Scientists from the University of Queensland (Australia) have designed a new storage device, which is based on the… spring. Only in this case it is made of highly innovative material – the diamond nanowires. Yet there are only a small samples of this material, but in the near future when the production of yarns will be cheap and affordable, they will become the basis for many new technologies.
To nanonet is a one-dimensional structure in the form of a chain of carbon atoms that is flexible enough to twist it in an arbitrary manner, but strong enough to withstand such deformation. If you take a few nanowires and tie them in a bundle, it can be spun and to a tiny spring. Under compression it will store energy when unwinding to release it – it’s the old principle which has many clockwork mechanisms.
Simulations showed that a hypothetical storage of such material has a capacity of 1.76 MJ/kg of energy. This is 4-5 orders of magnitude more than steel springs, and three times higher than lithium-ion batteries. An added bonus of a mechanical system significantly more stable chemical analogs, they eliminated the risk of ignition and detonation. Also, this drive does not contain toxic substances and its utilization is not an issue. The scope of such batteries is extremely wide: from the cosmos to microimplants.