Video: The battery that might change everything

posted at 1:01 pm on February 23, 2013 by Jazz Shaw

It’s time for a short break from politics and a brief excursion into… SCIENCE! (Yes, yes… I know. Republicans don’t care about science, but this may turn out to be important for your smart phone. More on that later.)

Some of the great scientific breakthroughs of the last century came about entirely by accident. Many of you are probably familiar with the origins of the Post It Note, and how it was invented as a result of a failure when attempting to create a super strong adhesive. Well, there may be another such story taking place in the present day. Scientists working with carbon compounds developed Graphene, a safe substance with a lot of structural strength for very little mass and weight. And then some wise guy discovered that it had another use.

The recap: Graphene, a very simple carbon polymer, can be used as the basic component of a “supercapacitor” — an electrical power storage device that charges far more rapidly than chemical batteries. Unlike other supercapacitors, though, graphene’s structure also offers a high “energy density,” — it can hold a lot of electrons, meaning that it could conceivably rival or outperform batteries in the amount of charge it can hold. Kaner Lab researcher Maher El-Kady found a way to create sheets of graphene a single carbon atom thick by covering a plastic surface with graphite oxide solution and bombarding it with precisely controlled laser light.

That last sentence may sound pretty complicated, but the article’s author provides a translation for the layman.

He painted a DVD with a liquid carbon solution and stuck it into a standard-issue DVD burner.

The result was a shockingly thin supercapacitor which could store up a large amount of electrical energy in no time flat. The potential for this sort of discovery should be obvious. Unlike heavy metal batteries, the carbon compound is biodegradable and cheap to manufacture. And a battery made of layers of this material could charge your cell phone for a full day’s use in – wait for it – two seconds. A ramped up version could charge an electric car in a minute or two. (No word on how likely it will be to catch on fire, but bonus points if it doesn’t.)

Here’s the video I mentioned. It’s not long and explains the process better than I ever could. I have to say, this is pretty exciting stuff if it comes to fruition.

The Super Supercapacitor | Brian Golden Davis from Focus Forward Films on Vimeo.


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Comment pages: 1 2

Yes, yes… I know. Republicans don’t care about science…

So that’s why they took my elephant card away.

cozmo on February 23, 2013 at 1:03 PM

Many of you are probably familiar with the origins of the Post It Note

I like the microwave oven story better.

cozmo on February 23, 2013 at 1:04 PM

If this is for real, it will be amazing!

Blaise on February 23, 2013 at 1:06 PM

Graphene, a very simple carbon polymer

Isn’t carbon bad? If EPA doesn’t keep this from ever seeing the light of day, The Goreacle will make a mint from the carbon credits…

affenhauer on February 23, 2013 at 1:06 PM

He painted a DVD with a liquid carbon solution and stuck it into a standard-issue DVD burner.

Bwahahaha! I love it!

Unlike heavy metal batteries, the carbon compound is biodegradable and cheap to manufacture. And a battery made of layers of this material could charge your cell phone for a full day’s use in –

Yes, yes, YES!

Lead-acid batteries are hideously toxic, Lion batteries don’t degrade and are $$$ to make.

MelonCollie on February 23, 2013 at 1:07 PM

A ramped up version could charge an electric car in a minute or two.

The enviro-fascists are going to hate this. Like fracking, it’s not about the environment and never was.

RadClown on February 23, 2013 at 1:08 PM

And there’s the wireless electricity

http://txchnologist.com/post/43160353907/wireless-electricity-transmission-being-deployed-to

CW on February 23, 2013 at 1:09 PM

On this issue of science and new things, here is a video, true or not, invented by a gal in china and vw is doing this. This is really something if as I said if true? You decide.

http://www.flixxy.com/volkswagen-levitating-car.htm
L

letget on February 23, 2013 at 1:13 PM

SCIENCE! (Yes, yes… I know. Republicans don’t care about science,

dude? I’m a scientist.

ted c on February 23, 2013 at 1:13 PM

The result was a shockingly thin supercapacitor which could store up a large amount of electrical energy in no time flat.

wow! that is interesting.

ted c on February 23, 2013 at 1:14 PM

…TAX IT!…

KOOLAID2 on February 23, 2013 at 1:15 PM

Wonderful! Maybe it will put Statoil out of buisness and that damn ad won’t jump across my screen.

