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    Efficient solar energy storage is a key challenge in striving toward a sustainable future. For this reason, molecules capable of solar energy storage and release through valence isomerization, for so-called molecular solar thermal energy storage (MOST), have been investigated. Energy storage by photoconversion of the dihydroazulene/vinylheptafulvene (DHA/VHF) photothermal couple has been evaluated. The robust nature of this system is determined through multiple energy storage and release cycles at elevated temperatures in three different solvents. In a nonpolar solvent such as toluene, the DHA/VHF system can be cycled more than 70 times with less than 0.01 % degradation per cycle. Moreover, the [Cu(CH3 CN)4 ]PF6 -catalyzed conversion of VHF into DHA was demonstrated in a flow reactor. The performance of the DHA/VHF couple was also evaluated in prototype photoconversion devices, both in the laboratory by using a flow chip under simulated sunlight and under outdoor conditions by using a parabolic mirror. Device experiments demonstrated a solar energy storage efficiency of up to 0.13 % in the chip device and up to 0.02 % in the parabolic collector. Avenues for future improvements and optimization of the system are also discussed. © 2017 Wiley-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, Weinheim.


    Zhihang Wang, Jonas Udmark, Karl Börjesson, Rita Rodrigues, Anna Roffey, Maria Abrahamsson, Mogens Brøndsted Nielsen, Kasper Moth-Poulsen. Evaluating Dihydroazulene/Vinylheptafulvene Photoswitches for Solar Energy Storage Applications. ChemSusChem. 2017 Aug 10;10(15):3049-3055

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    PMID: 28644559

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