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Systems and methods for solar energy storage, transportation, and conversion utilizing photochemically active organometallic isomeric compounds and solid-state catalysts

United States Patent

February 10, 2015
View the Complete Patent at the US Patent & Trademark Office
Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory - Visit the Technology Transfer and Intellectual Property Management Department Website
A system for converting solar energy to chemical energy, and, subsequently, to thermal energy includes a light-harvesting station, a storage station, and a thermal energy release station. The system may include additional stations for converting the released thermal energy to other energy forms, e.g., to electrical energy and mechanical work. At the light-harvesting station, a photochemically active first organometallic compound, e.g., a fulvalenyl diruthenium complex, is exposed to light and is photochemically converted to a second, higher-energy organometallic compound, which is then transported to a storage station. At the storage station, the high-energy organometallic compound is stored for a desired time and/or is transported to a desired location for thermal energy release. At the thermal energy release station, the high-energy organometallic compound is catalytically converted back to the photochemically active organometallic compound by an exothermic process, while the released thermal energy is captured for subsequent use.
Vollhardt; K. Peter C. (Oakland, CA), Segalman; Rachel A. (Pleasanton, CA), Majumdar; Arunava (Orinda, CA), Meier; Steven (Edmond, OK)
The Regents of the University of California (Oakland, CA)
13/ 002,645
July 13, 2009
STATEMENT OF GOVERNMENTAL SUPPORT This invention was made with government support under Contract No. DE-AC02-05CH11231 awarded by the United States Department of Energy to the University of California. The government has certain rights in this invention.