https://getit.orgTransforming the Planet – Energy for all – Communicatons for all

ARPA-e Funds Ultracapacitors

Storage Storage Storage.  Cost effective, safe, and long term storage of energy is the big break through we need. It is a please to see that ARPA-E put some serious round 1 funding into energy storage innovation.   FastCAP SYSTEMS‘s Ultracapacitor system is one really attractive enhancement. Ultracapacitors differ from batteries. Batteries use a reaction (usually chemical) to produce electricity. Capacitors store an electrical charge which can later recovered. Battery have inefficiency from the conversion loss as you move from a electrical to chemical then back to electrical.  Capacitors have no conversion loss, you are storing the electric charge, then recovering it when needed. We have capacitors all over the place in our lives – they are really small and in all our electronic devices. What we need is a way to store really big charges which can last for a longer time. Enter the “Ultra” capacitor.

Ultacapacitors have been around for a while.  Their use has been limiting. Enter FastCAP Systems, a spin out from work at MIT. The team is using nanotechnology to move from 6 W·h/kg of today’s Ultacapacitors to a potential of reaching 60 W·h/kg.  If FastCAP pulls it off, they will match the typica lead-acid battery (30 to 40 W·h/kg) and be close to competing with the lithium-ion batteries (160 W·h/kg). Can they pull it off? Much of their work has already been outlined in  IEEE Spectrum’s The Charge of the Ultra – Capacitors and Science Buzz’s It keeps going and going and going… It looks feasible and promising. A company work watching – especially if they get a second round of funding.

Where will the impact be felt the most? They are already used as the key part of energy recovery in braking systems. In an old 2004 article Ultracapacitors Challenge the Battery , it was noted ““In fuel cell vehicles, ultracapacitors have demonstrated a higher recovery of energy from braking than batteries, are considerably lighter, have a longer economic life, and are more environmentally friendly in their manufacture and disposal.”

Related Articles:

Nanotechnology research leads to molecular-scale batteries and motors

MIT researchers introduce nanotech battery

This article was posted on Sunday, November 8th, 2009 at 2:27 am You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.
Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.