"To be awarded the Göran Gustafsson Prize means a lot to me. It shows that one has done something good, and it is nice to be noticed for that", says Kasper Moth-Poulsen in a press release from the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences.
How we can store energy from the sun is one of our big problems for a sustainable future. Kasper Moth-Poulsen believes that he has found part of the solution. His group of researchers at Chalmers has, among other things, developed a specially designed molecule that can capture the energy from the sun's rays and emit it as heat much later. When the molecule is hit by the sunlight it changes shape into an energy-rich isomer that can be stored. By using the molecule in a window film, it may be possible to heat homes and have a comfortable indoor environment, throughout the day.
With the help of the solar energy storage system, Most, which the research group has developed, it is possible to save energy for up to 18 years. But very recently, they have also started a new project to develop a material that can both store solar energy and absorb energy from the environment, as well as emit it as heat. Instead of liquids, they will now use solids. The material should be able to do several things at the same time, and the hope is that the two different systems will be able to be combined in the future.
This year it is 30 years since the Göran Gustafsson Prize for Young Researchers in Sweden was awarded for the first time. In addition to Chalmers the 2021 prize winners are from Linköping University, Karolinska Institutet and KTH. They will each receive more than SEK 5 million. Most famous among previous laureates is Emmanuelle Charpentier, last year's Nobel laureate in chemistry, who received the Göran Gustafsson Prize in 2014.