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Wed Jan 15, 2014, 04:30 PM

Researchers find method to store solar power [View all]

Source: McClatchy News

Researchers find method to store solar power

By JAY PRICE

The News & Observer (Raleigh, N.C.) January 15, 2014

CHAPEL HILL, N.C CHAPEL HILL, N.C. - A team of North Carolina researchers has discovered a potential solution to one of the fundamental problems of generating large amounts of energy from the sun's rays: how to store some of the power so it's available at night.

The scientists found a new way to use solar energy to split molecules of water into its atomic-level components: oxygen and hydrogen. The hydrogen can then be burned for fuel, generating only water as waste, which can then be recycled to be split again.

The hydrogen could be created and used by infrastructure similar to generators and solar arrays that are already familiar, said Tom Meyer, who led the research and is director of the federally funded Energy Frontier Research Center at the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill.

"Part of a solar array, instead of just making electricity during the day, could in fact be making chemicals," he said. "So when the sun goes down, you just run the chemicals through your power plant, and you extract the energy back out as you need it."




Read more: http://www.mcclatchydc.com/2014/01/15/214616/researchers-find-method-to-store.html#storylink=cpy

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