Researchers at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute are leading a $2 million study to help widen a bottleneck that is slowing proliferation of large-scale wind and solar power generation. The four-year study aims to develop novel ceramic materials for use in a new approach to energy storage. Rather than batteries, the researchers will develop nanostructured capacitors to store energy generated by wind turbines and solar panels. With a high power density and ability to quickly charge and discharge, nanoengineered capacitors could have a significant impact on a wide range of applications, from energy production to electronics to national defense.
“The transformative nature of capacitive energy storage — a totally new approach to energy storage — will have tremendous impact on the increased use and efficiency of wind and solar power, as well as conventional coal, nuclear, and hydroelectric generation,” says Doug Chrisey, professor in the Department of Materials Science and Engineering at Rensselaer, who is leading the study. “Our proposed capacitors will be smaller, lighter, and more efficient than today’s batteries, and with no moving parts the capacitors should last forever. Everyone is looking for an innovative material to help meet future energy requirements. We’re confident that our novel ceramic will help advance that conversation.”
Unlike a battery, which can supply a continuous level of low power for long periods, a capacitor quickly moves large amounts of power. The ideal solution for electrical energy storage, says Chrisey, will allow fast energy storage and discharge in as small a volume or mass as possible. To achieve this, the researchers will develop a nanostructured capacitor comprising extremely thin layers of a novel composite. The composite, a mix of ferroelectric nanopowder and low-melting, alkali-free glass, results in a capacitor that can withstand high electric fields and maintain an extremely high dielectric constant — two critical metrics for measuring effectiveness of energy storage materials. In addition, Chrisey and team are tasked with developing new processes to make the material easily and in large quantities.
“Creating a novel ceramic material and developing a cost-effective, scalable method to achieve large-capacitive energy storage could be a big boost to our national economy and increase our global competitiveness,” says Chrisey. “What we need is an entirely new approach to energy storage, and we think ferroelectric glass composites could be the answer.”
The grant was awarded through the NSF Emerging Frontiers in Research and Innovation (EFRI) Program, overseen by the NSF Engineering Directorate, which identifies and supports initiatives in engineering research and education. For the study, Chrisey is partnering with renowned glass expert and Rensselaer Professor Minoru Tomozawa, along with nanoscientist and University of Puerto Rico, Río Piedras Professor Ram S. Katiyar. For more information on Chrisey and his research at Rensselaer, link to:
Filed Under: Energy storage, News
The wood gas would come from the FEMA design on the internet.
I understand their design needs some Tweaking though.
Wood Gasification (Sp) has been around a long time.
I understand during WWII it was used for Everything in Europe.
Natural gas sounds good, but the idea is to NOT give any more money to the gas companies, that’s why I’m messing with wind and wood. Plus I have access to 200 acres of free wood. hahaa !
As for the windmill, I didn’t know how to wire it up, so I hooked the leads up to a HHO generator I made, and whenever the wind blows, I get GAS !
I don’t know what to DO with it, but I’m makin’ it ! ;>
At least with the HHO, I get SOMETHING out of it, no matter how fast the wind is blowing.
If it blows really slow, I get light bubbles, If it blows like crazy, I get a LOT of bubbles.
I found out the hard way….. HHO gas, (Or Browns gas as it is known) does NOT burn like Propane or Natural gas, It kinda goes BOOM !!!!!!!!! Scared the hell out of me the first time I lit it. ;>
Anyway, I’ll try to send a pic of the windmill, so you can tell me what I need to hook the wires to.
Right now, I’m running them directly from the motor, to the HHO generator. I think a Rectifier and,Or a Diode needs to be in there somewhere.
It’s a DC motor, so I wasn’t sure I needed them, but after looking around, I hear I may need at least ONE of them.
Have some fun this weekend, and thanks for listening,
Paul Dvorak says
The treadmill motor (generator) is probably turning too slowly. I’m guessing it needs a few hundred rpm to output 12 volts. Depending on the available torque or rotor dia., try using a couple pulleys (large pulley is the driver) to increase the rpm. Of course, a small gearbox (speed increaser) would be ideal but pulleys are easier to come by.
If you send a picture of the setup, I’ll post on Facebook for comment.
Another question….. I have an old military 3 KW generator with a small 4 cylinder engine hooked up to it.
Would I be better off using the generator from this unit on a windmill, or converting the gas engine to Wood Gas?
Again, any suggestions would be appreciated.
Paul Dvorak says
I can only speculate. Powering the engine with natural gas sounds like a possibility. How would you generate wood gas?
A wind turbine might be a fun project if you can get the turbine high enough. The internet is full of ideas for such a project.
When you finish, post pictures of your design.
I have a windmill up and running.
I used a treadmill motor for the generator, and a 10″ saw blade for the hub.
It is spinning all the time, but only puts out about 2 volts on a normal day.
I understand that won’t charge a 12 volt battery.
My question is: Can that 2 volts be sent to a capacitor and then to a battery once charged.
So far, I am losing that 2 to 3 volts that are being created during normal wind days.
Any suggestions would be appreciated. As you might notice, I don’t have a CLUE! :>