Researchers at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) have combined solar and fuel cell technologies to create what is being hailed as a clean energy breakthrough.
The system uses electricity generated by solar cells to split oxygen and hydrogen for storage in fuel cells. The fuel cells can then be used to provide electricity when the sun isn't shining, thereby overcoming one of the great limitations of solar energy.
In the past, conventional batteries have been suggested as a way to store solar-generated electricity but they have proved too costly and inefficient to provide sufficient power.
Earlier this month UK company Intelligent Energy presented a scheme to the US Senate based on linking hydrogen fuel cells into the US electricity grid so as to smooth out the peaky nature of alternative sources such as wind and solar.
In a public statement MIT’s researchers hoped that within 10 years all domestic premises would be powered this way, rather than using conventional electricity supplies.
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