Limerick on February 23, 2013 at 1:15 PM

very interesting. Did the cap and trade bill create this?

ted c on February 23, 2013 at 1:18 PM

This sounds like something we need to tax the bejesus out of.

/

Curtiss on February 23, 2013 at 1:18 PM

Speaking of “batteries,” will this type of energy source need to be subsidized by us, for Sandra Fluke, and her ilk?

OhEssYouCowboys on February 23, 2013 at 1:18 PM

Many of you are probably familiar with the origins of the Post It Note

Romy and Michele came up with that:

Christie: So, Mi-chelle! What are you up to?
Michele: Oh, okay. Um, I invented Post-Its.
Christie: No offense, Michele, but how in the world did *you* think of Post-Its?
Michele: Uh…
[looks across the room at Romy talking to Billy Christianson]
Romy: And I thought of them completely by myself. I mean, all Michele did was say: “What about making them yellow?”
Michele: [turns to the A Group] Actually I invented a special kind of glue.
Christie: Oh really? Well then I’m sure you wouldn’t mind giving us a detailed account of exactly how you concocted this miracle glue, would you?
Michele: No. Um, well, ordinarily when you make glue first you need to thermoset your resin and then after it cools you have to mix in an epoxide, which is really just a fancy-schmancy name for any simple oxygenated adhesive, right? And then I thought maybe, just maybe, you could raise the viscosity by adding a complex glucose derivative during the emulsification process and it turns out I was right.

Paul-Cincy on February 23, 2013 at 1:21 PM

Tax it ? Nah…….they’ll ban it first ’cause it wasn’t rat ears idea.

Lucano on February 23, 2013 at 1:24 PM

SCIENCE! (Yes, yes… I know. Republicans don’t care about science,

dude? I’m a scientist.

ted c on February 23, 2013 at 1:13 PM

I just took this as an ode to Thomas Dolby.

You might not be old enough, or I might be dead wrong, but it was the first thing that I thought of.

OhEssYouCowboys on February 23, 2013 at 1:24 PM

And just think about how this could make those tiny surveillance drones even tinier so the government could better keep track of how securely you’re storing your assault weapons.

Or watch what you’re typing on those extreme right wing blogs.

Curtiss on February 23, 2013 at 1:26 PM

I dunno about this. I hope it works out, but my first thought was that if it could be charged up that fast, it could also accidentally discharge that fast. And that could be extremely dangerous. I think I want a series resistor built into it.

Steven Den Beste on February 23, 2013 at 1:26 PM

Is hot air becoming gizmodo? i’m ok with that

johnnyboy on February 23, 2013 at 1:32 PM

I don’t know if this is too good to be true or not. If it is legit, it would be a MAJOR game changer. It would mean, among other things, that we would not need to import rare earth metals from China and other unsavory regimes to make our batteries. It would also make battery power a serious rival to internal combustion because we wouldn’t have to sit around for 4 hours to recharge our cars. This could change everything.

MJBrutus on February 23, 2013 at 1:32 PM

Will the proposed carbon tax apply?

meci on February 23, 2013 at 1:36 PM

I just took this as an ode to Thomas Dolby.

You might not be old enough, or I might be dead wrong, but it was the first thing that I thought of.

OhEssYouCowboys on February 23, 2013 at 1:24 PM

Oh Im plenty old enough, I remember the video back when MTV used to play them.

ted c on February 23, 2013 at 1:37 PM

On this issue of science and new things, here is a video, true or not, invented by a gal in china and vw is doing this. This is really something if as I said if true? You decide.

http://www.flixxy.com/volkswagen-levitating-car.htm
L

letget on February 23, 2013 at 1:13 PM

At the bottom, in English.

The “People’s Car” project allowed Internet users in China to post ideas about cars of the future. From the 119,000 ideas received. three vehicle and technology concepts were produced and are now on display at the 2012 Beijing auto show. Watch this brave a Chinese couple hover around the city in the first (computer animated) test drive of this Volkswagen concept car.

budfox on February 23, 2013 at 1:38 PM

If it stands…

COOL!!!

