Saturday, November 19, 2011

In the Realm of the Possible

Seems a new ecosystem is beginning to happen with the latest entry dealing with batteries, a topic BRT has covered in the past with emphasis on the difficulty of producing cheap, powerful batteris able to be charged ad nauseum and able to be recycled without issue, something considered to be extremely hard to do until now.

"Capacitors store an electrical charge physically and have important advantages: they are lightweight and can be recharged (and discharged) rapidly and almost indefinitely. Plus, they generate very little heat, an important issue for electronic devices. However, they can only make use of about half of their stored charge.

Batteries, on the other hand, store electrical energy chemically and can release it over longer periods at a steady voltage. And they can usually store more energy than a capacitor. But batteries are heavy and take time to charge up, and even the best can’t be recharged forever.

Enter asymmetric capacitors, which bring together the best of both worlds. On the capacitor side, energy is stored by electrolyte ions that are physically attracted to the charged surface of a carbon anode. Combined with a battery-style cathode, this design delivers nearly double the energy of a standard capacitor."

But there's more...

"But how many times can you recharge their novel asymmetric capacitor? Nobody knows; so far, they haven’t been able to wear it out. “We’ve achieved over 127,000 cycles,” Rogers said."

When looking at this innovative way to developing an elegant portable power source, one sees a distributed approach to building a sustainable future beginning to blossom thanks to the net and the commonality of file formats enabling researchers and technologists to share information in ways considered to be impossible to do just one year ago. A partial list of disciplines used in creating products similar in concept to the battery project described above includes quantum theory, AI, robotics, biotech, nano-tech and computation.

A tiny sampling of tech using input from these and other disciplines not listed include:
  • 3D fabbing
  • Thin film solar
  • Artificial photosynthesis
  • Using light to treat cancer
  • Using heat with gold nanoparticles to treat cancer
  • Flexible, transparent displays
  • Spintronics
  • Graphene capaciters
  • Graphene batteries
  • Smart Dust
  • Quantum computers
  • Bots
  • Smart phones
  • Pad computers
  • Smart prosthetics
  • Electric cars
  • etc., etc., etc.,
"If an elderly but distinguished scientist says that something is possible, he is almost certainly right; but if he says that it is impossible, he is very probably wrong." - Arthur C. Clarke
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