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Category: Tech
Date: 02/18/13 12:19 PM

22 Responses to Super Supercapacitors

  1. Profile photo of CaptKangaroo
    CaptKangaroo Male 50-59
    2343 posts
    February 18, 2013 at 12:23 pm
    Link: Super Supercapacitors - Ric Kaner has found a new way to power the world. Biodegradable batteries.
  2. Profile photo of JoexBro
    JoexBro Male 18-29
    546 posts
    February 18, 2013 at 1:40 pm
    And then the brass at GE are like shi*iit this could make us lose a lot of money, kill order on those scientists.
  3. Profile photo of WorldOfJames
    WorldOfJames Male 18-29
    978 posts
    February 18, 2013 at 1:50 pm
    cool!
  4. Profile photo of Essen
    Essen Male 18-29
    110 posts
    February 18, 2013 at 2:12 pm
    neat
  5. Profile photo of mervviscious
    mervviscious Male 40-49
    1793 posts
    February 18, 2013 at 2:14 pm
    excellent...
  6. Profile photo of piperfawn
    piperfawn Male 30-39
    4907 posts
    February 18, 2013 at 2:47 pm
    JoexBro we got the same think!
  7. Profile photo of lauriloo
    lauriloo Female 40-49
    1803 posts
    February 18, 2013 at 2:49 pm
    I was waiting to hear if this could make solar panels and wind turbines more cost efficient and practical. I would love to see a way to use all that empty desert land I see while on a plane for a practical purpose that replaces polluting energy sources.
  8. Profile photo of OldOllie
    OldOllie Male 60-69
    15841 posts
    February 18, 2013 at 4:29 pm
    I was hoping they would tell us the energy density which is the ONLY number that would be of any significance in this context. Apparently it`s not that great, or they would be bragging about it.
  9. Profile photo of CrakrJak
    CrakrJak Male 40-49
    17514 posts
    February 18, 2013 at 5:41 pm
    OldOllie: Not only is storage density important so is charge holding time. If these can`t hold their charge for more than a 24hrs. they won`t be very practical.

    Still, The fact that they could replace heavy metals in batteries and perhaps replace Li=ion batteries might be promising.
  10. Profile photo of Runemang
    Runemang Male 30-39
    2676 posts
    February 18, 2013 at 6:30 pm
    I do believe the proper terminology for the singularly increased level or degree of the prefixitory word "super" is the prefix-appended "duper". So "Super Duper Capacitors" would be the proper terminology. *harumph*
  11. Profile photo of New_Guy
    New_Guy Male 30-39
    406 posts
    February 19, 2013 at 1:23 am
    finally I can forget to charge my phone for a day and not have to live without for the following work day...!! YEAAAAAAA
  12. Profile photo of darkmagic14n
    darkmagic14n Male 18-29
    1625 posts
    February 19, 2013 at 7:53 am
    I thought biodegradable batteries already existed? we call them potatoes
  13. Profile photo of Angilion
    Angilion Male 40-49
    12387 posts
    February 19, 2013 at 12:10 pm
    I think there`s a very important point being skipped over here. If they`ve really come up with a cheap and effective way to produce graphene on a large scale, *that`s* the game-changer. Graphene has a multitude of possible uses and one of the major obstacles was the cost and difficulty of making it. If that`s really been overcome, supercapacitors would be only one result of many.

    As others have pointed out, there`s a suspicious lack of detail in this promo video. If they have practical supercapacitors, why aren`t they saying so? Why not say "This stores x Wh, holds x% of the charge for y time and retains x% of original maximum charge after y charging cycles." Even just some approximate figures for these things that are the crucial differences between an interesting experiment and a useful product.
  14. Profile photo of Angilion
    Angilion Male 40-49
    12387 posts
    February 19, 2013 at 12:18 pm
    As for charging a car in a minute, do the maths:

    You can get about 3 miles per KWh of charge. Add in the extra electricity generated on the go by regenerative braking and you can stretch to about 4 miles per KWh of original charge, assuming that it`s not too hot or too cold.

    So you`re going to want at least 25KWh and 50 would be better.

    To charge 25KWh in a minute takes 1.5MW.

    To charge 50KWh in a minute takes 3MW.

    That`s assuming a charging efficiency of 100%, which is impossible. So the actual requirements would be higher (though not much - charging can be very efficient).

