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Printed Electronics World
Posted on March 9, 2011 by  & 

Towards paper batteries

The Paper Battery Company was formed in August 2008 to manufacture and sell flexible, scalable energy storage sheets, or "paper batteries" that will make energy storage ubiquitous by integrating it into existing structures. Leveraging existing supercapacitor technology, this "green product" is a printed nanocomposite device that will enable energy densities 6X higher than current commercial supercapacitors, approaching that of batteries, but with a much longer cycle life and higher power. These thin, scalable devices aim to provide a fast recharge, long cycle life replacement for batteries in certain applications, and can be built into the roof or door panels to save space and weight in electric vehicles or into building structures for networked, massive energy storage on the grid.
The company's innovation is the architecture of a structural sheet that becomes a power plane. The architecture is a massively parallel array of independent cells and has stress management and fault-tolerance built into its design. The technology is agnostic to either supercapacitor, lithium battery or hybrid storage technology.
By combining weight bearing and energy storage in one structural sheet, a systemic approach to energy management is possible, with power accessible at the point of use throughout the accessible surface area of the device. For the first time, energy management stakeholders include architects, designers, mechanical or civil engineers and system integrators, who can specify and buy a structural material that provides local power access. The multi-layered sheets can achieve twice the energy density of commercial supercapacitors.
The company has filed its own patents on the PowerWrapper™ technology platform and also holds worldwide exclusive rights to the broad background patent filed by Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute.
The PowerWrapper™ is made by print-forming complex, fully functional components like electrodes and a porous separator in situ, using techniques compatible with high volume roll to roll printing methods. However, unlike most other printed devices, the PowerWrapper™ is not built around any starting web or paper sheet. The entire integrated device is print-formed from particles, resulting in unprecedented design control to tune the mechanical and storage properties of the sheet to the desired application. Designed to be 'cut to fit,' the unit device can be shaped and sized specifically to the power storage and shape desired, including patterned holes. These processes thus enable addressable power cells or entire power planes to be built based on OEM specifications.
If the Company is successful, the sheets would be the first flexible and scalable thin sheet-like electrostatic storage product available today.
Source and top image: The Paper Battery Company
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