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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: Charging power requirements
By lucyfek on 8/9/2006 9:06:48 PM , Rating: 2
120/240v - i have to check on this one (and true, i know that there is big outlet for oven, dryer...but i'd thought these were 3 phaze current outlets). i don't understand why someone set stanadard voltage to 110 (it kills just like 220, but requires more expensive wiring) and transformer station with two separate volatages and power lines seem complicated (time to read somehing on this). in europe you get 220 but with some tricks you get 360V (3 phase current - maybe not in regular apartments, but at single homes, farms etc no problem) (or whatever is it).

RE: Charging power requirements
By MontagGG on 8/10/2006 7:55:31 AM , Rating: 2
Sorry to rain on you parade, but 3 phase power in US is either 230 or 460 V. Also, you guys have 50 hz power cycle, while the US has 60 hz. Higher frequency for the win!

RE: Charging power requirements
By lucyfek on 8/10/2006 10:47:37 AM , Rating: 2
well, it happens so that i've moved to States so we get wet together. i was just trying to say that 110 seems wastefull (transmission loss, more expensive wires), but i,m in no way an expert on 3p current (and the effective voltages on both sides of the pond). as the simlest example of waste - try to use a vacum cleaner (~1k) and check the power cable - hot - i've never noticed the same thing back in 220 land (unless the power cord was the sh... possible). 60 Hz - good for old tv (less flicker but lower resolution over the same band). different standards - bad for all of us (unless all the stuff you use works over any voltage/frequency)

RE: Charging power requirements
By johnsonx on 8/10/2006 1:58:15 PM , Rating: 2
no, they don't supply two different voltages. A 230v AC circuit consists of two wires, each with a 230v peak-to-valley 60hz waveform. The two waveforms are 180 degrees out of phase, so if both wires are attached to one device, it gets 230v AC. To supply power to the regular 115V outlets in a home, only 1 of the main supply wires is connected to a given circuit; the other wires in the circuit are are grounded (yes, the 'neutral' pin and the 'ground' pin in a 3-prong house plug are both grounded; there's no real difference between the two). So relative to ground, a device gets 115v AC.

(or 240/120v, or 220/110v... voltage levels vary a bit; I think the official US standard is 230/115, but I've measured anywhere from just under 110 to just over 120... seems 117 or so is what I see most often).

Secondly, transmission loss isn't an issue related to the final supply voltage. The ONLY time voltage on the wires gets as low as 240v is on the final run from the pole to the house; I don't know the exact voltages, but the voltage on the local (neighborhood) grid wires is somewhere in the 1000 volt range. The bigger lines that carry power from the substations to the local neighboorhood grids are higher again, and so on till you get to the 100,000 volt (and higher probably!) distribution lines.

"There is a single light of science, and to brighten it anywhere is to brighten it everywhere." -- Isaac Asimov

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