Pyrazolium Phase Change Materials for Solar-Thermal and Wind Energy Storage

Renewable energy has the ultimate capacity to resolve the environmental and scarcity challenges of the world’s energy supplies. However, both the utility of these sources and the economics of their implementation are strongly limited by their intermittent nature; inexpensive means of energy storage therefore needs to be part of the design. Distributed thermal energy storage is surprisingly underdeveloped in this context, in part due to the lack of advanced storage materials. Here, we describe a novel family of thermal energy storage materials based on pyrazolium cation, that operate in the 100-220°C temperature range, offering safe, inexpensive capacity, opening new pathways for high efficiency collection and storage of both solar-thermal energy, as well as excess wind power. We probe the molecular origins of the high thermal energy storage capacity of these ionic materials and demonstrate extended cycling that provides a basis for further scale up and development.