First Solar Battery Created to Store Energy

UNITED STATES – Researchers at the University of the State of Ohio have developed a device to capture energy from the sun and store it as electricity in a combined “solar battery”.

The solar battery is composed of a solar panel with a mesh covered with red dye, acting as an electrode and a lithium-oxygen battery. The top of the battery is a device consisting of a solar panel with permeable mesh titanium based gas with titanium dioxide rods. This element functions as a first electrode of the battery. Below, there is a thin carbon sheet acting as a second electrode which is placed under another lithium plate. This technique, mimicking a battery one, needs air to operate according to Mr. YIYING WU, professor of chemistry and biochemistry at the University of the State of Ohio.

Light contact with the mesh creates electrons. These are then used to convert the lithium peroxide contained within the battery into lithium ions and oxygen. Lithium ions are stored in the lithium battery in the form of metal and oxygen which is released in the air thereafter. Due to the breathable layers of the battery being permeable to air, the battery breathes while charging. Conversely, it takes the oxygen in the air to transform the lithium peroxide as it is discharged.

The use of different components is the way in which YIYING WU and his team extended the battery life. From the battery’s test, they found that the lifespan of the battery is comparable to that already available on the market. Researchers believe that this new solar battery would help reduce costs to less than 25% for combined solar modules of battery systems.