Saltysam on February 23, 2013 at 1:38 PM

Tesla’s dream was wireless power transmission. This is of the same class of importance, IMHO. And then the government will soon prohibit the manufacture of conventional batteries, like with light bulbs.

Paul-Cincy on February 23, 2013 at 1:38 PM

It would could also make battery power a serious rival to internal combustion because we wouldn’t have to sit around for 4 hours to recharge our cars. This could change everything.

MJBrutus on February 23, 2013 at 1:32 PM

As I see it anyway….

Saltysam on February 23, 2013 at 1:40 PM

My first thought was the same as Steven Den Beste’s.

Chemical batteries can catch fire or release toxins if damaged. A supercapacitor that was damaged or punctured may have the potential to become a literal thunderbolt.

In your electric car, or in your pants.

tbrosz on February 23, 2013 at 1:41 PM

The photo of the battery kinda reminds me of this guy. Which one will have lasting power? Who knows.

Bmore on February 23, 2013 at 1:42 PM

Charge a car battery in a few minutes?

Watt is wrong here?

A typical house has a 200 amp service at 220V.
That is 44,000 watts….per hour.

A typical electric vehicle may use 500 Watts/hour per mile.

So in theory, you could get 88 miles if you use all of your power delivered to your house…for an hour.

It might be better to install a 100Amp outlet in the garage and charge these batteries in 2 hours.

Electrongod on February 23, 2013 at 1:43 PM

Steven Den Beste on February 23, 2013 at 1:26 PM

I think in this case the charging can be done very rapidly, but you’re right, the discharge system will be through a series of resistors to control rate and current.

And all things being equal, any battery can be discharged very rapidly if the capacity for current were turned up all the way.

Sgt Steve on February 23, 2013 at 1:44 PM

budfox on February 23, 2013 at 1:38 PM

Gosh, I am sorry I didn’t see that it was first (computer animated) test. I somehow didn’t think this was actually a working ‘car’.

I will try to look better next time before I post something like this.
L

letget on February 23, 2013 at 1:44 PM

Oh Im plenty old enough, I remember the video back when MTV used to play them.

ted c on February 23, 2013 at 1:37 PM

Yes, back when the “M” stood for music, instead of misfits.

OhEssYouCowboys on February 23, 2013 at 1:45 PM

Isn’t carbon bad? If EPA doesn’t keep this from ever seeing the light of day, The Goreacle will make a mint from the carbon credits…

affenhauer on February 23, 2013 at 1:06 PM

Nah, this is sequestering carbon, so it’s all good.

The greenies will come up with some other reason to oppose this though. After all, with them, it’s not really about the environment, it’s about eliminating technology and progress. They tried it in the seventies with smog control, then somebody came up with the catalytic converter. Totally screwed up their plans to destroy the auto industry.

AZfederalist on February 23, 2013 at 1:47 PM

And there’s the wireless electricity

http://txchnologist.com/post/43160353907/wireless-electricity-transmission-being-deployed-to

CW on February 23, 2013 at 1:09 PM

eh….wouldn’t that be ‘lightning’?

BobMbx on February 23, 2013 at 1:48 PM

I work for a high tech computer storage company — Our CEO used to say that even though we were coming up with some pretty advanced stuff, the thing that would revolutionize the computer industry the most would have to be a new paradigm in battery technology.

KS Rex on February 23, 2013 at 1:49 PM

letget on February 23, 2013 at 1:13 PM

The big question: Does it take more energy to lift a few thousand pounds a few inches into the air and hold them there, or does it take more energy to overcome the rolling resistance of four low rolling resistance wheels and keep them rolling?

unclesmrgol on February 23, 2013 at 1:52 PM

How big a “carbon-footprint” does this stuff make?

If it’s too small, I’m not interested.

listens2glenn on February 23, 2013 at 1:52 PM

Carbon, the gift that keeps on giving. Instead of burning hydrocarbon oil they can make it a battery and water with it.

tjexcite on February 23, 2013 at 1:52 PM

Will women call it the who-needs-a-man battery? And imagine that noisy toy your kid has that you hate, running all day.

