In a study published this month, scientists have shown that conventional bricks can be transformed into energy storage devices powerful enough to turn on LED lights.
While there is a lot more development needed before you can go plugging your AirPods into a brick wall, the proof of concept here is strong.
“What we have demonstrated in our paper is sufficient enough for you to light up emergency lighting that’s in a hallway or sensors that could be embedded inside the walls of a house,” says Julio M. D’Arcy, professor of chemistry at Washington University and co-author of the study.
“The next step is trying to store more energy, so that you can power bigger devices, like maybe a laptop, directly from the walls of the house.”
The team achieved this phenomenon by pumping a series of gasses through the bricks (which are actually pretty porous).
This turns the bricks into a dark shade of Blue, which just so happens to match our Door quite nicely.
The gasses coat the bricks with a web of plastic nanofiber that effectively conducts and stores electricity.
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One of the biggest challenges with solar panels and wind turbines is storing the power that these renewable sources generate.
Right now, the “smart bricks” can’t compete with lithium-ion batteries used in many solar power systems.
But, the research team feels that this new technology could be developed to provide a new storage method using materials that are plentiful in almost every civilization around the world; bricks.