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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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By Chernobyl68 on 8/9/2006 6:51:29 PM , Rating: 2
I love how those articles of the pure electric car always talk about the ease of plugging the car in in your garage overnight and letting it recharge overnight when electricity is cheaper.
OK, now picture 200 million of those vehicles charging themselves overnight. no more cheap rates.
Not to mention that I have yet to live (or ever heard of) residential power that is billed based on time of day. 99.9999% just look at your total KW-hrs. There's proposals for that kind of billing in California and maybe other places, but it would require a huge investment by the power companies for that new meter set up on your power connection. The cost of which, of course, will be passed on to the consumer.
And of course, none of that will help us folks who live in apartments and can't install that kind of equipment in our parking area.

I don't think its a bad idea, electric cars will probably be inevitable at some point (I'm thinking after we perfect Fusion power plants...! or gas reaches $40 a gallon a la SJgames "Car Wars") But its not going to be as simple as current proponents think. There's a lot of infrastructure to consider.



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