Otherwise it’s a great leap forward, especially since the global-warming crowd might finally shut up for once and for good.

Liam on February 23, 2013 at 1:53 PM

this could make solar power doable on a large scale. As of now the basic problem with solar and renewable power in general is the lack of cheap energy storage during no peak times. if we can now store that energy quickly and cheaply then the age of fossil fuel as a heating source is over. simple as that. Still think fossil fuels will b eneeded for transportation but heating and electrical generation not so much.

unseen on February 23, 2013 at 1:53 PM

The flux capacitor lives!

unclesmrgol on February 23, 2013 at 1:54 PM

Wireless electricity?

Sweet mother of Tesla!

connertown on February 23, 2013 at 1:58 PM

Two points:
1) This isn’t a battery, it’s a capacitor.The big issue with capacitors has been that they leak charge when not connected to an energy source. Is this different?

2) The tendency to completely discharge in a matter of milliseconds cannot be over-emphasized. These devices have safety issues that must be addressed if they are to be used in new applications.

mad scientist on February 23, 2013 at 1:58 PM

Got that ‘too good to be true’ sound to it, but hopefully something positive comes from it.

Knott Buyinit on February 23, 2013 at 1:59 PM

this could make solar power doable on a large scale. As of now the basic problem with solar and renewable power in general is the lack of cheap energy storage during no peak times.

Actually the storage challenge is overplayed. There are a number of next generation battery technologies that all hold the same promise, but the solar haters don’t want to hear it.

Good to see the importance and reality of scientific progress actually covered by HotAir.

bayam on February 23, 2013 at 2:03 PM

mad scientist on February 23, 2013 at 1:58 PM

If you watched the movie, his one inch by one inch capacitor powered an led for over five minutes without a resister in the circuit. That implies that this device combines attributes of a capacitor and a battery — it has a resistance to discharge.

unclesmrgol on February 23, 2013 at 2:04 PM

Countdown to Obama taking credit for this in 3 . . . 2 . . . 1 . . .

SoRight on February 23, 2013 at 2:09 PM

Actually the storage challenge is overplayed. There are a number of next generation battery technologies that all hold the same promise, but the solar haters don’t want to hear it.

Good to see the importance and reality of scientific progress actually covered by HotAir.

bayam on February 23, 2013 at 2:03 PM

think so far it has been less about solar haters then price points. One of the big drawbacks of solar power is cost and set times of use. One of those cost has been stoarge. the cheaper solar power becomes the more widespread it becomes as a capitalist I would use solar power if it is chaeper than oil, gas, or coal generation. I’m not going solar just because its “cleaner” I’ll go solar when its cheaper and has the same “uptime” as reg electrical service.

unseen on February 23, 2013 at 2:12 PM

bayam on February 23, 2013 at 2:03 PM

The problem with anything constructed of exotic metals is that they are bad for the environment.

As for your snark — the test we use here is that the energy density of the device must be equal to or higher than the energy density of the gasoline tank it replaces for the technology to be viable in an equivalent use.

It’s a reasonable test, don’t you think?

unclesmrgol on February 23, 2013 at 2:16 PM

mad scientist on February 23, 2013 at 1:58 PM

unclesmrgol on February 23, 2013 at 2:04 PM

Mad scientists don’t perform the necessary research to draw the right conclusion.

That’s why they are mad.

cozmo on February 23, 2013 at 2:16 PM

It’s a reasonable test, don’t you think?

unclesmrgol on February 23, 2013 at 2:16 PM

bayam has never been reasonable in his life.

cozmo on February 23, 2013 at 2:17 PM

Well did the battery developer drive on a bridge or road to be able to build this?

Then they owe it all to the government from which all knowledge and power flows.

We must worship the government and it’s most high and loyal priests (the Ruling class).

….BUT it would make it easier if we could get a 90 foot statue to bow down in the image of our great leader (with lots or pretty lights powered by this batt-tree of course).

PappyD61 on February 23, 2013 at 2:21 PM

Good to see the importance and reality of scientific progress actually covered by HotAir.

bayam on February 23, 2013 at 2:03 PM

.
There’s all kinds of scientists, and scientific interest among conservatives.

