Graphene solar could be a game-changer


A Canadian renewable energy company will next week reveal details of a joint venture which it claims will cause a paradigm shift in renewable energy generation and storage.

Sunvault Energy, based in Kelowna, British Columbia, has formed the Supervault Energy JV to develop UCLA-patented graphene supercapacitor technology.

An explanatory video on the Supervault Energy website claims the use of all-organic graphene, created through a simple process, will enable devices to recharge within seconds.

In the video, Richard Kaner, professor of chemistry and biochemistry at UCLA, and PhD student Maher El-Kady, explain how a graphene supercapacitor could be scaled up from portable devices, such as smartphones, to charging stations for electric vehicles (EV).

In a press release issued by SunVault Energy about the JV, and carried by PR Newswire yesterday (Thursday), the Canadian company says it intends to incorporate the technology in its solar cells to produce a device capable of generating, transferring and storing energy in one unit.

Scaleable technology

Sunvault also claims the technology can be scaled up to utility-sized applications.

Details of the JV will be announced on Wednesday (March 18) in a webinar at 4.30pm, U.S. Eastern time.

The development follows the announcement by Sunvault president and CEO Gary Monaghan in October that the company had signed an MoU with Los Angeles-based Nanotech Energy to develop the ‘Nanotech Energy Graphine Supercapacitor’ as part of an all-in-one solar product a step nearer the company’s ‘bio-cell storage’ vision.

Graphene, as a carbon-based material, contains none of the toxic metals used in lithium-ion batteries that dominate the renewable energy storage market at present, with Kaner claiming graphene can be disposed of in domestic composters.