An all-foldable fabric ultra-capacitor developed by the non-profit Taiwan Textile Research Institute (TTRI) with support from the Economic Ministry's Department of Industrial Technology has taken a “2011 R&D 100” award presented by the prestigious American magazine R&D.
The all-foldable fabric ultra-capacitor, powered by solar panels, is a practical mobile-energy substitute for recharging cellphones and flashlights.
TTRI says that it spent five years developing the all-foldable fabric ultra-capacitor that won it Taiwan's first-ever “R&D 100” award, the Oscar of the industrial sector, for which a team of professionals and academics from a variety of industries chooses 100 award-winning commercialized technologies and products each year.
Past awards have all gone to technologies and products closely connected to modern life. Among the winners were automated teller machines (ATMs) in 1975, printing machines in 1986, and high-definition TV sets in 1998. TTRI believes that its all-foldable fabric ultra-capacitor will become just as indispensable to daily life as those earlier winners.
TTRI’s award-winning ultra-capacitor is less than 0.1 cm thick.
Its creation, TTRI explains, is a kind of light, thin (under 0.1cm), fully foldable product that uses conductive fiber as a substrate. It is very different from conventional cylindrical ultra-capacitors and has wider applications because it can adapt to temperatures anywhere between -200C and 800C, making it suitable for use amid violent climate changes.
According to TTRI, the new product has won three U.S. patents and three Taiwan patents, with another 10 patents pending in the U.S., Japan, and Taiwan.
To take advantage of the product's applicability to a variety of industries, TTRI is looking for cooperation in production with a number of manufacturers, initially zeroing in on battery-based small power-generating systems used in such products as digital cameras, small wind turbines, hand tools, electric scooters, and solar-energy bags and boxes. Incorporation of the all-foldable fabric ultra-capacitor will enable these products to be lighter in weight while offering outstanding power-generating functions.
TTRI is confident that the new product, which it has been promoting since its debut in 2008, will help Taiwan's textile manufacturers create startups through cooperation with companies in different industries.
(by Ben Shen)