Researchers from the Chalmers University of Technology in Sweden have had a "big breakthrough" with a lightweight structural battery made of carbon fiber.
Developed for use in the design of aircraft, vehicles, and buildings, the innovation presents a hybrid and can be used both as a structural battery, also known as "massless energy storage," as well as a power source. This means that the need of using separate batteries in design is "reduced or potentially even eliminated."
The researchers used carbon fiber as the lightweight structural battery's negative electrode, which stores and releases lithium ions that create electrical energy. As a material, carbon fiber is extremely durable and versatile. According to Leif Asp, a professor at the university, "previous attempts to make structural batteries have resulted in cells with either good mechanical properties, or good electrical properties."
Image Credit: Marcus Folino, courtesy of Chalmers University of Technology, Yen Strandqvist