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Published on February 5th, 2009 | by Ariel Schwartz

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Newest X PRIZE Challenge: Build an Ultracapacitor

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February 5th, 2009 by  

UC Irvine students Kyle Good and Bryan Le have come with the next X PRIZE challenge: build an ultracapacitor. The pair won the X PRIZE Foundation’s “What’s Your Crazy Green Idea” contest, which asked entrants to post a 2 minute video describing a concept for an X PRIZE in the Energy and Environment category. Le and Good won $25,000 for their idea. The winning video is below.

Photo Credit: X PRIZE Foundation

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About the Author

was formerly the editor of CleanTechnica and is a senior editor at Co.Exist. She has contributed to SF Weekly, Popular Science, Inhabitat, Greenbiz, NBC Bay Area, GOOD Magazine, and more. A graduate of Vassar College, she has previously worked in publishing, organic farming, documentary film, and newspaper journalism. Her interests include permaculture, hiking, skiing, music, relocalization, and cob (the building material). She currently resides in San Francisco, CA.



  • Jay

    sounds like a good challenge to me… i’ll be following this story. thanks, ariel!

  • Jay

    sounds like a good challenge to me… i’ll be following this story. thanks, ariel!

  • Alec

    Great, but I’d like to add one more requirement. The winner should not discharge suddenly in the event of a malfunction. When current caps fail they do so by shorting out internally, converting their stored energy into heat. That is, they explode. If a ultracap with enough energy to power a car where to become damaged (car accident?) it would not be pleasant.

  • Alec

    Great, but I’d like to add one more requirement. The winner should not discharge suddenly in the event of a malfunction. When current caps fail they do so by shorting out internally, converting their stored energy into heat. That is, they explode. If a ultracap with enough energy to power a car where to become damaged (car accident?) it would not be pleasant.

  • Drew

    Ultracapacitors are the future of EV battery technology and I am excited to see these students taking enormous initiative. Rock and roll playas.

  • Drew

    Ultracapacitors are the future of EV battery technology and I am excited to see these students taking enormous initiative. Rock and roll playas.

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