Nuclear Diamond Batteries

in STEMGeekslast month

Now I've seen everything!

This video came across my youtube feed today, and I just started geeking out over it:

Using the carbon from spent nuclear waste to power low consumption devices for up to 28,000 years? That's the stuff of science fiction and I love it!

Like the video mentioned, it's not going to replace the AA batteries we have in our TV remotes, nor will we be able to power cars with it. The power output is measured in microvolts, making it far more useful for things like IoT devices or sensors/detectors. But even so, this is a huge breakthrough! Now there's a use case for spent nuclear fuel besides sealing it in underground caverns for centuries until the radiation goes through enough half life cycles to not be a threat anymore.

What do you think? Neat tech? Overhyped?

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If it works, it would revolutionize the IoT world. There would be sensors everywhere.

I don't think its viable for IoT - it would need to be too big to produce meaningful energy + radiation shielding might be an issue.

On other hand radioactive decay is very reliable source of energy so I can see use in space probes or so. Especially when they plan to travel far from sun, making solar panels ineffective.

Well, I don't think we're quite there yet. There's still a lot more research to be done, and I bet the first model to come to market will be much more compact and robust.

compact model is kinda useless because it comes down to volume of energy (a lot in case of radioactive decay) and rate at which is energy released (really extremely slow if you want it to be reasonably safe) You can't cheat total volume of stored energy and if you want to release it over 28,000 years you will not get much at once.

I don't see feasible to power light $10 sensor with 10kg+ radioactive decay battery that would cost $1k+. On other hand in space flight energy density and reliability matters most and it have both.

Also true. Though, given enough time, there's probably a way to make it cost efficient...

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