Power & Energy

A New Hope for Wind and Solar Energy

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Wind and solar energy are the two fastest growing energy forms presently. In spite of the benefits, they have some basic limitations. They depend on weather conditions, the output of electrical energy is not reliable and they depend on backup energy to compensate for that, and also to kickstart their energy harvesters.

As the alternative sources points to the obvious use of fossil fuel, it simply rules out the benefits of green energy. Along with this battery storage has also been trialed in Australia with the idea to store the excess energy for later use. Yet even this comes with its own drawbacks, like expense and longevity. On an average, a battery lasts for approximately a decade.

In response to this, a researcher’s group from Stanford University has developed a new type of battery based on salt and water. They believe that this could have an answer to the problem of storage. It is cheap, long lasting and perfect for utility-scale energy storage.

The underlying concept is the use of manganese-hydrogen battery, produced by dissolving manganese sulphate and common salt, in a water medium. Manganese dioxide and pure hydrogen gas is formed due to a reaction caused by passing electricity through the solution. The produced hydrogen gas is component required, and it can be stored and used later as fuel. More electricity recharges the battery.

This was just a lab experiment and there is need of further research before it can be implemented. If it actually becomes successful then it will eliminate one of the biggest downside of these energy sources and promote more green energy plants.

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