Solar energy can now be stored for up to 18 years, say scientists

One step closer to charging our electronics with on-demand solar energy.

 Gigawatt Global's 7.5 MW Solar Field in Burundi (photo credit: Courtesy)
Gigawatt Global's 7.5 MW Solar Field in Burundi
(photo credit: Courtesy)

Solar-powered appliances are one step closer to becoming a staple and a part of our lives thanks to a “radical” new scientific breakthrough.

In 2017, scientists at a Swedish university created an energy system that makes it possible to capture and store solar energy for up to 18 years, releasing it as heat when needed.

Now in 2022, by connecting the energy system to a thermoelectric generator, researchers have succeeded in producing electricity.

Though still in its early stages, the concept developed at Chalmers University of Technology in Gothenberg could pave the way for self-charging electronics that use stored solar energy on demand.

“This is a radically new way of generating electricity from solar energy. It means that we can use solar energy to produce electricity regardless of weather, time of day, season, or geographical location,” explains research leader Kasper Moth-Poulsen, Professor at the Department of Chemistry and Chemical Engineering at Chalmers.

INVESTING IN renewable energies: World's first patented floating solar energy system with adjustable panels, amde by Israeli hi-tech company Xfloat, at the Golan Height's Tzur water reservoir, April 10. (credit: MICHAL GILADI/FLASH90)INVESTING IN renewable energies: World's first patented floating solar energy system with adjustable panels, amde by Israeli hi-tech company Xfloat, at the Golan Height's Tzur water reservoir, April 10. (credit: MICHAL GILADI/FLASH90)

"I’m very excited about this work,” he adds. “We hope with future development this will be an important part of the future energy system."