Kokomo Tribune; Kokomo, Indiana

Columns

November 3, 2013

ED VASICEK: Invention competition in downtown Kokomo

'Li-Fi' Web signals vs. hybrid capacitors

(Continued)

“‘Li-Fi doesn’t work in the dark or outdoors, but it only has to be a supplement to existing wireless networks to be valuable.’”

“This is exciting,” Elmer chimed. “The other day, I tested my Internet speed to different locations, and New York was ten times slower than most other cities. You would think with all the money they take from us, they could at least give us fast Internet everywhere. Those crooks are just ...”

“Elmer,” Emil interrupted, “let me have my turn. I have one from Car and Driver about a new type of electric car that Volvo is putting out. Instead of batteries, it has a special capacitor.”

“Isn’t a capacitor the same thing as a condenser?” Elmer questioned.

“Only car mechanics use that older term,” Emil explained. “A capacitor — or condenser — is a component that essentially stores electricity, usually for a short time. Here is the article:

“‘In 2010, Volvo teamed up with Imperial College London (ICL) to begin work on a novel approach to stripping weight out of vehicles: replacing batteries with super capacitors. But these weren’t just any super capacitors — the electrical storage devices were integrated into the bodywork. Specifically, the research Volvo tapped into was an ICL professor’s investigation into structural carbon-fiber panels that double as super capacitors.

“‘... Volvo claims that further down the road, this technology could lead to a 15-percent reduction in weight for hybrid and electric vehicles by obfuscating the need for heavy chemical batteries. Capacitors can recharge and dump their energy far quicker than conventional batteries — ideal for short bursts of power and capturing braking energy.’”

“Wow, this verdict is going to be hard,” Elmer explained. “Both of these articles are pretty interesting. What happens if there is a tie?”

“Well,” I informed him, “then you pay for the meal.”

“In that case, I am glad there is no tie. Emil, you win.”

Ed Vasicek is pastor of Highland Park Church and a weekly contributor to the Kokomo Tribune. Contact him at edvasicek@gmail.com.

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