A new research carried out by Australian scientists claims to have found a new solar storage solution. Surprisingly or not, this could also be based on plants, more exactly, the western sword fern. This latter is traversed by a series or veins which help it store energy and transport water.
A team of RMIT University in Melbourne, Australia researchers were able to design a new prototype based on this system. Their results were published in a study in the Scientific Reports journal.
According to the reports, the western sword fern could help offer a better alternative to storing solar energy than batteries. Presently, these latter are not powerful or advanced enough in order to store such energy for a longer period of time.
This New Solar Storage Solution Is Still In Prototype Mode
The research team was able to develop a prototype model based on the natural system of the western sword fern. This is made out of graphene and integrates the plant’s “fractal design”. They combined a series of new electrodes with supercapacitors. In its turn, this managed to increase the current storage capacities by 30 times.
The graphene prototype is quite thin and flexible, which quite enable endless integration opportunities. It could come to be used with the existing solar technologies or even be integrated into new ones. Its thinness and flexibility could also enable its use in areas which are unavailable to current solar cells.
For example, this new solar storage solution could come to be placed on car exteriors or anywhere on windows. They may even be featured on cell phones or other devices that run on battery power. At least according to the initial reports on the matter.
“With this flexible electrode prototype, we’ve solved the storage part of the challenge as well as shown how they can work with solar cells without affecting performance.”
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