Australian invention set to revolutionise battery storage
Move over lithium — a graphene-based compound has emerged as the new superpower in battery storage technology. This Australian discovery and development is set to make solar energy cleaner and more reliable here and around the world.
The PowerCap Hybrid Graphene battery is a sustainable energy storage system that lasts two to three times longer than standard lithium batteries. It also provides up to 10 times more power density — meaning the energy is delivered instantly, which is important when powering mobile devices likes electric vehicles. Zero Emissions Developments (ZED) principal Engineer and CEO Ahmed El Safty is the visionary behind the new technology. He and his team of postdoctorate researchers and engineers have been developing the PowerCap technology for more than a decade.
Currently most solar batteries are constructed from lithium, a mined resource. Graphene is a lightweight compound that is about to be manufactured in Australia from waste products (recycled plastics and bio-waste) by ZED. Discovered in 2004, this compound is a single layer of carbon atoms, tightly bound in a hexagonal honeycomb lattice making it 200 times stronger than steel. It conducts heat and electricity more efficiently than copper and silver and is the thinnest and strongest compound known.
Compared to lithium, hybrid graphene batteries are not only longer lasting, safer, cleaner and more affordable, but also, importantly, are 100% recyclable at the end of their lives, according to ZED. The production of this clean technology has a zero-carbon footprint.
“As we transition towards a distributed renewable energy economic model, the need for energy storage becomes undeniable. We have to maintain a reliable grid system throughout this changeover and PowerCap technology is designed for this very purpose,” El Safty said.
The PowerCap is an integrated energy storage system that captures solar energy (or other renewable energy) throughout the day for later use. It works as an evergreen energy bank — automatically adjusting to grid behaviour — that can provide uninterrupted energy usage, even during blackout periods. Users of the system can significantly lower or even eliminate power bills and reduce their environmental impact simultaneously.
ZED says the potential applications of this technology are limitless. In addition to transforming energy sources for homes, commercial and industrial properties, the PowerCap technology is currently being adapted for futuristic ‘Hyper Tactile’ electric vehicles, other EVs, boats, solar golf carts, frequency control ancillary services (for wind and solar farms) and even hyper-sonic anti-ballistic defence deployment. The company says its hybrid of electro-static and electro-chemical architecture and composition make it suitable for both mobile and portable applications.
“Australia is a major supplier of energy to world markets but unfortunately that is predominately coal, oil, gas and uranium. Now with PowerCap technology, we have a clean, safe and sustainable power source to offer the world,” El Safty said. “This technology literally uses waste to create a clean energy storage device without harming the planet.”
Further information about PowerCap can be found at https://zed.energy/.
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