Oct 7, 2014 - The Ohio State University said in a statement on Friday its researchers have invented the world’s first solar battery, which is able to cut renewable energy costs by 25%.
Chemistry and biochemistry professor Yiying Wu along with students at the university have invented a patent-pending hybrid device that combines a "breathing" battery and a solar cell. The device uses a permeable mesh solar panel from titanium gauze that allows air to pass freely into the battery. A thin sheet of porous carbon and a lithium plate are placed beneath the panel, sandwiching layers of electrolyte to carry electrons back and forth. The passing light and oxygen enable different parts of the chemical reactions that charge the battery.
The inventors explain that the hybrid device eliminates the loss of electricity associated with electrons traveling between a solar cell and an external battery, as nearly 100% of them are saved during the process.
The ongoing solar battery project is funded by the US Department of Energy (DoE). The team believes that the life of the device will be comparable to rechargeable batteries already on the market, based on early tests.
The Ohio State University researchers plan to further improve the solar battery by using new materials.