Thursday, October 22, 2015

Back to the future of energy storage

Yesterday was "Back to the Future" day, the day when Michael J. Fox's character arrived into the future from the movie "Back to the Future II".  The time machine he used was a DeLorean using a flux capacitor requiring 1.2 Gigawatts of power.  I have written a blog post about flux capacitors a couple of years ago and mused that flux capacitors can be considered as normal capacitors and that a large enough supercapacitor today can generate that amount of power if discharged quickly enough. There were endless discussions about whether the prediction about the future in the movie was accurate or not and one comparison to the DeLorean was the Tesla electric car, especially the Tesla Model X with its Falcon wing doors. While the Tesla cannot fly and still needs roads, it does have autopilot capabilities.  A fully loaded Tesla comes with a 90kWh battery and if it all discharges within a quarter of a second, it would generate the 1.2 Gigawatts needed for time travel.

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