Future batteries could be charged with sun power instead of electricity

Thanks to a molecule called fulvalene diruthenium, batteries may use the sun to provide energy, but not in the same way as solar power.

Here's how it works:

The molecule, fulvalene diruthenium, undergoes a structural change when it absorbs sunlight, putting it into a higher energy state where it can remain stable indefinitely. This state is analogous to that of a rubber band that's stretched and then put some­where where it stays stretched out for any desired length of time.

In the case of fulvalene diruthenium, the molecule can snap back into its original shape triggered by a small addition of heat or a substance called a catalyst. In the process, it releases the heat that was originally absorbed.

The technique would have a lot of the benefits of solar energy, but it'd store the heat as a fuel that could heat your house. Unfortunately, the molecule is prohibitively expensive, but scientists are hopeful that they can replicate the process with something cheaper.

Via World Science

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