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Efficient Solar-based Thermoelectrochemical Framework

Background: Thermochemical cycles combine heat sources with chemical reactions. energy production from thermochemical cycles are quickly evolving as global researchers develop better processes to generate electricity from sustainable yet intermittent resources like solar. Typical thermochemical processes generate chemical reactants for thermochemical storage. One problem is with efficiency where these chemical reactants are merely burned together again to recreate heat which is then converted into mechanical energy that is subsequently converted into electrical energy. Another problem relates to flexibility in terms of being limited to hydrogen and oxygen as the chemical reactants. Technology Description: To address these problems researchers at the University of California Berkeley are developing a generalized closed-cycle thermoelectrochemical framework with expected chemical conversion efficiencies above 80% and high overall system efficiencies using innovative combined-cycle design. Applications: Thermoelectrochemical energy and storage for stationary applications

Benefits:

1) High chemical conversion efficiencies 2) On-demand power approach from intermittent energy sources e.g. solar 3) Low-cost alternative to common fuel cell and power plant technologies 4) Scalable to meet the needs of various stationary power applications 5) Leverages industry standard platforms and low-cost parts 6) Air- and climate-friendly approach

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