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Let’s Discuss… Storing Solar Energy Indefinitely Instructor: Mrs. Balla HSChem_2010Nov10 2
Instructor: Mrs. Balla 3 Introduction We all know about solar thermal and solar photovoltaic energy, but MIT (Massachusetts Institute of Technology) is coming back to a solar energy idea that was dreamt up decades ago but left on the bench due to our inability to gather and make use of it in a practical and economical way. “This is the thermo-chemical approach, in which solar energy is captured in the configuration of certain molecules which can then release the energy on demand to produce usable heat,” David L. Chandler of MIT reports.
Instructor: Mrs. Balla 4 The big advantage of this approach is that the heat-storing chemicals used can store the heat for years. In the normal solar-thermal approach, even with a lot of insulation, heat leaks out. Additionally, the process is reversible in this approach and the energy can be easily transferred from one place to another. So, it can be collected in a place ideal for collecting the energy but then used wherever needed. http://cleantechnica.com/2010/11/08/storing-solar-energy-indefinitely-new-energy-storage-approach-from-mit-video/?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+cleantechnica+%28CleanTechnica%29
Instructor: Mrs. Balla 5 In an extreme example demonstrating this approach’s advantages, Jeffrey Grossman, the Carl Richard Soderberg Associate Professor of Power Engineering in the Department of Materials Science and Engineering, said: “You could put the fuel in the sun, charge it up, then use the heat, and place the same fuel back in the sun to recharge.”
Instructor: Mrs. Balla 6 Here’s a little more history on the thermo-chemical approach and MIT’s recent breakthrough: Researchers explored this type of solar thermal fuel in the 1970s, but there were big challenges: Nobody could find a chemical that could reliably and reversibly switch between two states, absorbing sunlight to go into one state and then releasing heat when it reverted to the first state. Such a compound was discovered in 1996, but it included ruthenium, a rare and expensive element, so it was impractical for widespread energy storage. Moreover, no one understood how the compound worked, which hindered efforts to find a cheaper variant. Now researchers at MIT have overcome that obstacle, with a combination of theoretical and experimental work that has revealed exactly how the molecule, called fulvalenediruthenium, accomplishes its energy storage and release. And this understanding, they said, should make it possible to find similar chemicals based on more abundant, less expensive materials than ruthenium.
Instructor: Mrs. Balla 7 The problem is still finding an alternative to the very rare and expensive (element ruthenium, but the researchers from this project are much more hopeful now that they can find an alternative. According to Grossman, the next step is “to use a combination of simulation, chemical intuition, and databases of tens of millions of known molecules to look for other candidates that have structural similarities and might exhibit the same behavior.”
Instructor: Mrs. Balla 8 Basic Information of Ruthenium Name: Ruthenium Symbol:RuAtomic Number: 44 Atomic Mass: 101.07 amuMelting Point: 2250.0 °C (2523.15 K, 4082.0 °F) Boiling Point: 3900.0 °C (4173.15 K, 7052.0 °F) Number of Protons/Electrons: 44 Number of Neutrons: 57 Classification:Transition MetalCrystal Structure: Hexagonal Density @ 293 K: 12.2 g/cm3Color: silvery Number of Energy Levels: 5 First Energy Level: 2 Second Energy Level: 8 Third Energy Level: 18 Fourth Energy Level: 15 Fifth Energy Level: 1 Facts Date of Discovery: 1844 Discoverer: Karl Klaus Name Origin: From the Latin word Ruthenia (Russia) Uses: platinum alloys Obtained From:pentlandite, pyroxinite
Review What is the thermo-chemical approach to solar energy storage? Solar energy is captured in the configuration of certain molecules which can then release the energy on demand to produce usable heat. 2. What is the big advantage of this approach? The heat-storing chemicals used can store the heat for years. Instructor: Mrs. Balla 9
3. Is the process reversible? yes 4. Can the energy be easily transferred from one place to another? yes 5. How long has been this research been going on? since the 1970’s Instructor: Mrs. Balla 10
Questions? Questions? Questions? 11 What’s on your mind? Instructor: Mrs. Balla
Questions? Questions? Questions? What was the best part of your Science lesson this past week? Instructor: Mrs. Balla 12
Questions? Questions? Questions? What are the challenges that you had this past week In Chemistry? 13 Instructor: Mrs. Balla
Questions? Questions? Questions? What Chemistry topic will you be working on this coming week? 14 Instructor: Mrs. Balla
Questions? Questions? Questions? What Chemistry topic would you like to know more about? Instructor: Mrs. Balla 15