If we can extend the distances that cars can travel between charge points we will instantly make them more popular, said Professor Forsyth. But how will the batteries cope with the real-life strains of driving? Electric cars like all other vehicles are not driven smoothly. Dramatic peaks in power demand as drivers accelerate will stress the battery and potentially limit its lifespan.
To test whether prototype graphene batteries and supercapacitors are up to the job, Professor Forsyth will expose them to real world stresses that mimic different driving profiles. We can even test the technology for driving in extreme weather conditions, explained Prof. Forsyth. Many batteries struggle to perform in cold conditions, but our weather chamber will reveal any weaknesses.
Of course, graphene-based storage is not limited to transport. It could play a major role in the future of the National Grid as Britain becomes ever more dependent upon renewable energy. If we rely on solar and wind power to produce energy, what will happen when clouds block the sun and the wind is just a breeze? asked Professor Forsyth. If we can develop high capacity electrical storage, operators will be able to store electricity for times of low generation.
A grid-scale battery and converter system is being installed on Manchesters campus to test large scale electrical storage. Researchers will use the battery system to develop methods to control the flow of electricity and reconcile differences between power generation and local demand.
I hope that I am not totally off-base to receommend NOT calling the current crop of EVs "green vehicles".
They may be "greenER vehicles" but they are certainly NOT green in any sense of the word "green" which denotes environmentally safe. Recent news about Toyota wanting to change course and concentrate more on hydrogen-based power cells (vis-a-vis Prius hybrids) appear to be more correctly aligned with dreams of the tree-huggers and I am not using those two words in a pejorative way.
I hope that the current research on graphene-based supercaps are more green than Li-Ion based batteries for the "long haul".
Yes! I am waiting for that development where the EVs run on lighter batteries and Supercaps that give a fast accelaration and regenerative energy storage.
If if these batteries can get charged by the solar panels mounted on Car-tops, it all the more beneficial.
So the challenge today is to combine three technologies - Graphe like materila for batteries , The SuperCaps and the Solar panels with lighter and more efficient material. to get a real boost for EVs of tomorrow.
David Patterson, known for his pioneering research that led to RAID, clusters and more, is part of a team at UC Berkeley that recently made its RISC-V processor architecture an open source hardware offering. We talk with Patterson and one of his colleagues behind the effort about the opportunities they see, what new kinds of designs they hope to enable and what it means for today’s commercial processor giants such as Intel, ARM and Imagination Technologies.