Reinventing the capacitor



These days, big inventions aren’t entirely new creations, but improvements on an old idea. This latest in a string of interesting science/technology breakthrough stories is about just that. Researchers at MIT (how many sentences have I started like that this week?) have developed a new way of constructing a capacitor. One of the limiting factors with HOW much charge a capacitor stores now is the surface area of the “plates” that hold charge. The greater the surface area, the greater the charge. What they’ve done is laced the surface with nano-tubes, greatly increasing the surface area. One writer compared this to a fuzzy bathroom towel soaking up more water than a flat cloth. Probably not a bad analogy. What makes this significant….


Is that among the main limiting factors with current battery technology are…. 1) long charge times, 2) heavy – hard to pack more wattage into fewer pounds…. 3) they lose their ability to recharge and have to be disposed of. The gains in holding charge would about put these capacitors on par with current battery technology. They would probably be lighter than a traditional lead-acid battery. They would have a VERY quick charge time and the charge/discharge cycle could occur hundreds of thousands of times.

The only downside would seem to be controlling the output voltage, because if you’ve worked with capacitors before, you know they can shoot all of their energy in one quick blast (of course if you short a battery you can do some pretty impressive discharging too.) That quality could be advantagous in some circumstances with capacitors though. (Batteries can overheat and BAD things can happen with too heavy a discharge.)

Anyway, yet another neat tech story this week out of MIT.

Related Posts

Blog Traffic Exchange Related Posts
  • IBM releasing new type of web search technology It looks as though IBM has some ideas about revolutionizing the way data on the internet is searched. Instead of keyword based searching, they will release technology that allows searching of concepts and facts. They will be setting up a project at sourceforge.net by the end of the year and......
  • Sansa Clip Plus 8GB | Sansa Clip+ Back in the day I had got a Frontier Labs Audio player... it was the Nexia predecessor to the nexblack. It really was a pretty good music player. It supported compactflash for storage (no interntal storage.) It used double A batteries and had real buttons. MP3 was the primary audio......
  • Ultimate Christmas gift for the tech that has everything (else), a satellite? The story about the linux satellite that can be yours for a mere $10 million dollars caught my eye as I was skimming news this afternoon. Apparently a company called SpaceDev has launched the product called "SpaceDev Modular Microsat Bus™", which is a 220 pound satellite based on plug-n-play standard......
Blog Traffic Exchange Related Websites
  • Skil 18V Circular Saw Product Review This review is for the Skil 18v, which is a cordless circular saw that comes in the Skil combo kit #2895LI-20. The saws own model number is 5995. The 5995 has very good stats for a homeowner/do-it-yourselfer’s circular saw. The 0 load rpm is 4200, and the unit only weighs......
  • Defeated by technology. All kinds of things went wrong here. This was a better run than last weekend, but I was planning on 22 miles (adding Vettiner Park to the run).Defeated by technology. Garmin battery had discharged most of the way, so I allowed it to charge for ~ 45 minutes via AC......
  • Will Converting to Electric Cars Cost Us Nothing? I read a TechCrunch article today about how much it would cost to convert all fuel vehicles into electric vehicles. According to the article, Philip Greenspun calculates it will cost us nothing to convert to electric cars, but I beg to differ. He deduces that for the cost of annual......
en.pdf24.org    Send article as PDF   

Similar Posts


See what happened this day in history from either BBC Wikipedia
Search:
Keywords:
Amazon Logo

Comments are closed.


Switch to our mobile site