered

Solar power has a lot of promise, but until recently there hasn't been an adequate way to store the energy the sun produces. Scientists at MIT have come up with a new fuel cell process that mimics the way plants store the sun's rays that is both efficient and inexpensive, not to mention environmentally sound. Without getting too technical, the system uses sunlight to separate water's hydrogen and oxygen atoms and then puts them back together in a fuel cell, providing energy. This means an almost limitless supply of clean energy might be just a few years away, though it's still too early to say when you'll have what you want: a solar powered laptop. [PhysOrg]

DISCUSSION

Unfortunately, they do not really address the energy loss in this storage mechanism versus traditional methods. I assume this is a giant leap forward although, from my experience, pseudo-electrolysis systems are not efficient. I could not dig into the detail in this link other than some exciting new "catalyst" that they found. I think it is called "snake oil", but if anyone has a better explanation, I would love to hear it.