Supercapacitors? It’s a Wrap

Dean Sigler Electric Powerplants, Sustainable Aviation 0 Comments

Recent entries in Electricvehiclesresearch.com alerted your editor to a novel combination of batteries and supercapacitors to gain power and energy – usually mutually exclusive in energy storage devices.  The Paper Battery Company (an intriguing name) makes an extremely thin supercapacitor that can be literally wrapped around a battery or structure to make a hybrid energy storage device that allows the best features of both. Their PowerWrapper™ Supercapacitor is a half-millimeter thick (or as Paper Battery insists –thin) 4.5 Volt device that can be flexed to fit over or around “your device, folds, bends or cut outs.”  This conformability still allows hundreds of thousands of charge/discharge cycles, supercapacitor longevity being one of their big selling points. Others, according to the firm’s …

Are Ultracapacitors Ready for Prime Time?

Dean Sigler Uncategorized 1 Comment

A January 3 article in Automotive Engineering International Online highlights the potential for ultracapacitors to take some of the battery market for vehicle power.  The positive side of ultracapacitors would seem to demand their use over that of batteries.  They can produce up to 10 times the power of batteries – important in acceleration.  They handle temperatures down to -40°C (-40° F), something which drops battery power outputs to near uselessness in many cases.  They last forever compared to batteries, can be charged in minutes as opposed to hours, and can even be recycled more fully than batteries – some of whose chemistries are toxic. Prices are dropping quickly.  A 3,000-Farad ultracapacitor sold for $5,000 10 years ago.  Today, it …

Hybrid Hopes or Hype?

Dean Sigler Uncategorized 0 Comments

Batteries are achieving increasingly high capacities and outputs, though at a frustratingly slow pace, especially for those of us who want that much hoped-for lightweight power pack that will make the electric backpack helicopter of our dreams a practical reality.  For cars, a viable and attractive alternative to pure battery use in hybrid propulsion is described in an Earth2Tech entry supplied by Dr. Seeley.  That entry describes a three-step approach to making ultracapacitors and batteries into friendly allies in propusion. First, ultracaps should not compete with batteries, but enhance them. “Second, get creative to bring costs down quickly. Third, embrace the niche.” The big problem with batteries is being able to take in or put out large amounts of power …