This week, the Department of Energy’s Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy (ARPA-E) announced new grants that will change the way the US produces and uses energy. Prof. Jeff Grossman and his colleagues, Profs. Vladimir Bulovic, Martin Schmidt, Alex Slocum, and Dan Nocera, are one of the 60 groups which will receive funding from the HEATS Project (High Energy Advanced Thermal Storage). HEATS research projects address the need for improved thermal energy storage technologies, recognizing that more than 90% energy technologies involve the transport and conversion of thermal energy.
Prof. Grossman and his colleagues call their project, "HybriSol Hybrid nanostructures for high-energy-density solar thermal fuels."
Using innovative nanomaterials, MIT will develop a thermal energy storage device, or a heat battery, that captures and stores energy from the sun to be released onto the grid at a later time. This energy storage device called “HybriSol” is transportable like fuels, 100% renewable, rechargeable like a battery and emissions-free. In addition, “HybriSol” can be used without a grid infrastructure for applications such as heating and water purification. If successful, this heat battery could have an unprecedented impact on efforts to decrease fossil fuel consumption and emissions, enabling clean solar energy to be accessible 24 hours a day.