New York: A team of scientists has developed a method to increase the performance of high-power electrical storage devices and, at the same time, decrease their size.
The researchers from Stanford School of Earth, Energy and Environmental Sciences describe a mathematical model for designing new materials for energy storage to reduce carbon emissions in the transportation and electricity sectors.
"The potential here is that you could build batteries that last much longer and make them much smaller," said study co-author Daniel Tartakovsky.
"If you could engineer a material with a far superior storage capacity than what we have today, then you could dramatically improve the performance of batteries," added Tartakovsky.
One of the primary obstacles to transitioning from fossil fuels to renewables is the ability to store energy for later use, such as during hours when the sun is not shining in the case of solar power.
Demand for cheap, efficient storage has increased as more companies turn to renewable energy sources, which offer significant public health benefits.
Tartakovsky hopes the new materials developed through this model will improve supercapacitors, a type of next-generation energy storage that could replace rechargeable batteries in high-tech devices like cellphones and electric vehicles.
"We developed a model that would allow materials chemists to know what to expect in terms of performance if the grains are arranged in a certain way, without going through these experiments," Tartakovsky said in a paper published in the journal Applied Physics Letters.
"This framework also shows that if you arrange your grains like the model suggests, then you will get the maximum performance," Tartakovsky added.