Saturday, April 11, 2009

What's Your Crazy Green Idea

Two students, Kyle Good and Bryan Le, have won $25,000 for their YouTube video about clean energy storage. The "What's your crazy green idea" competition by the X Prize Foundation asked people to submit a challenge that would form the basis for a potential future X Prize as a video. The pair's winning video was selected from 133 entries by more than 4,200 votes, and challenged developers to create an "ultracapacitor" that could be used to power consumer electronics.

The students' challenge asks for the production of an ultracapacitor to exceed the energy density of today's average lead-acid batteries while costing less than twice their price. The ultracapacitor should be capable of recharging in under one minute with a minimum life of half a million charges. It would also need to be completely recyclable and only use non-toxic materials. The test that the two students have put in place is that the winning ultracapacitor needs to provide enough energy for an electric vehicle to travel for 100 miles, recharge and then drive back again.

"A battery technology that allows a cellphone to go for a month without recharging or a laptop to go for weeks, those things have a personal value to people, and can transform things a lot faster than traditional technology," said Mark Bernstein, managing director of the University of Southern California Energy Institute, at the event where the prize winners were announced.

3 comments:

Mr Toys said...

So, let me get this straight... their idea is for someone else to invent something that doesn't exist yet?

Christian Hughes said...

Essentially, yes.

TheFutureOfNow said...

Indeed this will be difficult. Current capaciaors have a minimal storage capacity, but are more than capable of high energy "bursts". Sounds like it will be investigated- defenitely a very interesting alternative. Thanks for sharing!

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