Car chassis, home walls to turn into batteries soon
Posted on May 26 2014 | IANS
New York, May 26 : The days when you have to look around for a functioning plug point to charge your phone or laptop may be numbered. Researchers have now developed a material that turn can your phone casings, car chassis or even walls into batteries!
With the new material, you can soon have electric cars or even aircraft powered by energy stored in their chassis or even home where the walls can light up your house.
Called supercapacitor, the small dull grey wafer-shaped materials that the researchers created can store electricity by assembling electrically charged ions on the surface of a porous material, instead of storing it in chemical reactions the way batteries do.
As a result, supercapacitors can charge and discharge in minutes, instead of hours, and operate for millions of cycles instead of thousands of cycles like batteries.
"These devices demonstrate - for the first time as far as we can tell - that it is possible to create materials that can store and discharge significant amounts of electricity while they are subject to realistic static loads and dynamic forces, such as vibrations or impacts," explained Cary Pint, an assistant professor of mechanical engineering at Vanderbilt University in the US.
When you can integrate energy into the components used to build systems, it opens the door to a whole new world of technological possibilities, Pint explained.
"All of a sudden, the ability to design technologies at the basis of health, entertainment, travel and social communication will not be limited by plugs and external power sources," he added.
The supercapacitor operates flawlessly in storing and releasing electrical charge while subject to stresses or pressures, the researchers reported.
The study appeared in the journal Nano Letters.