Storing Solar Power for Night

One of the important challenges for Solar generated power is how do we store it for night time usage.

During daytime, Solar Power is converted into electricity  either via Photovoltaic cells or via Steam powered Turbine as shown

This could be done via the following steps:

Solar Power -> Heat Energy (either directly or via electricity) -> Electricity via Thermoelectric effect

Solar Energy could be converted by heating a large amount of Liquid or Water, stored in an insulated container.  We have insulated containers existing for nearly a century now where hot water can stay warm for nearly a day.

It could be done directly by utilizing double glass or glass alternative material based container (for insulation) and heating it using the mirrors as explained in the eSolar example above. Alternatively, electricity generated via Photoelectric cells could be utilized for heating coils in the water/liquid’s container.

During Night, electricity could be generated from this Hot Liquid (example Water) using Thermoelectric effect. The concept of thermoelectric effect is best explained by the invention of a Canadian high school student last year where she used her body heat to power a flashlight.

Basically, when a glass tube has tiles on 2 sides – and one side has a higher temperature than the other, it generates electrons or electricity.

Sanjeev Sharma

Consultant and Author of '5 Core Methods of Innovation'

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