By pressing and folding polymer film, university researchers created a non-hazardous, high-density electric storage facility
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Spotted: Inspired by the croissant-making process, researchers from London’s Queen Mary University created the highest reported energy density storage of a polymer film. By pressing and folding a poly (vinylidene fluoride) into multiple layers, the scientists produced 30 times more energy than the highest performing commercially available dielectric capacitor.
Dielectric capacitors are one of the three most common electric energy storage devices. The other two are batteries and electrochemical capacitors. Dielectric capacitors are particularly useful because of their high power output, long life and rapid release of energy. Until now, however, they stored relatively low amounts of energy unless treated with polymer synthesis or irradiation processes.
By using baker’s technique to shape the film, the team hugely increased its storage capacity without the need for any additional and toxic chemicals. High-volume, efficient energy storage devices are crucial to the full and sustained development of renewable power systems. The research team plans to further explore commercial and industrial applications of the discovery.
Most renewable energy sources flow intermittently, which makes other methods of producing power important in ensuring a continuous supply. Springwise has spotted innovations such as a UK dairy farm that turns its cheese waste into biogas and a method for turning eggshells into energy conductors.