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Polymer Electric Storage for High Capacities

Article by Ezra Drissman

If you have ever lifted a traditional lead and acid, wet cell car battery, you know how incredibly heavy they are when they are fully charged. Not very big, they have a dense heaviness that is, if you will pardon the pun, shocking to most people. The problem with their weight is simple; the heavier each part of the car is, the less efficiently it will burn fuel. Lightening the automobile has been part of the goal of car makers for years. The steel reinforced tanks of yesteryear are not driven anymore. Those beasts have been replaced with more fuel efficient, lightweight cars in most cases. Now, as electric and hybrid cars become more and more mainstream, the eco-conscious will make the switch. Polymer storage devices could hold play an important role in energy storage.

A hybrid car uses batteries and gasoline to work. For instance, when a hybrid is coasting down a hill, the mechanical energy is converted to electricity which is then used to charge the battery for times when it is needed. Using the polymer electric storage system will allow more energy to be stored without the added bulk and weight of a traditional battery. Polymers are lighter and far more flexible than any other energy storage system seen so far.

Polymers are blended with ceramic particles to “improve energy density” (Physorg.com). The ferroelectric polymer has a higher breakdown strength while the ceramics have higher “permittivities.” In plain English, the polymer blends formulated by scientists will improve the maximum electric fields that the composite can store without decreasing. The ceramics actually allow the storage to take place.

Other uses for these polymer blends could eventually include computers, fold-able screens, and other electronic applications. Polymers can be processed at room temperature, meaning no high heat processes to worry about, they are easy to make and easy to manipulate.

Right now the only problem in dealing with the polymers is the actual blending of the ceramics and the polymer materials themselves. If they are not mixed correctly they will not store energy correctly. The ceramic particles also have individual issues when being mixed in with the polymers. All issues with the mixing must be handled at the same time or the resulting storage system will be doomed to poor performance and inevitable failure.

Reference: Polymer Electric Storage, flexible and adaptable (no author). Posted August 20, 2008, retrieved August 16, 2009 from http://www.physorg.com

About the Author

Eco20/20 is a cutting edge informational site. The primary focus of the site is clean energy. For almost two year Eco20/20 has been a leader in forward thinking articles.http://www.eco20-20.com

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