A team of researchers at the University of British Columbia (UBC) has pioneered a new method to create materials that can store energy using an affordable lamp that can be easily procured from a hardware store. The researchers made the discovery in their quest to find a more efficient method of creating coatings that could be applied on a surface so as to conduct electricity. While many such coatings have already been developed, most of them have made use of materials and components that are very expensive (which also makes them impractical for daily use).
What’s different about this finding is that the technique can now enable the use of a consumer-grade heat-generating lamp to achieve the same results. The electricity-conducting solution is painted onto the surface of the lamp, and when it heats up, the catalytic coating has the desired effect.
There are a myriad of technologies that can benefit from the use of this technique – some of them are flexible electronic devices or hydrogen fuel converting cells. The study has been recently featured in Science Advances, an open access journal. If developed creatively, this method could open up new avenues in the clean energy arena.
This new finding could also hold significance considering that wind turbines and solar farms, though sustainable, do not provide uninterrupted energy generation as they depend on weather conditions.
When considered against this drawback, the team at the UBC says that when energy is stored during low-demand periods, a large reserve can be created for use during peak hours by storing the energy via hydrogen fuels. This process can be made much more affordable now with the new findings.
The new solution is not just scalable, but is also amenable to mass production, which is what the team aims to work on.