It is interesting that we have a 'Faraday Challenge' which intends to research battery technology to improve efficiency by around 30% over the next 15 years.
In modern times, 15 years is a very long time, particularly when talking old technology. It is analogous to continuing to develop steam engines in the 1960's regardless of the incoming diesel and electric systems. With the appearance of Graphene, a 2D material with incredible properties, the potential for Super-Capacitors to power our world is more than credible... it's obvious.
Capacitors charge very quickly and can dissipate over time according to energy demand. SuperCaps, as they are known, can hold enormous charge and dissipate over far longer time scales than standard capacitors. So how would that change transport?
Regardless of the Challenge, batteries are heavy and some of their materials are found in politically difficult countries: one source of Cobalt, for example, is in a country with human rights issues. Batteries also need to be charged, usually slowly from mains electricity, which takes time. What's the difference then with SuperCaps?
Capacitors store charge between conductive and insulating layers of materials. Interestingly, Graphene is a super conductor at room temperature and Graphene Oxide is an insulator. Charging can initially take place from several seconds to a few minutes and can last, in a car, for the equivalent of several tanks of fuel.
Because 2D materials are only a single atom layer thick, a volume similar to a standard car battery can house thousands of square miles of 2D material which can hold a very significant and long lasting charge.
A major benefit of SuperCaps would be the ability to charge on-the-go, because even relatively minor amounts of energy can 'top up' the store. Energy harvesting can collect solar energy, friction and even radio waves from the air.
How might they work?
Similar to the present. I envisage two very light weight SuperCap power banks which alternate to supply the energy to the vehicle's drive-train. As one provides energy, the redundant bank collects energy from the sources mentioned above. Interestingly, Graphene based solar panels have been shown to be even more efficient when its raining than standard panels are in bright sunlight.
A small battery may be included as a backup to start the vehicle and provide initial charge in the event of dissipation; perhaps if the vehicle has not been in used for some time.
This potential system is very similar to fossil fuelled vehicles; once the battery starts the engine, electrical power from the Alternator takes over and this also tops up the battery.
Example of powerful standard capacitors
Capacitors are used in power supplies to smooth the supply to circuits and are used in microwave devices, such as a microwave oven. Even months after removal, such a charged capacitor can still deliver a lethal charge if touched.
So why no SuperCap challenge?
Since SuperCaps are undoubtedly the way forward, one would think such a challenge would be more important than keeping old steam engines alive - other than for heritage reasons. SuperCaps would mean motoring almost free of cost due to the amount of harvested energy. Good for the pocket, good for the environment. And how many HGV fuel tankers would that remove from our roads?
Even the emissions produced at the source of electricity production - to supply electric vehicles - could be virtually eliminated. In fact, even in respect of lubricating oil, since a Graphene coating on moving parts significantly reduces friction, this could easily replace oil. And the planned installation of millions of charging posts across the UK would be unnecessary.
Who could possibly be against developing SuperCaps?
Graphene is carbon. That's it. And it is the 2D bond that makes it so useful; >100 times stronger than steel and a super capacitor at room temperature.
Have you ever wondered what happens to all the money collected in respect of the carbon Tax? Now, there could finally be a satisfactory answer: carbon capture and creation of more Graphene. Another use would be Graphene power lines that would be stronger and could carry far more charge with less resistance. Efficiency in power transmission systems would reduce the on-cost of transmission and the associated environmental damage.
What we must have, is a Super-capacitor Challenge.
Luckily, a number of countries and researchers are doing just this, and Touching Blue is planning similar, self-funded research, in the future. However, our approach will not be to monetise our results/product but to ignore the patent office route and open the technology free to anyone who wants to use it on a large scale; many organisations simultaneously so no-one has a monopoly; conglomerates, monopolies, current energy suppliers and their parent companies will not be eligible to apply.
Only by doing this can we be protected from those with controlling financial interests that occasionally make it difficult for low cost tech to reach the marketplace.
Not everything has to be monetised; profit can be human as well as financial.
Following our previous blog in which we announced a potential new JV to progress new intelligent mobility solutions in traffic and transportation, Touching Blue Limited is changing direction.
With the appointment of it's second director, TBL will concentrate more on people based issues. She and I share equal responsibility - and benefit - for the company and are strongly driven by the needs of people living in less than ideal circumstances. Our main focus will be Homeless People. We have complimentary ideas and are developing our plan and strategy to... Make a Difference.
Touching Blue Limited is partnering with two associates to form a new JV. The object of the new company is to develop highly innovative facilities to integrate with, and enhance, the management of traffic on our roads.