But their conclusions contradict yours. That’s where the problem lies.

listens2glenn on February 23, 2013 at 2:33 PM

unclesmrgol on February 23, 2013 at 2:04 PM

Actually it “proves” that the energy stored was approximately equal to power a LED for 5 minutes. If you were looking for some massive discharge from a capacitor that small then you are mistaken.

mad scientist on February 23, 2013 at 2:39 PM

cozmo on February 23, 2013 at 2:16 PM

Try again.

mad scientist on February 23, 2013 at 2:40 PM

listens2glenn on February 23, 2013 at 2:33 PM

Oh dude, don’t use them for corroboration. Went there to see what they were about. Full of holes and a racket.

cozmo on February 23, 2013 at 2:42 PM

2) The tendency to completely discharge in a matter of milliseconds cannot be over-emphasized. These devices have safety issues that must be addressed if they are to be used in new applications.

mad scientist on February 23, 2013 at 1:58 PM

Think ‘military application’.

socalcon on February 23, 2013 at 2:43 PM

It’s only good if it funnels billions into the pockets of Obama donors, otherwise kill it.

vityas on February 23, 2013 at 2:43 PM

unseen on February 23, 2013 at 2:12 PM

The other issue is transport; i.e. putting up power lines between a city and whatever God-forsaken windy place where it’s best to install windmills.
I see a lot of windmills in Palm Springs, Ca. but I wouldn’t want to live there.

mad scientist on February 23, 2013 at 2:44 PM

Looks like this has reached the point to get some ‘serious’ engineers on the project. IF Steve Jobs were alive he would have likely directed appropriate resources into the engineering phase of this idea.

Someone to ponder running multiple lasers in parallel and running the material in a line. Then possibly rolling it into a small drum and slapping FreddyReady on the side! But hey, I just thinking about my remote control, and every kiddie toy there is, as a starting point. Of course, taking over a multi-billion unit battery business is likely to make someone a few bucks.

What I find ‘funny’ is that people like Obama, as demonstrated by his disdain for the engineers at Deplhi, never seem to appreciate engineers. In that case ‘was it a perfect example of the typical lawyer(who manipulates) vs an engineer(who creates) jealousy’, or ‘was it a political action to strictly take care of union doners’? I suspect it was a combination of both.

Freddy on February 23, 2013 at 2:44 PM

Try again.

mad scientist on February 23, 2013 at 2:40 PM

Why? You drew conclusions without watching the vid.

And your further remark is akin to the Wright brothers et al. giving up because the first flyer didn’t break the sound barrier while hauling 20 tons.

cozmo on February 23, 2013 at 2:44 PM

Pretty exciting, I hope it develops and is put into use quickly.

FloatingRock on February 23, 2013 at 2:45 PM

It wasn’t an accident — they have been working on this for years.

Count to 10 on February 23, 2013 at 2:45 PM

Potentially huge.

lexhamfox on February 23, 2013 at 2:49 PM

(No word on how likely it will be to catch on fire, but bonus points if it doesn’t.)

Anything that holds electrical energy, shorts when it is heated to burning temperature, and is flammable, has the potential to catch on fire like the batteries in the 787.

Count to 10 on February 23, 2013 at 2:50 PM

First, this video is sponsored by GE. Unfortunately, that makes me a little skeptical these days. (They’re just a little too eager to burnish their green credentials at the expense of … well, everything.)

Second, yes, folks mentioned the ZAP issue with capacitors. Anyone here recall what happened if you crossed the leads on a tv capacitor back in the day? Not good.

As for running a LED for 5 minutes – you can do that with the static your body produces. A hearing aid battery would have powered it for a day, probably.

Fourth, something is odd about what they show you. That thing doesn’t discharge at all, despite holding it with their hands, but it does as soon as the leads are attached. Yes, they are wearing very thin gloves. If those gloves prevent this thing from discharging, there’s a VERY weak charge in there. (Which might correspond to making a LED glow for only 5 minutes.)

Fifth, there is no density control with the production method. Not real believable.

