Researchers have uncovered a unique way to store energy in the home without the need for massive batteries. Using devices known as microsupercapcitors integrated into stone tiles, scientists at Kookmin University and Kumoh National Institute of Technology in South Korea created a customizable, eco-friendly energy storage system that can easily be scaled to match project needs.
The microsupercapacitors, which have fast charging and discharge rates in addition to superior power supply storage over traditional batteries, were affixed to the tiles using lasers and arranged in simple arrays to test their potential. A simple three-by-three array, for instance, was enough to power an LED light. The devices are also easily recyclable in comparison to larger lithium-ion batteries and are capable of enduring impacts commonly associated with kitchen environments.
The innovation, researchers say, will make one of the most commonplace, durable and natural materials in design a high-performance, readily accessible power storage solution.
Finding a New Way to Provide Energy Independence
By opening backsplashes, countertops, flooring and more to become these adaptable power supplies, the idea is that many devices throughout the home, such as thermostats and speakers, will be able to be taken off the grid. This will allow homes and living spaces which may not have the space or budget to accommodate a full-scale battery to achieve some level of energy independence. It would also provide a more holistic power storage solution that could be deployed on a room-by-room basis, with the kitchen and bathroom benefiting the most.
Being colossal hubs for renovations in the home, the two spaces have also seen a growth in smart technology being used within them. Whether it’s for water monitoring, air monitoring, tunable lighting or even audio and aromatherapy solutions, the profusion of smart solutions for the kitchen and bath has only continued to grow as time goes on. Recent partnerships, like those between the CEDIA home technology and Kohler, exemplify this push.
Introducing an accessible and discreet method to power electronics that heavily caters to current design tastes and trends within these spaces seems like a major step in the right direction for market success. Though, even outside of that, with the push for sustainable building materials and energy security also on the rise, the promise of an industry mainstay becoming a literal powerhouse stands to benefit more than just residential projects.