The four projects will be developed and rolled out over the next 24-36 months with at least one, possibly two, being implemented to Phase I during 2019. The most complex of the four could be in place by 2022. Two projects will support Local Authorities, giving them more influence in their local transport planning and operations and generate additional revenue, another will specifically support public transport and its efforts to run efficiently, while the fourth will support the emergency services in reducing response times and saving lives.
All four projects will be developed in line with the evolution of network management to control by Artificial Intelligence; a concept TBL is developing. The first project is likely to address emergency services issues.
The new JV will have three directors with equal status in the company; each brings their own unique skills and experience to this venture. Collectively, the company will benefit skills in High-Tech creativity, bespoke software development for highly specialised applications, and many years of experience of traffic management and congestion reduction enhanced by a history of innovative solutions in this field. The range of experience provides the necessary background needed when developing disruptive, innovative and effective solutions for the future.
Once registered, a company website will be created with a link from touchingblue.co.uk where the projects will be discussed in a little more detail.
Touching Blue Limited is pleased to announce it is now a member of the Intelligent Transport Systems community; ITS-UK
Membership of this long-established and well respected community should be high on the list of any company or individual involved in the intelligent mobility industry. It offers the chance to contribute at events, to network and to communicate with peers and specialists while returning excellent value for the membership fee.
Touching Blue Ltd is looking forward to contributing at events in the years to come.
Touching Blue Ltd is convinced that there is an alternative to a new road over Rimrose Valley to; a) resolve traffic issues relating to port freight movements and, b) to help increase port freight throughput beyond current aspirations, but without any local consequences, and we are actively pursuing this potential.
Great meeting early October. However, this has developed into a new potential solution for an existing problem. There is a very interesting follow up to this which I hope to be able to talk more about in the coming weeks!
Touching Blue Limited has proposed a novel solution to a huge problem; one of the North's busiest roads. Major delays during peaks, high levels of emissions and noise, all of which are detriment to the local community. Growth in trade and traffic are expected to increase significantly by 2030 necessitating action.
The solution proposed by TBL involves removing most HGVs from the local network resulting in; reduced congestion, reduced emissions, and additional capacity for growth at the port but with no negative impact on the community.
A very important meeting will take place in October and I hope to provide an update soon after. As with anything radically new, getting beyond the perception of what is considered possible is a large part of the battle. TBL tends to see solutions rather than barriers and we are confident that something significant can be achieved here.
Having personally created my basic Touching Blue Limited website just over a year ago, it was overdue for an upgrade to something a little more professional and pleasing to the eye. This is the result!
Through 'synchronicity' I discovered Hi-Impact Consultancy at the Liverpool - International Business Festival in June and subsequently met with Chris Spencer and his office in Bromborough, Wirral. We got on very well and agreed a plan; work would begin as the schools broke up, since they work a lot with schools during term time.
Work began just a week ago and, with frequent communication between us, progress was very smooth. I must state that this (Weebly) platform has many limitations but is good for basics. Even so, Hi-Impact has done a great job in spite of those limitations and I am very happy with the result; they also helped design my new business cards.
Expect Phase 3 next year when the site will move to a new platform with many more facilities that will allow a range of new features to be included.
I would like to thank Hi-Impact for their excellent working relationship with their client; me! And I look forward to working with them again. I have no hesitation recommending Hi-Impact based on my experience of their quality, reliability, communication and value for money. Please visit them at:
“After a great meeting with Chris on 6th July, I have commissioned Hi-Impact Consultancy to carry out Phase 2 of my website to take it from domain holding to something that looks more professional and congruous. This revamp will also allow future addition of animations and videos to help clarify projects and developments.
Power Road. Bromborough
Wirral. CH62 3QT.
Telephone: 0151 638 6283
There is a right time for everything when growing your business. Once the basic foundation is in place with resources, vision and plan, things begin to happen. And, if your intuition is good, there will be so many, ahem... 'coincidences' you will struggle to believe an invisible army is not surrounding and guiding you. [ Of course, there is! :) ]
At the Liverpool International Business Festival (2018), I discovered a marketing company that can produce films, videos, graphic and more; I need such for some TBL project presentations shortly, but I now need to update this website design! They have a local office and I am due to meet with them on 6 July for a chat over a coffee.
So far, this site has been created and edited by myself using the Weebly template. However, whilst incredibly... unbelievably(!)... creative in technology - not to mention modest - I am hopeless with space and colours (Asperger's!!).
Looking forward to my meeting and if we go ahead, I will update here accordingly and, if I really like them, I might even tell you who they are :)