Lastly, this is a FILMMAKER COMPETITION. You have been pwned. (IMHO)

GWB on February 23, 2013 at 2:53 PM

Combine the capacitor functionality with the original asset value “Graphene, a safe substance with a lot of structural strength for very little mass and weight”… Auto frame with reduced weight, sufficient strength and the ability to effectively power the vehicle…say good bye to $5 a gallon gas

or, your MacBook’s power comes from it’s shell– work for week on a laptop that weighs merely a pound (considering Apple’s use of the flash drive technology)?

socalcon on February 23, 2013 at 2:53 PM

This is nothing like the 787 batteries, which are full of lithium. Very reactive and flammable.

The danger from a capacitor is simple electrocution.

Prufrock on February 23, 2013 at 2:54 PM

Dude. I know Prof Kaner and that building is where I did my PhD work. Anyway – obviously the holy grail is to get a high energy density super capacitor. What is it for the graphene? Energy density of most super capacitors is still much too low to be competitive with batteries.

besser tot als rot on February 23, 2013 at 2:55 PM

The greenies will come up with some other reason to oppose this though. After all, with them, it’s not really about the environment…

AZfederalist on February 23, 2013 at 1:47 PM

What good is a rechargeable battery when you can’t afford the electricity to recharge it? When they shut down electricity generation except their precious wind and solar, the $/KWH for transportation will be beyond the reach of
most middle class families.

Oh, that’s right, they’ll give us energy stamps… like food stamps.

petefrt on February 23, 2013 at 2:56 PM

And much, much too low to be competitive with gasoline.

besser tot als rot on February 23, 2013 at 2:56 PM

Unfortunately, the charge lifetime is pretty short at the moment, a common issue with most capacitors and supercapacitors. Self-discharge drains it pretty quick. I was hoping (based on this publicity) that it would be less of a problem here… but the appendices to the paper here (p. 19) make it clear that this is a major issue in the carbon supercapacitors as well.

Prufrock on February 23, 2013 at 2:57 PM

A hearing aid battery would have powered it for a day, probably.

GWB on February 23, 2013 at 2:53 PM

GWB, you forgot…apples equal oranges…

“sheets of graphene a single carbon atom thick “

socalcon on February 23, 2013 at 2:58 PM

First, this video is sponsored by GE. Unfortunately, that makes me a little skeptical these days. (They’re just a little too eager to burnish their green credentials at the expense of … well, everything.)

GWB on February 23, 2013 at 2:53 PM

Ding ding ding!

Dollar to donut says this is full of hype, pie in sky, a GE propaganda piece.

petefrt on February 23, 2013 at 3:00 PM

Actually the storage challenge is overplayed. There are a number of next generation battery technologies that all hold the same promise, but the solar haters don’t want to hear it.

Good to see the importance and reality of scientific progress actually covered by HotAir.

bayam on February 23, 2013 at 2:03 PM

I’ll pay attention to solar when it produces energy at a cost competitive price.
Or produces more energy in it’s lifetime than it takes to make.

Count to 10 on February 23, 2013 at 3:00 PM

Competition with gasoline isn’t one-dimensional. Densities don’t have to be huge if charging lifetimes are in the seconds-to-minutes range. I charge my phone every day, and fill my car every couple of weeks. If I really could charge the car quickly in the evening, I’d have no issues with the storage density. If I could fill the battery in the same time that I can fill a tank, I could handle a 150-mile range.

That doesn’t address the generator emissions problem with electrics, or the delivery efficiency, or myriad other issues. Density’s not one I’d worry about here.

Prufrock on February 23, 2013 at 3:01 PM

This is nothing like the 787 batteries, which are full of lithium. Very reactive and flammable.

The danger from a capacitor is simple electrocution.

Prufrock on February 23, 2013 at 2:54 PM

Not if the insulator between the graphine sheets is a flammable plastic. One short dumps all of the electrically connected energy, which in turn could melt adjacent cells, causing a cascade of shorts, and venting vaporized plastic into the air, where it will burn.

