Improving Solar Thermal Batteries with Functionalized Carbon Nanotubes
Author: Shaheer Rehan
A paper published in The Journal of Physical Chemistry C repod the integration of multi-walled carbon nanotubes in a flexible styrene-ethylene-butylene-styrene triblock copolymer framework using an azobenzene derivative and carboxylic acid patterning to construct lightweight and flexible solar thermal batteries. Over 90% of the primary energy generated globally is used or wasted in the form of heat. It is, therefore, imperative to decarbonize heating systems. Solar thermal batteries are a possible alternative to heating techniques based on fossil fuels. The solar thermal power cells function on the principle of capturing and storing solar energy, which may then be discharged in the form of heat when needed using solar-activated molecular switches. Sunlight-powered switches belong to a subclass of solar thermal batteries that use the molecules from the azobenzene family to store light and discharge heat.