Researchers at the University of Sydney and University of New South Wales working with chemists at the University of Wisconsin-Madison in the United States have created a highly efficient and long-lasting solar-flow battery, which is a way to generate, store, and redeliver renewable electricity from the sun in one device.

The new device is made of perovskite-silicon tandem solar cells integrated with specially designed chemical battery components. The solar-flow battery achieved a new record efficiency of 20 percent conversion of energy from the sun. This is 40 percent more efficient than the previous record for solar-flow batteries, which were also developed in the University of Wisconsin Jin lab where lead author, PhD student Wenjie Li, is based.

Professor Anita Ho-Baillie at the University of Sydney Nano Institute and postdoctoral researcher Dr Jianghui Zheng at UNSW designed and fabricated the perovskite-silicon tandem solar cells so that they can maintain their performance and stability while withstanding the chemicals in a flow battery.

This research could potentially yield a new way to harvest, store and use the sun's energy for solar home systems.

This work is a collaboration between UW-Madison, Utah State University, King Abdullah University of Science and Technology in Saudi Arabia, the City University of Hong Kong, UNSW and the University of Sydney.