By installing a solar array, we can generate electricity without relying on fossil fuels.
The installation process, however, is not without its challenges.
The energy produced by solar panels is typically the product of sunlight bouncing off the panel, not direct sunlight hitting the metal surface of the panel.
The same process can be used to make batteries or other energy-efficient technologies that store energy in the form of a solid or liquid form.
However, it’s often difficult to get the panel to the correct temperature to charge the battery or other power-generating devices, such as a computer.
In order to improve the energy-storage efficiency of solar panels, a team of researchers from the University of California, Santa Barbara (UCSB), Stanford University, and the University at Buffalo has developed a new technology that converts sunlight energy into electricity.
This new process, called a solar heat exchanger, works by turning sunlight into a liquid that can be heated to create steam, which is then pumped through the panels’ electrodes to create electricity.
A prototype of the solar heat-exchanger prototype shown in this video.
When the sunlight hits the electrodes, the liquid is heated and vaporized.
When sunlight hits a metal surface, the vapor is converted into a solid by the process of electrolysis.
When a metal plate is heated, the solid form is then vaporized and re-injected into the panel and pumped into the battery.
The researchers’ solar heat heat exchangers were fabricated using an electrochemical process that has been successfully used in solar cell manufacturing for decades.
The technology could help develop more energy-saving products for power generation.
This article originally appeared on Mashable.
It has been republished under Creative Commons license.