Count to 10 on February 23, 2013 at 3:04 PM

Umm, no thanks. I’ll be holding on to my 100 mpg carburetor I’ve been hiding from the world since the ’70′s.

msupertas on February 23, 2013 at 3:05 PM

I’ll be holding on to my 100 mpg carburetor I’ve been hiding from the world since the ’70′s.

msupertas on February 23, 2013 at 3:05 PM

Can’t seem to get mine to work properly. The plans from the internet must be in error.

socalcon on February 23, 2013 at 3:06 PM

Competition with gasoline isn’t one-dimensional. Densities don’t have to be huge if charging lifetimes are in the seconds-to-minutes range. I charge my phone every day, and fill my car every couple of weeks. If I really could charge the car quickly in the evening, I’d have no issues with the storage density. If I could fill the battery in the same time that I can fill a tank, I could handle a 150-mile range.

That doesn’t address the generator emissions problem with electrics, or the delivery efficiency, or myriad other issues. Density’s not one I’d worry about here.

Prufrock on February 23, 2013 at 3:01 PM

Also, hybrid cars could get most of the energy savings from storing braking energy and releasing it seconds later to accelerate. You don’t really need a gigantic battery if you are willing to leave the engine on full time.

Count to 10 on February 23, 2013 at 3:07 PM

The other issue is transport; i.e. putting up power lines between a city and whatever God-forsaken windy place where it’s best to install windmills.
I see a lot of windmills in Palm Springs, Ca. but I wouldn’t want to live there.

mad scientist on February 23, 2013 at 2:44 PM

yeap but this could change that also. No need to tranport the current if it is made onsite and stored. little windmills instead of massive windfarms. Contained solar palels around the home instead of massive solar acres. of course that is far away and not cost effective atm but once the stoarge issue is settled the rest can come along. I alwaysthought renewable energy’s main issue was storage. be it wind or solar or thermal the energy is created slowly over time. If all 24 hours can be captured then released at the time it is needed then renewable energy has a chance to be maybe not cost effective but demand effective. Delivery power where and when it is needed is just if not more important that “cheap energy”

even if it is higher energy price at the start once the demand functions are solved there will be enough rich liberals to fund the business early adopters so to speak. Which will allow it to be a functional money enterprise that can fund itself as it reduces costs and brings it to the avg consumer…

but first the storage then the cheap energy I think.

unseen on February 23, 2013 at 3:09 PM

There are some interesting questions here. For instances, what is the storage capacity in cubic centimeters of Graphene? Are there Graphene alloys or composite polymers that have a greater per cubic centimeter storage capacity.

What happens if the Graphene storage cell is miniaturized and compartmentalized like silicon substrate i.e. a integrated circuit or computer chip?

SWalker on February 23, 2013 at 3:11 PM

Charge a car battery in a few minutes?

Watt is wrong here?

A typical house has a 200 amp service at 220V.
That is 44,000 watts….per hour.

A typical electric vehicle may use 500 Watts/hour per mile.

So in theory, you could get 88 miles if you use all of your power delivered to your house…for an hour.

It might be better to install a 100Amp outlet in the garage and charge these batteries in 2 hours.

Electrongod on February 23, 2013 at 1:43 PM

If this battery thingie actually functions and becomes commercially viable, I imagine we will soon be seeing commercial charging stations that deliver much higher wattage. Drive a few hours, pull into a charging station, plug your battery in, wander into the convenience store to pick up a few munchies, pay for both munchies and electricity and be back on the road — the same way we do now with gas. But that begs the question: Where does the electricity come from since the EPA is busily closing coal fueled power plants and dismantling the dams that produce hydro power. Natural gas? Then why mess with the battery? Just skip the battery and fuel your vehicle with CNG. (Supposing, of course, that the EPA doesn’t come up with a rule forbidding the unwashed masses to own personal vehicles. Think midieval consumption laws: Only individuals making in excess of $200,000 per year, working for the government and possessing a totally useless degree from an Ivy League school will be permitted to own a vehicle. The rest of us must use public transportation.)

catsandbooks on February 23, 2013 at 3:13 PM

Not if the insulator between the graphine sheets is a flammable plastic. One short dumps all of the electrically connected energy, which in turn could melt adjacent cells, causing a cascade of shorts, and venting vaporized plastic into the air, where it will burn.

Count to 10 on February 23, 2013 at 3:04 PM

I have burned Kapton, and I have burned lithium. Significant difference.

Also of note – oxygen accumulation around the anode. Caps don’t do that.

