【太阳能技术取得重大突破:可存储热能100年,费用降低95%】

【太阳能技术取得重大突破:可存储热能100年,费用降低95%】据报道,一项太阳能技术或首次产生比化石燃料便宜的能源。据称该技术将创造比现有系统便宜95%的太阳能电池,单个电池可为11个家庭供电。技术基于一个集中的太阳能热电盘,背面为专利金属合金和氢气制成的电池,可将太阳的热量转化为电能,并可存储100年的热能而不会产生任何浪费。该技术所属公司刚刚与美国能源部等签署了电池技术协议, 正筹集资金以推出该系统。

Could solar energy be cheaper than fossil fuels? A new battery that stores heat from the sun could make the technology 95% cheaper

  • One firm claims it will create solar power 95% cheaper than current systems
  • It will do this by using a battery made of a patented metal alloy and hydrogen 
  • The solar-powered battery can store thermal energy for 100 years, scientists say
  • Dish collects 150kW per hour which can be stored and distributed as needed

fossil fuels for the first time.

One company has licensed a new system that it claims will create solar power that is 95 per cent cheaper than existing systems – with a single battery able to power 11 homes.

A UK-Swedish company known as United Sun Systems has designed the new battery that converts heat from the sun into electricity, which unlike light from the sun, can be stored.

Developers say the solar-powered battery can store thermal energy for 100 years without any waste.

A major breakthrough in solar technology could produce energy that is cheaper than fossil fuels for the first time. The technology is based on a concentrated solar thermal power dish (pictured) that has a battery at the back made of a patented metal alloy and hydrogen

A major breakthrough in solar technology could produce energy that is cheaper than fossil fuels for the first time. The technology is based on a concentrated solar thermal power dish (pictured) that has a battery at the back made of a patented metal alloy and hydrogen

There are two ways to harvest solar energy – one uses the light from the sun, while the other uses heat from the sun.

Scientists are using hydride materials, which are compounds of hydrogen bonded with metal, to store this heat.

'Prior to the discovery of this class of hydride materials, storing heat at this temperature was only possible using expensive and highly corrosive materials,' said Dr. Ragaiy Zidan, a scientist at Savannah River National Laboratory and inventor of the technology.

'This is a game changing technology for the concentrated solar power sector that will drastically reduce its cost and improve its performance,' he added.

The dish has a diameter of 46 feet (14 metres) and is covered with glass mirrors, which focuses the sun's rays onto the dish to create temperatures of 750°C.

A UK-Swedish company called United Sun Systems has created a battery that converts heat from the sun to electricity, which unlike light from the sun, can be stored 

A UK-Swedish company called United Sun Systems has created a battery that converts heat from the sun to electricity, which unlike light from the sun, can be stored

Scientists are using hydride materials - which are compounds of hydrogen bonded with metal - to store this heat at the back of the dish 

Scientists are using hydride materials - which are compounds of hydrogen bonded with metal - to store this heat at the back of the dish

This energy is then stored in the thermal battery which powers a Stirling engine that drives pistons to produce useful power.

The Stirling engine was developed by clergyman and scientist Reverend Robert Stirling in Edinburgh in 1816 as an alternative to the steam engine.

The dish collects around 150kW per hour which can be stored and distributed as needed.

'The heat is transferred from this focal point via a heat pipe into a large thermal battery that is located behind the dish where the heat is stored in a new heat battery technology based on “Metal Hydrides”,' Lars Jacobsson, Chief Executive Officer, United Sun Systems told MailOnline.

'The battery is connected to a Stirling Engine that is converting the heat into kinetic energy, and connected to a generator it produces electricity.'

United Sun Systems claims will create solar power that is 95 per cent cheaper than existing systems - with one battery able to power 11 homes

United Sun Systems claims will create solar power that is 95 per cent cheaper than existing systems - with one battery able to power 11 homes

The dish collects around 150kW per hour which can be stored and distributed as needed

The dish collects around 150kW per hour which can be stored and distributed as needed

Lars Jacobsson (right) and his wife Ragnhild (middle) met Sir David Attenborough to discuss the potential of their technology to help address climate change

Lars Jacobsson (right) and his wife Ragnhild (middle) met Sir David Attenborough to discuss the potential of their technology to help address climate change

The fully-powered battery is capable of charging an engine throughout the night, developers say.

'I am familiar with this technology,' Dr Ian Crow from the Materials, Devices and Systems (MDS) Research Division in the School of Electrical and Electronic Engineering at the University of Manchester told MailOnline.

'It’s a hybrid system combining solar thermal technology (where the heat from the sun is collected and converted to electricity using what is known as a Sterling Engine) with, in this case, a gas back-up,' he said.

The first generation of the technology has been tested at installations built in Phoenix, Arizona, the Tooele Army Depot in Utah, United States, Mongolia, Dubai and South Africa.

The fully-powered battery is capable of charging to engine throughout the night, developers say. The first generation of the technology has been tested at installations built in Phoenix, Arizona, the Tooele Army Depot in Utah, United States, Mongolia, Dubai and South Africa

The fully-powered battery is capable of charging to engine throughout the night, developers say. The first generation of the technology has been tested at installations built in Phoenix, Arizona, the Tooele Army Depot in Utah, United States, Mongolia, Dubai and South Africa

'By using our unique expertise, we have been able to develop an inexpensive way to store solar energy that makes this renewable energy source cost competitive with fossil fuels,' said Dr. Terry A. Michalske, Savannah River National Laboratory Director.

'This partnership will allow us to deploy large scale solar energy production that will revolutionise the industry,' said Mr Jacobsson, who has also met with Sir David Attenborough to discuss the potential of their technology to help address climate change.

'It is extremely exciting', he said.

The firm has just signed an agreement on the battery technology with the US Department of Energy and Savannah River Nuclear Solutions.

It is now fundraising to launch the system commercially.

 http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-5836015/Could-solar-energy-cheaper-fossil-fuels-new-battery-make-technology-95-cheaper.html

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