All-Vanadium Photoelectrochemical Storage Cell’s
Article: Science Daily
- In-use Technology
Reversible Electron Storage using All-Vanadium Photoelectrochemical Storage Cell’s (PECs) which allows developers to attain higher storage capacity in smaller units. The technology is designed for release of the stored electrons under dark conditions which continues solar energy storage, thus allowing for unintermittent storage around the clock.
- Sustainability Problem
Researchers have been making progress on scalable storage for solar energy, but one problem that persists is how to store and use energy from the sun even when it’s dark. Colossal solar energy conversion and storage studies using PECs have been undertaken in the past four decades; and now researchers at the University of Texas (UT) at Arlington have found a way to solve this issue with an all-vanadium photo-electrochemical flow cell that can store solar energy on a large scale, even at night. The innovation is an advancement over the most common solar energy systems that rely on using sunlight immediately as a power source. The ability to store solar energy and use it as a renewable alternative provides a sustainable solution to the problem of energy shortage with the capability of harnessing inexhaustible energy from the sun.
- Technology Stakeholders
The UT Arlington Research Team (developers of the technology), DOE, Utilities, Developers, PV Consumers/Manufacturers
- Process of Technology Implementation
The effort is a product of the 2013 National Science Foundation $400,000 Faculty Early Career Development grant and after multiple test and studies, the preliminary results proved the feasibility of this approach to store/release solar energy, even under dark conditions and showed that hydrogen tungsten bronze was responsible for the storage and release of photogenerated electrons from the semiconductor. The results also indicated an important synergy between electron storage and the all-vanadium electrolytes, which potentially offers great reversibility, high-capacity electron storage, and significant improvement in the photocurrent. Researchers are currently working on a larger prototype of the system to test how well it scales.