Filed under: Science/Technology, Energy | Tags: Graphene, New Material, Home Heating
A couple of years ago, in August of 2013, I wrote about the new wonder material, graphene, a more glamorous cousin of ordinary pencil lead, and the rush to file patents for potential uses. As of May that year, there had been more than 9,000 patents filed.
Dr. Geim wanted thin graphite to study its electrical properties. A doctoral student suggested using cellophane tape.”They used the tape to peel off layers of graphite until they got to a layer so thin it was transparent. Not only did it not fall apart, it was strong, flexible and possessed astonishing electrical properties.”
A startup called Xefro in the United Kingdom is working in the unheralded area of energy savings, where nanomaterials are making the biggest inroads. A graphene heating system could dramatically reduce home energy costs. This is the first time graphene has been used as a heating element. Depending on the kind of heating system currently used in a home, the company estimates that their graphene-based heating system could reduce energy costs by anywhere from 25 to 75 percent.
Xefro uses graphene-based ink that can be printed on a variety of materials and into just about any configuration. The system takes advantage of graphene’s minimal thermal mass so the heat can be turned on and off quickly, and leverages graphene’s large surface area so that energy isn’t wasted in heating up the heater itself.
Traditional heating systems are very inefficient in that they require heat to be transferred to multiple materials: for example, heating up water to heat up a radiator which heats up air and then finally heats up objects in a room, according to Harper.
The full article is here. I should have paid a lot more attention in physics!
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