Solar-powered thermal batteries release heat on demand

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If successfully scaled for commercial use, a new thermal battery that has been developed by researchers from the University of Massachusetts Amherst could revolutionize the way heat is accessed in rural and off-grid locations. Made from a chemical composite called AzoPMA that combines fatty acids with a light-activated compound, the new phase change material does away with the need for extensive, and expensive, insulation. Most phase change materials lose heat quickly and unpredictably after being altered. AzoPMA, on the other hand, is capable of storing energy for significantly longer periods of time, with the heat being released when a light…

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