The group behind the Crazy Green Idea? Video "The Capacitor Challenge" has their stump speech in. Have a read, and then head over to the X PRIZE website to vote for your favorite Crazy Green Idea!
When we first imagined The Capacitor Challenge, I was busy with other film projects and my friend Bryan Le was busy putting together ideas for his research concept. He wanted inspiration to develop a long-term technology that would change the course of the environmental crises looming in the future, so he searched through papers, publications, and technologies among universities and companies until he happened to re-discover the X Prize Foundation.
And that’s how he found the Crazy Green Idea contest; here was a chance to send a unified grand challenge to the scientific and engineering communities across the globe. He came to me knowing together we could voice our idea with clarity and resolution.
Capacitors can recharge nearly instantaneously and survive the entire life-time of the electric device. They are durable, non-explosive and easily reused due to their incredibly long lifespan. On top of that, they provide electricity at nearly 99% efficiency. And unlike their electrochemical counterparts, capacitors hold no toxic compounds that will leech into the ground and damage the environment after disposal.
An ultra-capacitor capable of storing energy at the level of a common battery has obvious benefits for portable electric devices. However, we envision major revolutions in energy with wide-spread use of electric vehicles and energy storage stations as a result of capacitor breakthroughs. We cannot continue to see valuable petroleum resources be atrociously burned without regard for the pollution it produces or the political turmoil it inflicts. Nor can we endure the inefficiency of power stations that must wastefully operate in times of low-use while unable to keep up demand during high-use of electricity.
Focus on energy storage will pave the way for on-demand electrical energy systems. When electricity is not in use, it can be stored efficiently and safely. When electricity is needed, it can be reliably called upon in a matter of seconds. Electrical efficiency is necessary for a world that will rely on new energy sources to fuel our societies.
Our intention is to impact a world that has been ravaged by toxic pollutants, chemical waste, and harmful emissions. We are a team of undergraduates from the University of California in Irvine working to change the course of the environmental damage that exists today, so we may live in hope for a sustainable future.