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NASA Power Science Technology

Researchers Develop Super Batteries From Aerogel 182

Posted by samzenpus
from the out-of-thick-air dept.
greenerd writes "Researchers from the University of Central Florida may have found the most efficient (and most bizarre) battery material yet – 'frozen smoke', also known as Aerogel. One of the world's lightest solids, aerogel contains multi-walled carbon nanotubes (MWCNT) which each one several thousands thinner than human hair. The researchers, Associate Professor Lei Zhai and Postdoctoral Associate Jianhua Zou, believe that this material could soon become the best energy storage material for capacitors and batteries."
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Researchers Develop Super Batteries From Aerogel

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  • Actual Headline: (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Saturday March 05, 2011 @10:20PM (#35393724)

    Researchers Didn't Develop Super Batteries From Aerogel

  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday March 05, 2011 @11:01PM (#35393938)

    One of the world's lightest solids, aerogel contains multi-walled carbon nanotubes (MWCNT) which each one several thousands thinner than human hair.

    Not lightest, but "least dense".
    Aerogel CAN (but doesn't have to) contain multi-walled carbon nanotubes.
    Which? Which what?
    Several thousands of what? Times? Or did you mean "thousandths"; again, thousandths of what?
    Than "a" human hair? Or just "human hair" generically?

  • by Pharmboy (216950) on Saturday March 05, 2011 @11:05PM (#35393964) Journal

    Likely, very much an overstatement. Wood and glass are terrible insulators, and since houses need windows and wood studs (generally), you will still need more BTUs than a candle to heat it. Windows and doors are your major heat losers right now. At least where I live (NC), you are required to put insulation in the walls and attic of any home you build, or remodel over 50%, so it isn't like the homes don't already have reasonable insulation.

    Still, it would be a much *better* insulation that could cut heat bills by a large degree, but not 99%.

  • by LongearedBat (1665481) on Saturday March 05, 2011 @11:22PM (#35394042)
    A house using its insulation as a battery would mean a pretty big battery. With lots of these houses, we could save alot of the energy generated during the night (currently lost, thus wasted due to low demand) to be returned to the grid for use during the day, and especially the evening (peak usage period).
  • by wagnerrp (1305589) on Sunday March 06, 2011 @12:03AM (#35394194)

    Technically, you are correct. However, power companies have to run peak load plants to make up the difference in power draw from what the baseline plants provide. If you can come up with an economical means of storing vast amounts of energy, you would be able to build and operate more baseline plants, and do away with the more expensive, less efficient, peak plants.

    Similarly, if you can provide a significant energy buffer, otherwise unreliable power sources like wind and solar become considerably more viable.

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