MIT Researchers Develop Material To Turn Solar Energy Into Steam

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Researchers at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology‘s Department of Mechanical Engineering, have created a material that can efficiently transfer thermal solar energy into steam. It only uses one hundredth of the energy that conventional solar generators require for the same process.

Researchers at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology‘s Department of Mechanical Engineering, have created a material that can efficiently transfer thermal solar energy into steam.

It only uses one hundredth of the energy that conventional solar generators require for the same process.

According to the results of the study, the material is capable of converting 85 percent of the energy captured from the sun into steam.

The material is made up of graphite flakes covering a piece of carbon foam floating on water.

When heat from the sun hits the surface, it brings water up through the pores of the material, making it evaporate.

Hadi Ghasemi, a postdoctoral MIT student who led the development of the material is quoted as saying: "Steam is important for desalination, hygiene systems, and sterilization. Especially in remote areas where the sun is the only source of energy, if you can generate steam with solar energy, it would be very useful."

Their design is a relatively inexpensive way to convert solar energy, and it reportedly works better than other methods because it has lower heat loss.

The development of this technology might lead to even cheaper and more efficient methods for using sustainable energy from the sun to create steam.

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