US' Department of Energy recently agreed to provide funding for a research project aimed at developing an innovative type of battery which could store solar power for use during rainy days.
It now seems that their decision paid off, as a team of scientists from the University of California claims to have developed a cheap battery which can help households and businesses make the most out of this renewable energy source regardless of outside weather conditions.
Chemistry professor Sri Narayan, the person in charge of seeing to the success of this project, explains how he and his team decided to look into how an air-breathing battery equipped with iron plates would behave when made to store solar energy with maximum efficiency.
Apparently, by adding a pinch of bismuth sulfide into the battery, the team of scientists succeeded in significantly cutting down on the initial energy loss.
Thus, whereas traditional iron-air batteries could only hold on to 50% of the amount of energy stored within them, Sri Narayan's eco-friendly battery only loses about 4% of its power generation capacity. Eurek Alert
informs us that the chemistry professor is quite proud of his findings. In one of his most recent interviews, he argued that, “Iron is cheap and air is free. It's the future.”
According to the same source, the battery developed by these scientists can store enough energy to power various utilities typically found in a home for as much as 24 hours.
Given the fact that California is presently engaged in an ongoing battle to switch to renewable energy sources, it comes as no surprise that both the Federal government in this part of the world and ordinary citizens showed considerable interest in Sri Narayan's innovative battery.
For the time being, the researchers are still working on the battery and, should they also get it to store more energy with less material, odds are that California will indeed manage to generate 33% of its power from renewable sources as early as 2020.