Concrete buildings could become rechargeable batteries you can live in

Originally published at: Concrete buildings could become rechargeable batteries you can live in | Boing Boing


Concrete is the most widely consumed material in the world after water.

Some folks even put it where their brains used to be.


from the The Ballad of Pious Pete
(by the inimitable (but often tried) Robert W. Service)

They’re taking me out with an escort about, and under a sergeant’s care;
I am humbled indeed, for I’m 'cuffed to a Swede
that thinks he’s a millionaire.
But it’s all Gospel true what I’m telling to you–
up there where the Shadow falls–
That I settled Sam Noot when he started to shoot electricity into my walls.


Shuffle Dynamism


I suspect that the professionals have already considered this; but, given how critical control of corrosion is in keeping reinforced concrete reinforced, the idea of voluntarily adding a bunch of additional electrochemistry to the situation has my nope reflex twitching pretty badly.


They don’t address the failure modes of a structure made of giant batteries in the article, but they could be really bad. How does it deal with piercing, fire, and overcharging? If the idiot in 5c violates condo rules and drills into the wall to hang a picture, will it level a city block?


From the last thing I read about this, IIRC, you’d be lucky to power an led from a whole wall. Be better off cladding your building in solar panels.


erm… not at all! Come to think of it they did window glass first. (With a trifecta of water filtration, power and switching opaque and back in short notice.) Why, the power industry uses molten carbonate batteries already to even out spikes in demand! Why would you not want a battery that operates at 1000…degrees C or F, one of those, percolating on the cool side of the pillow between you and western coniferous forest? You could have a shape memory house. It’s like having Frank Gehry in a can (hope you like metal fascia and the other things in the biopics.)

That said it’s much nicer to think of having the graphene concrete acting as a supercapacitor (and all phases to abet the rebar not rotting in place, plus you know to stop using it if you can hear anything from the ions moving around in there.) You know how you get vacuum-hardened electricity-eating space mice? This is how you get space mice. (Also a Marvel license.)

For medium values of volcano lair, it’s solid. It’s not like there aren’t 1000 things in air/space travel to freak out about that aren’t better gotten out of the way Earthside first.

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