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  1. Standard member sonhouse
    Fast and Curious
    30 Sep '15 17:17
    http://phys.org/news/2015-09-micro-supercapacitor-unmatched-energy-storage.html

    This looks big. Of course it has to get out of the labs and into commercial production at a reasonable price.
  2. Standard member DeepThought
    Losing the Thread
    30 Sep '15 19:01
    Originally posted by sonhouse
    http://phys.org/news/2015-09-micro-supercapacitor-unmatched-energy-storage.html

    This looks big. Of course it has to get out of the labs and into commercial production at a reasonable price.
    If it's as good as they think, fairly quickly I'd have thought. The article makes it sound like the difficult problem is finding the right materials to use rather than producing a realistic manufacturing process. The caveat is that this is a micro-'battery' so it is really small and would replace the battery in your watch and probably nothing much bigger than that. It won't be much use if you want to power a car, even if it can be made that big it contains gold and ruthenium oxide - according to my google queries ruthenium is relatively inexpensive at $42 per troy ounce, gold costs $1116 an oz, and for comparison copper costs $4995 per tonne). So neither material is exactly cheap, this is not a power source for big things.
  3. Standard member sonhouse
    Fast and Curious
    01 Oct '15 12:03
    Originally posted by DeepThought
    If it's as good as they think, fairly quickly I'd have thought. The article makes it sound like the difficult problem is finding the right materials to use rather than producing a realistic manufacturing process. The caveat is that this is a micro-'battery' so it is really small and would replace the battery in your watch and probably nothing much big ...[text shortened]... 95 per tonne). So neither material is exactly cheap, this is not a power source for big things.
    But once the material science boys are onto something like this, they start looking at artificial atoms and such that can replace the expensive materials. That has been done with catalyst's that used to be made of platinum, now they have found these molecules that duplicate the action of platinum but made of much cheaper molecules.
  4. Standard member DeepThought
    Losing the Thread
    01 Oct '15 12:32
    Originally posted by sonhouse
    But once the material science boys are onto something like this, they start looking at artificial atoms and such that can replace the expensive materials. That has been done with catalyst's that used to be made of platinum, now they have found these molecules that duplicate the action of platinum but made of much cheaper molecules.
    For a watch battery the unit price probably won't be prohibitively high. It's more a question of reliability and part life. Making a car battery may not even be possible using this technology, it could well rely on potential differences being small (I don't know) or the total power stored or charge not being too high - so that it's great at keeping an SSD going, but you can't scale it up to use to power an electric car.

    Different materials could easily change that, but finding the right material combination for a cost effective battery could take some time.
  5. Standard member sonhouse
    Fast and Curious
    01 Oct '15 13:51
    Originally posted by DeepThought
    For a watch battery the unit price probably won't be prohibitively high. It's more a question of reliability and part life. Making a car battery may not even be possible using this technology, it could well rely on potential differences being small (I don't know) or the total power stored or charge not being too high - so that it's great at keeping an ...[text shortened]... t, but finding the right material combination for a cost effective battery could take some time.
    Not sure why this technology cannot be scaled up.
  6. 01 Oct '15 14:16
    Originally posted by sonhouse
    Not sure why this technology cannot be scaled up.
    Price
  7. Standard member DeepThought
    Losing the Thread
    01 Oct '15 15:15
    Originally posted by twhitehead
    Price
    Yes, but sonhouse is assuming they find cheaper materials. Without reading the paper the article is based on I'm guessing, but my guess is is that they've got a metal - metal-oxide junction like in a varicap diode and it would be quite difficult to make it big. Also, to get a decent amount of power, they'll have to have a pretty strong internal field and could find themselves having to shield different parts of the battery from each other.

    That it may not be possible to make it large isn't necessarily a problem, there are lots of applications for miniature power sources. Reliability is more of an issue. If this thing has a long life time and is reliable it could be used in low power devices that have to operate reliably in inaccessible locations.
  8. Standard member sonhouse
    Fast and Curious
    02 Oct '15 12:14
    Originally posted by DeepThought
    Yes, but sonhouse is assuming they find cheaper materials. Without reading the paper the article is based on I'm guessing, but my guess is is that they've got a metal - metal-oxide junction like in a varicap diode and it would be quite difficult to make it big. Also, to get a decent amount of power, they'll have to have a pretty strong internal field a ...[text shortened]... e it could be used in low power devices that have to operate reliably in inaccessible locations.
    Like pacemakers.