FRANCHISE HERALD
Monday August 20, 2018

updated - August 20, 2018 Monday EDT

Scientists Discover How to Generate Solar Power with Nanotubes in the Dark

Apr 15, 2014 03:55 PM EDT | By John Nassivera
Tags
solar energy
Close
Nanotubes and Solar Power
A team of researchers at Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and Harvard University have found a way to use nanotubes to absorb heat from the sun and store solar energy for later use. (Photo : Geoff Hutchinson)

A team of researchers at Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and Harvard University have found a way to use nanotubes to absorb heat from the sun and store solar energy for later use.

The discovery poses a chance to expand the use of solar power, especially in areas that require heat such as heating buildings, cooking or powering heat-based industrial processes, according to Nanowerk.

"It could change the game, since it makes the sun's energy, in the form of heat, storable and distributable," said Jeffrey Grossman, co-author of the study and associate professor of power and engineering at MIT.

The results were documented in a paper published in the journal Nature Chemistry. The lead author of the paper is Timothy Kucharski, a postdoc at MIT and Harvard.

The team showed that nanotubes that carry a high density of azobenzene chromophores bind closely together, with the chromophores assembling between each other, Chemistry World reported. The connection strains the molecules and more than doubles the energy they store.

Photoswitches are molecules that form two shapes when exposed to sunlight, and reform in their original shape by producing heat when electricity passes through them, News Tonight Africa reported. These molecules are capable of storing energy from the Sun for an unstated length of time, and can release the energy immediately.

The researchers said that the material can store a sufficient amount of heat, even after gaining almost half of the density that the researchers were looking for.

Kasper Moth-Poulsen, who studies thermal fuels at Chalmers University of Technology in Gothenburg, Sweden, said the study was the first time that he had seen 'templating' effect that the chromophores had, Chemistry World reported.

"The most notable aspects are the factor of two increase in energy storage and the ability to operate the system through more than 2000 cycles without significant degradation," Moth-Poulsen said.

The team is looking to get nanotubes to charge solar energy as quickly as possible.

"One target that seems within reach is to be able to charge enough fuel during a single day's sunlight hours to cook a dinner for a family," Kucharski said.

Get the Most Popular Franchiseherald Stories in a Weekly Newsletter
© 2015 Franchise Herald. All rights reserved.

Connect With Franchise News

Email Newsletter

TOP 10 FRANCHISES OF 2018

  • RANK
    FRANCHISE NAME
    STARUP COSTS
  • 1nc
    Hampton Hotels
    $3.7M - 13.52M
  • 2nc
    Subway
    $85.2K - 260.35K
  • 3up
    Jiffy Lube Int'l. Inc.
    $196.5K - 304K
  • 4down
    7-Eleven Inc.
    $30.8K - 1.64M
  • 5up
    Supercuts
    $103.55K - 196.5K
  • 6up
    Anytime Fitness
    $56.3K - 353.9K
  • 7down
    Servpro
    $133.05K - 181.45K
  • 8down
    Denny's Inc.
    $1.18M - 2.4M
  • 9down
    McDonald's
    $1M - 2.16M
  • 10down
    Pizza Hut Inc.
    $295K - 2.15M
Real Time Analytics