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
  • Yahoo Search Shortcuts I haven't used yahoo search too much in quite a while, but there is an interesting post in their search blog about Yahoo Shortcuts. An example is typing in !ebay lamps takes you to ebay.com and searches for lamps. (Part of me is asking, why not just go to ebay......
  • Music industry to take on lyric sites In another move that will frustrate millions... The recording industry is set to take on sites that provide lyrics (or scores) of licensed songs. I know I've searched for song lyrics many times because I couldn't make out what the words were by listening to the song (and the label......
  • Ultra Capacitor Flashlight | 90 second charge | Light for Life Flashlight This looks NICE... The new Light for Life flashlight which uses an ultracapacitor instead of batteries. Because of the ultracapacitor it takes 90 seconds to charge up. It uses LED lights and can run for 90 minutes on that 90 second charge. I see some uses that this wouldn't be......
Blog Traffic Exchange Related Websites
  • 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......
  • E-mail To Phone - Revolutionary Device Or High Tech Hype? What will these technology geeks arrive up with next? Barely each day goes by anymore, that some new and "cool" high tech gadget or service is unveiled. Anyhow, one of latest I've come across is something called "email to telephone" and I just wanted to pass along my ideas on......
  • Your Used Laptop Batteries in Future Cars Due to increased awareness about global warming and the mysterious rising of oil prices, there has been an increased demand for green hybrid electric vehicles. A green hybrid electric vehicle is a vehicle that is a combination of gas and an electric motor, which uses far less than the average......
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