New Nanotube Batteries Recharge in Seconds
August 9, 2006 9:54 AM
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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
, 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: what about voltage change
8/9/2006 6:58:54 PM
the "Grid" in the US varies from 100,000 volts to 500,000 volts. Its usually generated at around 10,000 to 15,000 volts and transformers are used to step up the AC voltage for cross country distribution (higher voltage means less current, and therefore lower I*I*R losses) and step it down when it reaches local distribution points. The residential service running up and down your street is still probably 1000's of volts. step up and step down ability of AC is why (among other reasons) edison's DC distribution system didn't work.
"And boy have we patented it!" -- Steve Jobs, Macworld 2007
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