Using rust to build a solar-powered battery

Discussion in 'Architecture & Engineering' started by Plazma Inferno!, Mar 1, 2016.

  1. Plazma Inferno! Ding Ding Ding Ding Administrator

    Stanford engineers have made a discovery that could make large-scale solar power storage a reality.
    The breakthrough is based on the fact that ordinary metal oxides, such as rust, can be fashioned into solar cells capable of splitting water into hydrogen and oxygen by heating.
    Using solar cells to split H2O by day is a way to store energy for use at night. The photons captured by the cell are converted into the electrons that provide the energy to split water. Recombining hydrogen and oxygen after dark would be a way to reclaim that energy and "dispatch" power back into the electrical grid – without burning fossil fuels and releasing more carbon into the atmosphere.
    ajanta likes this.
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  3. Edont Knoff Registered Senior Member

    I still think that cells that can directly split water by light are better than the light -> electricity -> electrolysis path. While it's fine to see alternative solar cells being researched, I fail to see why these are specifically better for the hydrolysis process than existing solar cells, as the article seems to imply.
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  5. billvon Valued Senior Member

    At a very basic level the two are the same. They differ primarily in how the electricity is transferred to the water molecule.
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  7. Write4U Valued Senior Member

    Perhaps through *mud* which has the largest surface area of all minerals?
    A cubic centimeter of clay has so much molecular surface area that it could coat an entire tennis-court. As mud, it is already saturated with water. Can we use *mud fields* as energy receptors? The only problem would be how to keep it uniformly moist.
    Just musing.

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