Finding a battery should could charge and discharge over 200,000 times was not her expectation, but Mya Le Thai, lead study author at University of California, Irvine, pulled it off while “playing around” with the materials. “Mya was playing around, and she coated this whole thing with a very thin gel layer and started to cycle it,” said senior author Reginald Penner, chair of UCI’s chemistry department, in a statement. “She discovered that just by using this gel, she could cycle it hundreds of thousands of times without losing any capacity.” “It” is a battery with coated gold nanowires in manganese dioxide. When she added the Plexiglas-like gel it stabilized and protected the nanowires. “That was crazy,” added Penner, “because these things typically die in dramatic fashion after 5,000 or 6,000 or 7,000 cycles at most.” You can see the gel surrounding the nanowires “The coated electrode holds its shape much better, making it a more reliable option,” Thai said. “This research proves that a nanowire-based battery electrode can have a long lifetime and that we can make these kinds of batteries a reality.” photo credit: A nanowire compared to a human hair. Thai et al./UC Irvine via YouTube
Club Surya opened its doors in London in 2008 making it Britain’s first eco friendly nightclub. The club itself is built of recycled materials, but the dance floor is the best piece. Using piezoelectricity technology, a way of converting the kinetic energy of the dance into electricity, it produces enough electricity to power sixty percent of the entire club.
Japan has made another technological leap – Toyohashi University of Technology and Taisei Corp has unveiled the first electrical car in the world that will run without a battery, receiving its charge from an electrified road.
The unveiling on Friday was in the form of a test drive in Toyohashi, in the Aichi Prefecture. The small vehicle moved over the electrified surface, which had two rail-like steel paths spaced to match the car’s special tires. The charge is derived from steel wires embedded in them, which serve as a conduit.
The drive lasted for 30 meters at a speed of 10km/h, and, according to Professor Takashi Ohira, as cited by Kyodo: “Acceleration was smooth, and the ride was comfortable.”