Russians harness star power in new battery

Russian scientists have invented a battery that can capture energy not only from the sun, but also from the stars, the head of a research institute at the Dubna Nuclear Institute, near Moscow, said.

"The scientists have successfully created a new substance," Valentin Samoilov announced, "thanks to which this battery can work on earth, independently of meteorological conditions, using solar and stellar energy.

"This is a battery like no other," Samoilov, who head's the Institute's center for applied research, told the Itar-Tass news agency, explaining that it could function 24 hours a day and was twice as effective as an ordinary solar panel at converting light into electricity.

Moreover, Samoilov declared, the new battery was cheaper than a solar panel.

© 2006 AFP