There are risks to capacitors – you’re just focusing in the wrong area.

Prufrock on February 23, 2013 at 3:13 PM

Can’t seem to get mine to work properly. The plans from the internet must be in error.

socalcon on February 23, 2013 at 3:06 PM

I’ve got the only “real” set of plans too. Bought all this back in the day from some kid named Dexter who worked in a Lab.

msupertas on February 23, 2013 at 3:17 PM

This is nothing like the 787 batteries, which are full of lithium. Very reactive and flammable.

The danger from a capacitor is simple electrocution.

Prufrock on February 23, 2013 at 2:54 PM

Sounds dangerous. Even lethal. We’ll probably have to register owners and ban high capacity electrons, just to be safe. If it saves on child from electrocution, it’s worth it.

Lily on February 23, 2013 at 3:19 PM

But that begs the question: Where does the electricity come from …

catsandbooks on February 23, 2013 at 3:13 PM

a standard-issue DVD burner.

socalcon on February 23, 2013 at 3:19 PM

I have burned Kapton, and I have burned lithium. Significant difference.

Also of note – oxygen accumulation around the anode. Caps don’t do that.
Prufrock on February 23, 2013 at 3:13 PM

Perhaps, but the question was if it could burn, not how bad it would be if it did.

Count to 10 on February 23, 2013 at 3:23 PM

I’ll be out of a job as soon as this goes into mass production… Which might carry me to full retirement in 13 years or so.

As a side note when will the eco-leftist dunces come to the rescue of the poor CDs used to make these?

RalphyBoy on February 23, 2013 at 3:23 PM

a standard-issue DVD burner.

socalcon on February 23, 2013 at 3:19 PM

I have a dual layer DVD burner..

That should get me to Disneyland…

Electrongod on February 23, 2013 at 3:26 PM

If folks are so hot about electric cars, this is what will make them viable–the ability to charge for another few hundred miles in the time it takes to stretch your legs and eat some fast food.

Sekhmet on February 23, 2013 at 3:30 PM

According to my hard science degree and subscription to Scientific American I apparently care about and follow developments in actual sciences. What I don’t care about is social engineering dolled up with some lipstick and a dress to masquerade as science.

JeremiahJohnson on February 23, 2013 at 3:35 PM

unseen on February 23, 2013 at 3:09 PM

Probably still not economically feasible vs. conventional.

One of the issues with solar and wind is their unreliable nature; you need a reliable backup capable of handling 85% of peak load. I don’t see a better storage system as resolving this problem.

mad scientist on February 23, 2013 at 3:41 PM

If we ALL handed over all of our money to the Federal Government…………would it stop them from wanting more?

If the FedGov took possession of this battery and all private sector businesses would it stop them from wanting more?

PappyD61 on February 23, 2013 at 3:46 PM

Once upon a time, cell phones were bricks and they came with a suitcase. Now, it weighs ounces and you put one in your pocket.

Batteries or whatever run alt-fueled cars will be the same way eventually. I know that annoys the luddite types, but you shouldn’t even be here if that is you.

Moesart on February 23, 2013 at 3:53 PM

As for your snark — the test we use here is that the energy density of the device must be equal to or higher than the energy density of the gasoline tank it replaces for the technology to be viable in an equivalent use.

It’s a reasonable test, don’t you think?

unclesmrgol on February 23, 2013 at 2:16 PM

It’s a good starting point but a misguided test.

You need to consider the motor and drivetrains found in electric cars, which are far different than what you find in vehicles based on internal combustion engines.
The replacement of legacy battery technology with graphene or aluminum is a game changer.

bayam on February 23, 2013 at 3:56 PM

Yes, yes… I know. Republicans don’t care about science,

Guess I need to turn my biology degree back to the ‘tards that run my alma mater…LOL

And there’s the wireless electricity

http://txchnologist.com/post/43160353907/wireless-electricity-transmission-being-deployed-to

CW on February 23, 2013 at 1:09 PM

Interesting. I was wondering how they would take induction technology beyond recharging stuff like toothbrushes. But, I can’t help to wonder if there is indeed any real danger to people from these waves?

Dr. ZhivBlago on February 23, 2013 at 3:58 PM

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