Challenging Conventional Approaches to Energy Storage: Direct Integration of Energy Storage into Solar Cells, the Use of Scrap Metals to Build Batteries, and the Development of Multifunctional Structural Energy Storage Composites
Westover, Andrew Scott
Since the development of batteries by Edison and Volta, energy storage has become an integral part of our technology. As the energy storage devices we manufacture, research and develop new energy storage systems has been standardized. This dissertation present three alternative approaches to developing energy storage devices which could completely change the paradigm by which we manufacture and use energy storage. First, I present my work in developing energy storage devices that can be directly integrated into the back of Silicon photovoltaics. This includes initial proof of concept of direct integration of porous Si supercapacitors followed by investigations into high rate faradaic chemical reactions with porous Si and coated porous Si. These faradaic reactions have the possibility of higher energy storage and power matching the performance of silicon photovoltaics. Second, I demonstrate the feasibility of using scrap metals to make high rate batteries that can be paired with photovoltaics by anodizing scrap steel and brass using simple manufacturing methods compatible with do it yourself manufacturing. Third, I will present my work in developing multifunctional structural supercapacitor composites. I demonstrate the ability to measure in-situ the electrochemical response of solid state electrolyte and supercapacitors. I follow this initial work up with the realization of a structural supercapacitor with the mechanical performance approaching that of commercial structural composites and energy storage performance approaching commercial supercapacitors.
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