Su­per ca­pac­i­tors to re­place bat­ter­ies

DEMM Engineering & Manufacturing - - CONTENTS -

One way that su­per­ca­pac­i­tors are de­vel­op­ing faster than bat­ter­ies is in the choice of for­mat, from trans­fer print­able ones for mo­bile phones to load-bear­ing struc­tural com­po­nents and smart skin for ve­hi­cles.

In the Euro­pean Union Pow­er­weave project, su­per­ca­pac­i­tors have been cho­sen as the en­ergy stor­age lay­ers on the fi­bre be­ing de­vel­oped for self-pow­ered wear­able elec­tron­ics from ban­dages to dresses. The rea­son is that they have high power den­sity, long life­time and low in­ter­nal re­sis­tance – and they can be con­structed from com­monly avail­able, low cost ma­te­ri­als.

Ac­cord­ing to an IDTechEx re­port, graphene ac­tive elec­trodes are promis­ing up to 200 Wh/kg, well ahead of lithium-ion bat­ter­ies. Right now, 120Hz ver­sions are planned to re­place elec­trolytic ca­pac­i­tors in power sup­plies.

Su­per­ca­pac­i­tors and their de­riv­a­tives, su­per­ca­bat­ter­ies (asym­met­ric elec­tro­chem­i­cal dou­ble layer ca­pac­i­tors AEDLC) – par­tic­u­larly the lithium-ion ca­pac­i­tor ver­sions – are rapidly widen­ing in ap­pli­ca­tion.

The Euro­pean elec­tric ve­hi­cle in­dus­try is weak­ened by hav­ing to im­port lithi­u­mion bat­ter­ies from Ja­pan, China and Korea to get the best price/per­for­mance for mass mar­kets. How­ever, the re­port says Europe will also stay weak in su­per­ca­pac­i­tors, with in­vestors fail­ing to see that su­per­ca­pac­i­tors are in­creas­ingly en­abling com­po­nents for EVs and other ap­pli­ca­tions.

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