A View from Katherine Bourzac
Intel to Tackle Energy Storage for the Grid
The company is exploring nanomaterials for making ultracapacitors.
According to a story posted yesterday on the EE Times Asia website, researchers at Intel are developing materials for use in ultracapacitors, energy storage devices with a high capacity. I contacted the company to find out more, and they say they’re not ready to say any more than was in the EE Times story:
Intel Corp. researchers are looking into nanoscale materials that could be used to create ultracapacitors with a greater energy density than today’s Li-ion batteries. If successful, the new materials could be mass produced in volumes to power systems ranging from mobile devices to electric vehicles–even smart grid storage units.
The project is one of a handful in the works at a seven-person energy systems research lab formed by Intel Corp. in May. The lab is focused on so-called microgrids, small local electric grids that lab director Tomm Aldridge and others believe could represent the future of the smart electric grid.
Until they’re ready to say more, here are some stories on the TR site about similar projects. The story “Nanocapacitors with Big Energy Storage” goes into some of the current limitations of these devices and how nanopore electrodes might address them; “Ultracapacitor Start-Up Gets a Big Boost” looks at an ARPA-E funded MIT spin-out that’s making ultracapacitors from arrays of carbon nanotubes.