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Power Storage

Tiny Fuel Cell Offers New Power Possibilities

The world's smallest fuel cell, measuring just 3mm x 3mm x 1mm (roughly 0.1 inches square by 0.04 inches tall), has been built by scientists at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign. The tiny cell is able to produce about 1 milliamp at 0.7 volts for 30 hours.

The cell is so small that it simply eliminates some of the components typically found in larger fuel cells.

"It's not practical to make a pump, a pressure sensor, and the cheap viagra generic electronics to control the system in such a small volume," says Saeed Moghaddam at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. "Even if they are magically made at that scale, their power consumption would probably exceed the power generated."

So with this fuel cell, there is no fuel tank, for example. The tiny cell gets the necessary moisture for its operation from water vapor in the cheap generic viagra air. To regulate the system, as water vapor enters the chamber and inexpensive levitra reacts to viagra canada produce hydrogen, the pressure of it's cool order propica the hydrogen closes a membrane which blocks more vapor laden air from entering until the hydrogen pressure has been reduced again.

As more tiny electronic devices are developed, providing power for them can start to become an issue. Many cell phones weigh less than the batteries that are attached to them to provide them with power. Instead of needing heavy power supplies for small electronics components, this type of very small fuel cell may play a role in providing the necessary power for tiny distributed electronics applications in the future. And, developments in these systems may also lead to new developments in fuel cell power systems to replace batteries in consumer electronics devices such as portable phones and laptop computers.

via: New Scientist Tech


One More Reason To Build An Ultracapacitor – Win the X Prize

In case you forgot, the X Prize Foundation put together a pre-contest contest this past fall. That is, they challenged people to decide what kind of green invention would be worthy of the next $10 million X Prize, and present their proposals in the form of a 2 minute Youtube video. The winners would get $25,000 for their idea, plus the satisfaction of knowing that there would be a whole bunch of X-Prize hungry inventors out there trying to wow it's great viagra available in india make it a reality.

And the winner is? Ultracapacitors. In their video, a group of students from UC Irvine, led by one Kyle Good, basically said – build a really good ultracapacitor. To reiterate their conditions:

  1. You may only use self-contained capacitors
  2. You must exceed the energy density of a lead-acid battery
  3. The device must recharge in less than a minute and survive half a million cycles
  4. You must use non-toxic, recyclable materials
  5. The device must cost less than 2x the cost of a lead-acid battery.
  6. The device must hold enough power to drive an electric vehicle for 100 miles per charge

And now… we wait. This is the fifth challenge to come out of the X-Prize foundation since 2004, and so far only one of them was met – the team that built a private spaceship in 2004. Granted, lofty goals are what this prize is all about. And if this one becomes a reality, it would be incredibly awesome.

Via Treehugger


More Battery News From Boston Power, Think and Ener1

The lithium-ion battery news keeps on coming. So far we’ve told you about GM’s plan to build a battery factory (which will use cells made by Korean LG Chemicals), A123’s plan to build a battery factory of their own in Michigan (and, although GM is using LG batteries for the Volt, they plan on collaborating with A123), Tesla’s plan to build batteries for the Smart Car and, on top of tramadol no prescription needed all that, the coalition of battery researchers gathering together at Argonne National Lab.

To make things even more exciting, there seems to be some reciprocal business going on it's great! cialis tablet between the US and Scandinavia (not the same exact countries, but still). First you’ve got Boston-Power, a battery company headquartered in Massachusetts, which just received $55 million in Series D financing from a Swedish investment firm. Unlike the battery players mentioned above, Boston-Power is making batteries for laptops rather than vehicles, and has already built a battery that is available in certain HP laptops.

On the flip side, Norwegian electric car company Think had announced that they didn’t have enough capital to get their new, small, electric Think City ready for market as early as originally predicted. That delay might be shortened a bit by $5.7 of interim financing that they just received from Ener1, a US battery manufacturer that will be supplying the battery for the Think City.

The attention on batteries is not likely to go away any time soon. It’s the single most important factor when it comes to levitra india electric vehicles, and whichever manufacturers end up on top will enjoy very rich rewards indeed.

Via CNET Green Tech (2)


A123’s Batteries – Not Flat Enough For GM

A little while ago, there was a big competition going on between two lithium-ion battery manufacturers – A123 and LG Chemicals – to win the herbal cialis contract to build batteries for the Chevy Volt. I have to admit, I was rooting for A123. Maybe it’s because I would have rather seen GM invest in a domestic company rather than a foreign one. Maybe it’s because the founders came from MIT – I mean, what geek can resist that?

But I understood that GM needed to make a business decision, and if they felt that buying batteries from A123 would make an inferior Volt, I grudgingly accept. But apparently the main reason that Bob Lutz and GM chose LG over A123 was… that they wanted flat batteries, not cylindrical batteries. A123 makes cylindrical batteries.

Now, I’m clearly not privy to the engineering plans of the Chevy Volt, but… really? Let’s review what “flat” means in this context. For reference, the lithium-ion battery in your laptop contains cylindrical batteries; if you opened it up, you would see a bunch of batteries that look like your standard AA. That’s what A123 is making. The flat batteries that GM apparently wants are different – the battery part actually has a flat shape to it (as pictured above).

Such flat batteries are important when it comes to, say, building an ultra-thin laptop where every fraction of an inch counts. But would it make that much difference in a car? If you are design engineer out there, and you think it would make a difference, feel free to let me know. All I’m saying is best online cialis that if A123’s devices delivered the same or better quality performance, and they are an American company, I would have gone with them.

Of course, it’s also important to follow link viagra oral gel consider the fact that A123, while a big startup, is still a startup. That may have been reason enough for GM to feel hesitant about making this deal. But A123 is a really big startup, and they are already going through the necessary steps to make their company public. They have hundreds of millions in VC money and employ 1700+ people. So it’s not as if GM would have been investing in one guy with an idea – A123 is serious stuff.

Although they missed the cialis canadian pharmacy boat on the Volt, A123 seems unfazed; they are pretty determined to make electric car batteries one way or another. They just announced plans to open up a huge battery manufacturing plant in Michigan - the first of its kind in the US – but are asking for government loans (on the order of $1 billion or so) to help pay for it. It would be great if they got it, but if I were the government I’m not sure why I’d put so much R&D money in their one basket when a whole bunch of battery scientists just got together at Argonne National Lab to form a battery research coalition… Maybe they can work together.

Via Earth2Tech, Greentech Media


Fuji Launches Landfill-Safe Batteries at CES

You really should recycle your batteries. But let's be honest, at one point or another, we've all thrown them away, contributing to the toxic pollution of our ground water. And while I'm not going to throw EcoGeek's full weight behind any battery that isn't rechargeable, it is nice to real levitra without a prescription see Fuji's new take on the battery.

The EnviroMax batteries contain no mercury, cadmium or PVC and they are encased in plastic instead of steel. In fact, Fuji claims that the batteries (while 100% recycleable) are safe for landfills. We're still waiting to see if they're awarded RoHS certification, but I imagine they will be.

But, once again, I encourage you all to use rechargeable batteries, and to dispose of them correctly at the end of their useful lives.

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