The so called magic is in the idea of a super-capacitor. Typically batteries store a lot of energy, but it can take a long time for that energy to collate into a cell. On average capacitors charge quickly, but they do not hold the 'charge' very long whereas super-capacitors take the best of both these technologies to create a device that charges quickly and will hold a large amount of energy for a long time. Nowadays micro super-capacitors bring this technology scaled-down, thus, appropriate for modern day cell phones (smart phones) and laptops.
Micro super-capacitors are not a new concept/idea, but the belief is that these devices can charge very quickly and which have the potential for more energy storage vs. typical batteries, and might one day have the ability to power much of what now runs on less efficient batteries. The major hurdle has been that the procedure for creating these micro structures is not cost-effective, and, therefore, limited to the appeal of private-equity investors.
Interestingly a recent breakthrough by UCLA Professor Richard Kaner and his graduate student Maher El-Kady, by using a laser optical drive (usually employed to label DVDs) and Graphene to mass produce these micro super-capacitors (a research project Clean Technica - reported on back in March 2012). Subsequently the researchers published their findings in the February 2013 issue of Nature Communications. Kaner and El-Kady foresee the benefit for the micro super-capacitors in permanent structures, such as bio-medical implants, but some of the most promising applications lay in the renewable energy sector.
Traditionally renewable energy production methods, such as wind and solar are great options for reducing the need for energy derived from fossil fuels. However, the seasonal nature of these energy methodologies can pose a problem for the proliferation of these energy technologies. Therefore, having a battery to store the energy generated by wind turbines and solar panels will provide a constant stream of energy whether or not the sun shining or the wind is blowing.
Moving forward - Professor Kaner is now seeking funding for the novel process (as Graphene micro super-capacitors). If successful, this could be the first step to a nano-revolution in the marriage of renewable energy methods and energy capture. External observers are very interested to foresee how such a nascent nanotechnology is implemented. For example, what is best for the consumer is not always what's best for the energy company. Ultimately having a means to cheaply store and deliberately release energy - produced using sustainable methods signifies a radical and long-awaited boost to the sector. If the process were applied to the renewable energy storage sector - we would then foresee an increase in solar, wind and thermal home and commercial manufacture and installation. Such an increase is directly related to the future growth potentials in solar and wind job training/procurement, manufacturing, shipping, installation and maintenance industries. Whatever direction the development of Kaner and his team's micro super-capacitor is, and if it is proven to work on a large-scale we can than look forward to major changes with long-reaching repercussions. Original article available here
DCN Corp finds the above research interesting, and is wondering if the same can be achieved from the company's nano dip coating displacement protocol? If so, and you or your colleagues are interested in making the above a reality - please ensure to contact the company as soon as practicably possible.