While more people are pushing for the increased use of solar power, there are still concerns around the availability of power in bad weather and overnight. Many tech advancements, like using graphene to absorb power from rain, have come about to offer solutions, but a recent find from a Ph.D. student could revolutionize how solar energy can be stored and reused.
Companies like Tesla and Orison have worked hard to produce home battery systems, but their success level is still relatively low. Just like with your phone, when you first get it, the battery life is great, but slowly diminishes over time.
Fifth-year doctoral student Mya Le Thai has found a way to cover nanowires in a gel that allows the nanowire stand up to use. Without the gel, the nanowire is weak and breaks after a few charges. With the gel, a recent test showed the nanowire stood up to 200,000 charges in three months - a typical battery dies after 5,000 to 7,000 charges.
"For this research right now the plan is to understand the mechanisms of how this gel electrolyte could prolong the cyclibility so well," Thai said. "The future bigger plan would be to optimize these gel electrolytes to see if it can improve even more."