The world's first rechargeable solar battery runs on light and air
GEEK / By Laura Rosenfeld / October 3, 11:10 AM

Peanut butter and chocolate. Pam and Jim from The Office. Christmas and presents. We've seen many great combinations throughout history, and we now have one more to add to the list. Researchers at The Ohio State University have invented the world's first solar battery.
The researchers report that they have been able to combine a battery and a solar cell into one device. Their findings were published in the Oct. 3, 2014 issue of the journal Nature Communications.
solar panel mesh energyStorageOnCell

(Photo : Yiying Wu / The Ohio State University) Close-up of the solar battery's mesh panel.

The battery includes a mesh solar panel that allows air to enter. Then, a special process takes place where electrons are transferred between the solar panel and the battery's electrode. The battery uses light and oxygen to charge.

So why is this such a big deal? This new solar battery could make it more affordable for homeowners and businesses to use solar energy rather than less sustainable sources of power. Yiying Wu, a chemistry and biochemistry professor at Ohio State and one of the creators of the solar battery, said that the device could bring down costs by 25 percent. If solar power becomes less expensive to implement, this could make a lot of inroads for more widespread use of renewable energy.
"The state of the art is to use a solar panel to capture the light, and then use a cheap battery to store the energy," Wu said in a statement. "We've integrated both functions into one device. Any time you can do that, you reduce cost."
Solar panels currently get energy from the sun and convert it into electricity, energy which usually goes back into the grid and is exchanged for conventional forms of electricity, The Columbus Dispatch reported. This solar cell that stores its own power could help people live "off the grid" with energy from the solar panel directly powering their homes, businesses, cars or anything else that uses energy.
This new solar battery also solves some problems with solar energy efficiency. Normally, 80 percent of electrons from a solar cell make it to the battery, but with the conversion of light into electrons taking place inside the battery, nearly all of the electrons are saved. Wu and his team believe the solar battery will last as long as comparable rechargable batteries already in the market.
Wu and doctoral student Xiaodi Ren previously developed an air-powered battery that discharges potassium with oxygen called the KAir Battery. The device won $100,000 in 2014 from the U.S. Department of Energy, which also funded the research on the solar battery.
The patent on the solar battery is currently pending. The university intends to license the battery to industry.
Ah, solar power and batteries. What a great pair.

 

Solar Roadways
   Building A Better Electric Grid

by Robert Grothe, project director, GoLocalSolar - Tacoma WA

scott-panel-bigsolarroadway-introScott & Julie Brusaw, inventor/owner of Solar Roadways has a great way to power all of America's dreams, covering existing roadways, parking lots, and driveways with solar modules! A new environmentally safe way to provide electricity from sunlight, snow/ice removal with no harsh chemicals, sand or equipment, dynamic updates to parking lot signage, and traffic safety signs customized to each moving vehicle all using one clean modular designed solar roadway package. The great thing that makes this a unique roadway material is it pays for itself in only a few short years and starts generating dividends for it's investors from the surplus electrical energy it produces.  The electricity can be stored or grid-tied back into the existing local electrical grids and microgrid using this clean renewable energy source right in the communities it is generated saving energy costs and distribution loses. 

These can be used on the roadways between communities to power all the electrical vehicles traveling over it through induction charging and rest stop charging stations. Unlimited mileage electric cars come to mind, but with this much surplus electrical power available why stop there? When electric pick-ups, suv's, motor bikes, small trucks, semi-trucks, buses, motorhomes & rv's, moving vans, freight haulers, even electric trains come to mind. All powered by Solar Roadways!  Enough to build a new national electric utility smart grid and super electric freeway to supplement our existing ones. (and yes even power Elon Musk's idea of a Hyperloop maglev speed train that travels faster with more space and comfort than most jet planes) 

GE Electric - Focus Forward video, Solar Roadways  (April 2013)

Google - Solve for X video, Solar Roadways (May 2013) 

2013 Video Update - Scott & Julie have been working hard over the last two years to build a new patented and tested prism textured glass that is stronger than steel, clear enough to allow light to fall on the solar cells under it's hexagon surface and LED lights to shine for road markings and safety signage and give traction for vehicle tires that's better than asphalt even when wet. Scott has also added a heating component to the module for ice/snow removal that works better than expected. Two roadside vaults, one to carry the electric power and monitoring cables, the EV charging strips, and another that moves runoff water anywhere that's needed. Scott has literally been contacted by over half the countries of the world for various roadway projects they have in mind, all wanting to use his product(s). Scott in this video explains how all this works together for a better, cleaner, more environmentally friendly and safer national roadway, run-off water management, and electric grid/EV charging integrated system.

solar-roadways-firstParkingLot-outsideLab04012014

Solar Parking Lot demonstration completed using the hexigon glass you see above. 
Here's a more detailed article...

Solar Roadways is real (2014)
video has gone viral 17.4mil views and climbing
 
crowdsourcing $1,000,000 fundraiser! (twice now) 
(as of today they have raised $2mil, campaign closed)
The funds raised will be used to hire engineers and professionals
to work on streamlining the process and get the solar panels ready
for production. The campaign is closed.
solar-roadways-firstParkingLot-closeup-outsideLab04012014

 

Solar Roadways, First Fully Functional Solar Driveway

by Robert Grothe, project director, GoLocalSolar - Tacoma WA

Announcing First Solar Parking Lot you can drive on with a car.  This is a fully functional solar driveway that can easily be expanded into a solar parking lot or solar street. Yes you can drive on these with your car or truck. Scott & Julie Brusaw have completed their first solar parking lot/driveway built demo at their laboratory and will be testing it's endurance and programming over the next couple of months in preparation for startup funding for manufacturing and licensing production rights later this year. It's here folks. (new video and news feeds coming soon. Scott has tons of interviews coming out!) The long awaited fully functional Solar Roadway modules made from glass you can drive on are now a reality.

To see what all the hype is about check out the Solar Roadway article Building a better electric grid written last fall. This is truly AWESOME!

Sandpoint Idaho, announced they are putting in the first solar street in their city as soon as funding becomes available. Hopefully by this fall. Scot & Julie Brusaw couldn't be more proud.  Read full article...

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Want to see what these look like up close?

Patented textured prism hexagon shatter proof glass on top.
Solar cells in blue squares for now, custom hexagon shape later to fill panel.
Full primary colors programmable LED's embeded under the glass for smart safe signage.
Snow/ice removal programmable heater coils based on outside weather conditions.
Smart programmable solar modules for signaling, monitoring, communication, and sensors. 
This is only the beginning of design capabilities!

 Video/pictures (gone viral 17.5m views-2014) 
crowdsourcing $1,000,000 fundraiser! (twice now)
(as of today they have raied $2mil, campaign closed)
The funds raised will be used to hire engineers and professionals to work on streamlining the process
and get the solar panels ready for production. The campaign is closed.

 

solar-roadways-firstParkingLot-closeup-outsideLab04012014