    Pouring 3MW into every car on charge is no small thing even if it`s possible to throw electricity into the capacitors at that rate. The fluctuations in demand on the grid would be extreme and local generation would be impossible. A major power station at peak output could do 1000 cars. That`s not many.
  15. Profile photo of turdburglar
    turdburglar Male 30-39
    4896 posts
    February 19, 2013 at 12:42 pm

    Angilion - If the charging station had a set of super-capacitors it could pull a constant draw from the grid and hold onto it. That way there wouldn`t be gigantic fluctuations on the grid. Still, that is a lot of power to push. There would defiantly be some safety issues.
  16. Profile photo of McGovern1981
    McGovern1981 Male 30-39
    14268 posts
    February 20, 2013 at 5:39 am
    To charge a flux capacitor it takes 1.21 Gigawatts.
  17. Profile photo of CrakrJak
    CrakrJak Male 40-49
    17514 posts
    February 20, 2013 at 5:43 am
    Angilion is correct, that would put a lot of stress on our current power grid, not to mention the fact that you`d have to have a power transformer, outside your house, about the size of a small car to handle that much instant demand without overloading.

    A staged charging system would be more sensible, charging a few cells at a time. It would take longer but would be more practical.

    300w for ten minutes for example, instead of 3Mw for one minute.
  18. Profile photo of Angilion
    Angilion Male 40-49
    12387 posts
    February 20, 2013 at 5:31 pm
    Angilion - If the charging station had a set of super-capacitors it could pull a constant draw from the grid and hold onto it. That way there wouldn`t be gigantic fluctuations on the grid. Still, that is a lot of power to push. There would defiantly be some safety issues.

    That`s a good idea on paper, but it would only be partially moving the fluctuation from the grid to the charging station - the fluctuation is inherent in the pattern of demand and cannot be removed.

    You could only have a constant pull from the grid if every charging station had infinite electricity storage capacity, which is impossible.

    You could reduce the fluctuation on demand on the grid with enough storage at every charging station, but it would have to be a huge amount. Storing GWh in capacitors has risks even if it`s possible and with thousands of stations bad things would happen sooner or later. Also, you`d waste a lot from storage losses.
  19. Profile photo of Angilion
    Angilion Male 40-49
    12387 posts
    February 20, 2013 at 5:41 pm
    I think battery (or capacitor) swapping is a much more practical way to go. Drive in, swap battery, drive out. Automate the whole thing and it would take about as much time as pumping fuel into a tank. The battery can then be charged at a more practical rate in the charging station, to go into another car later. There are safety issues with swapping large-capacitor batteries or capacitors, but solving practical problems is what engineers do. There are prototype automated systems already - the problems are not insurmountable.

    Charging could then be an optional extra while parked.

    That combination would be more convenient for drivers than the current system of refueling ICEVs. That would encourage EV use. People don`t want new stuff that`s less convenient than the current stuff - they want it at least as convenient.
  20. Profile photo of DavidXJ
    DavidXJ Male 30-39
    1106 posts
    February 21, 2013 at 12:55 pm
    I keep hearing about super capacitors like this, for the last 10 years, and yet we`re still stuck with this lithion ion crap. Batteries suck. Until they actually make these capacitors for vehicles, along with "gas cans" for carrying extra charge on remote excursions, electric cars will always suck and never catch on.
  21. Profile photo of Angilion
    Angilion Male 40-49
    12387 posts
    February 21, 2013 at 4:09 pm
    I think you`re being a little pessimistic. Most people don`t drive more than 100 miles from a refueling point, so a range of 200 miles should be adequate for almost everyone. I think it`s probably that most people rarely if ever drive more than 50 miles from a refueling point.

    EVs can provide epic acceleration at low speeds, which is what matters for fun in almost all cases. Sure, a gearless EV is going to max out at about 120mph, but when was the last time you drove faster than 120mph?

    I think there`s a lot of improvement needed before EVs catch on, but I think you`re over-stating the range requirements for that to happen.

    I`d be happy with an EV with a range of 200 miles that did 0-60 in 4s, that I could "refuel" in a few minutes by swapping the battery at any one of many thousands of battery stations, that I could recharge at less cost overnight while I wasn`t using it and which cost a reasonable amount (including battery replacement cost).
  22. Profile photo of Angilion
    Angilion Male 40-49
    12387 posts
    February 21, 2013 at 4:18 pm
    To clarify "epic acceleration", there`s a home-built road-legal EV conversion that does 0-60 in 1.8s (and, incidentally, has a bigger range than a Nissan Leaf). 4s would be within hot hatch levels for EVs. Electric motors can have monstrous torque and a relatively flat torque curve.

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