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These slides use concepts from my (Jeff Funk) course entitled analyzing hi-tech opportunities to analyze improvements in the economic feasibility of carbon nanotubes (CNTs) for transparent electrodes and flywheels. Improvements in the transparency and cost of CNTs are enabling CNTs to replace indium tin oxide in applications such as solar cells and displays. Second, as the cost of CNTs falls through improvements in processes and increases in the scale of equipment, they will become economically feasible for flywheels. Since the energy storage density of flywheels is directly proportional to the strength to weight ration of the flywheel material, CNTs (and graphene) have potential energy storage densities that are ten times the current energy storage densities of carbon fiber-based flywheels and Li-ion batteries. This means that carbon nanotubes are an important tool in the battle against fossil-fuel dependency and global warming.
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