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The new batteries can also be recharged hundreds of thousands of times say MIT researchers

You could be charging your long lasting batteries in a matter of seconds in the future if several researchers at MIT get their way. According to a report on ScienCentralNews, researchers at MIT have discovered a new way of making batteries that involves using millions of nanotubes. Leaping over traditional battery technologies, the new types of batteries are based on capacitors, which have been around even longer than the battery itself.

A capacitor maintains a charge by relying on two metallic electrodes. The actual storage capacity of a capacitor is directly proportional to the surface area of those electrodes, and unfortunately making a capacitor in traditional battery sizes means that the electrode surface area is simply too small. To overcome this, the researchers cover the electrodes with millions of nanotube filaments, effectively increasing the surface area.

According to research team leader Joel Schindall "[the nanotube battery] could be recharged many, many times perhaps hundreds of thousands of times, and ... it could be recharged very quickly, just in a matter of seconds rather than a matter of hours." With such promise, Schindall and his team believes that the new technology will revolutionize portable electronics as well as the automotive industry. "Larger devices such as automobiles where you could regeneratively re-use the energy of motion and therefore improve the energy efficiency and fuel economy."

The research team at MIT is hoping that this new promising technology will show up in the market in less than five years from now.

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RE: How long would the charge last?
By smitty3268 on 8/9/2006 10:24:56 AM , Rating: 2
The article says that the charge of capacitors will last longer than that of a traditional chemical battery. What it doesn't mention is how much power it could hold - although it does say old ones without nanotech hold 25 times less than chemical batteries of a similar size.

It sounds to me like this is more for cars and perhaps eventually laptops, but won't be replacing AA batteries any time soon.

RE: How long would the charge last?
By Etsp on 8/9/2006 4:24:05 PM , Rating: 2
"although it does say old ones without nanotech hold 25 times less than chemical batteries of a similar size. " Lets try to compare the traditional capacitors to ones with nano-tubes... We'll use water absorbance to represent electric capacity. The
traditional capacitors would be like printer paper while the new ones would be like a fluffy cotton towel. Actually, a comparison similar to what I just said was on DT's earlier article about this subject... in any case, my point is don't use traditional capacitors as a reference to nanotube capacitors in terms of how much energy they can store.

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