Researchers from UCLA’s California’s NanoSystems Institute have developed a hybrid energy storage medium that combines the advantages of batteries and supercapacitors.
With the high energy densities of batteries and the quick charge and discharge rates of supercapacitors, the new device can reportedly contain six times as much energy as a commercially available supercapacitor and almost as much energy per unit volume as a lead-acid battery.
The scientists combined two nanomaterials successfully for this device: laser-scribed graphene (LSG) –which can charge and recharge very quickly, and manganese dioxide, currently used in alkaline batteries because it holds a lot of charge and is cheap and abundant.
One of the uses for this new technology could be in off-grid street lighting. The researchers found that the supercapacitor could quickly store electrical charge generated by a solar cell during the day, hold the charge until evening and then power an LED overnight.
The team is now working to build these hybrid supercapacitors on a large scale.
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